Starting from Scratch
Trying to grow a following on Facebook from scratch is certainly a daunting task, especially if you don’t have an established online presence elsewhere (say, a blog or website).
But hey, everyone has to start somewhere, right?
I’ve been getting quite a few emails lately from subscribers asking for strategies on how to launch their Facebook pages from scratch.
There’s nothing more amazing (and terrifying) than launching your ideas into the world.
So what do you do when you are trying to start on Facebook from scratch with a very limited budget?
That’s exactly what I am going to focus on during the blog post.
Together we’ll define exactly what it is you need to do in order to grow your Facebook following from scratch and turn it into a thriving community.
Plus, I included a great PDF guide at the end that will help you take action right away.
I’m starting off by reminding you to stay consistent with your content is everything.
If you are not consistent, you’ll likely fail at anything you intend to do.
After successfully starting and growing dozens of Facebook pages from scratch for clients, I can tell you first hand that if you’re not consistent, you’re not going get anywhere with Facebook.
At first, growth will probably be slow, and it might feel like you are wasting your time and talking into the void.
I know it takes a huge amount of discipline, willpower, and focus on staying committed to your social media strategy when you are first starting out, but don’t you quit on me.
It’s totally normal to feel a bit discouraged at first, and if you are going through this right now, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
It will probably take a few weeks to see results, but staying focused is really the key to success here.
So what does focus look like?
Picking a strategy and sticking to it even when it feels like you are running around in circles.
Staying consistent means showing up day in, and day out. Putting your absolute best content out there, and investing time and effort into your strategy.
Remember, most things in business (and at times in life) require that you either invest time or money.
And since we are just starting out with a very limited budget (say $50/month), we’re gonna have to invest our time.
I know, I know. Time is your most important asset, and you’re probably already swamped running your business and trying to make money.
I’m gonna go all Gary Vaynerchuck on you right now and tell you that you gotta either commit or whine about it & quit. It’s that simple.
Sticking to your guns and pushing forward no matter what is the only way to succeed at anything in life.
First Things First
So you’ve probably just set up your new blog, launched your new site and finally signed up for that shiny email marketing software so you can start building your email list.
Before you jump on Facebook on a whim, you have to be sure that this is the right social network for your business.
How do you that? Super simple.
I created a video over on my YouTube channel all about this jazz, so if you want to learn more about this topic, catch the #KimTV episode here.
Here are the three steps I mention in the video to help you figure it out.
Step 1: Are my customers on this platform?
This one is pretty intuitive. Facebook has over a billion users, so chances are, they are gonna be active on this platform.
But remember, it’s gonna be nearly impossible to grow on a social channel where your audience is not active.
Talk to your current customers or send out a survey to find out if they spend the majority of their social networking time on Facebook.
Step 2: Where are my competitors active?
It’s always smart to take a peek at what other people in your industry are doing on Facebook.
But go a bit further, and look beyond your competitors for other businesses who have parallel audiences.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that you are a nutritionist, you can also check out personal trainers and supplement companies because nutrition, fitness and health all align with each other.
A trainer in your area will likely have an audience that can benefit from your nutrition services as well – this is often described as a parallel audience.
A really easy way to find your competitors is by doing a quick Facebook keyword search.
I shot this video tutorial a while back that will show you exactly how to ‘spy’ on your competitors on Facebook.
**Jot your competitors down because you’ll need this info later on.
Step 3: Do I have the resources to keep up with this social network?
Do some research and figure out what types of activities you need to get down pat on Facebook in order to thrive.
Consider the following:
- How much time will it take to update this network x amount of times per week?
- Will you need to spend some time creating high-quality images on a software tool such as PicMonkey or Canva?
- Will being active on platform eventually require additional staff to do monitoring and customer service?
PRO TIP: I strongly recommend you only take on one to two social networks max at the same time (preferably just one) and really focus your efforts on growing, expanding and leveraging that platform before you expand to other networks.
When you first start off on social media there is a pretty substantial time (or money) investment involved, so you don’t want to spread yourself (or your budget) too thin.
Personally, I focused almost solely on Facebook.
But of course, there’s a ton of other phenomenal social networks out there.
So my secondary social network is YouTube, it brings me a lot of leads and gets my brand discovered.
But I haven’t focused a ton of my efforts there just yet because I still feel like I need to invest a bit more time on growing my fan base on Facebook and video is pretty time consuming.
My point is, if Facebook is your primary social network, put your focus there until you have exploited the platform entirely.
I’ve written about growing your fan base on Facebook here and here, but I want to go a little more in-depth in this blog post.
The first thing you want to think about is who is your ideal client and how are the using Facebook.
Of course, if you are first starting out, this might involve a little more guess work.
You can start by scoping out the competition and figuring out what is working for them and what is not.
This way you’ll be able to get a bit more clear on what makes you different.
Facebook is busy place, making your content stand out from the crowd is incredibly important.
Remember those competitors you scoped out on Facebook? Check out those pages one more time an analyze the content.
You can easily create a spreadsheet like this one to organize the following:
- Fan count – While you don’t want to focus on the numbers, this will give you a good benchmark.
- What type of content do they post?
- What seems to be working and not working for them?
- Notes and ideas that may come to you as you check out these pages.
With this information, you can easily determine what will make you stand out from the crowd.
Here are a few ideas…
You might decide that creating short videos on Facebook is how you are going to differentiate yourself because you love video, and it aligns perfectly with what you do.
Gary Vaynerchuck uses this strategy for his #AskGary show, and as you can see, not all his videos have a high production value. Meaning, you don’t need to get all fancy to make video work for you.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that most of your competitors are really lacking in the engagement department, so you’ve made it a goal to develop relationships on Facebook by getting creative with your posts.
Madison Social is a hip restaurant in Tallahassee who really understands their clients, (college students) and uses really innovative ways to engage with them on Facebook.
Maybe you’ve noticed that no one is really giving away great tips, discounts, tutorials or consultations for free on Facebook, and you are going to use this to become Captn. Generous and share your best stuff consistently.
Amy Porterfield has an awesome podcast, dedicated to creating these really great mini-trainings in each of her episodes. She also includes free show notes and PDF cheat sheets, worksheets, etc with every single episode.
So when you listen to her podcast, you can put into action everything you learned.
Or, perhaps you want to stand out by taking good quality photos and just being real with your fans.
Jennifer McGuire does a phenomenal job at connecting with her fans and being super transparent about her products.
Are you getting a better idea of what the differentiation process looks like?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. Just do your research and go with your gut.
I find that usually gives me the best outcome.
Creating Content Consistently
Consistency is something I’ve struggled with in my own business.
Sometimes it’s easy to get too caught up servicing clients, and by the time you get a few spare minutes to work on your own content, you’ve already missed a few days or have -zero creativity left.
So, I’ll share my best tips to save time with your Facebook content and be consistent.
#1. Create a content calendar so you know exactly what you are going to be posting and when.
#2. Create a posting schedule so you stay on track.
My strategy to stay consistent, inspired, and save time is to organize my posts into categories so I know what I am going to post and when.
If you want to read a little more about this topic, check out this blog post.
#3. Make sure you batch all of your posts in advance using the publishing tool of your preference.
You can check out a list of the one’s I love the most here, but I recommend just using Facebook’s scheduling functionality.
Check out this tutorial to learn how to do schedule directly on Facebook.
#4. Sign up for Canva or another graphic design software, so you can easily create high quality graphics for your social media posts.
So funny story- when I first started doing social I was using Power Point to create all of my image overlays…. PowerPoint people!
My point is, there’s no excuse to not create gorgeous imagery these days.
Grab my free Image Creation Toolkit for a full list of awesome tools to help you create amazing imagery for social media.
Or check out my entire tutorial playlist on YouTube on how to find and create gorgeous social media graphics.
#5. Have a social sharing strategy for your blog or any important marketing content.
It’s not just okay to publish your blog posts more than once on Facebook, it is absolutely essential to getting the most amount of engagement and traffic because not everyone who follows you sees everything you post.
Here’s a good base line in terms of how frequently you should share your blog posts on Facebook.
Growing Your Page
Of course, we want more fans on Facebook, but these days Facebook is so busy that you either have to create exceptionally unique content that goes viral, or you have to be very intentional about your growth strategy.
Here are the ideas that have worked best for my clients and I.
- Use the Facebook page plugin on your site.
- Experiment with using a Facebook Like exit pop-up.
- Run a great Facebook ad to promote your page.
- Collaborate with other brands to get more exposure.
- Go on Facebook live often.
I know you’ve probably heard these strategies time and time again, but from my experience talking to entrepreneurs who complain about these strategies not working, I’ve realized that most people don’t put in the work that is required to have success.
So I’m going to dig in a little more, and go through all of these strategies in more depth.
Using the Facebook Page Plugin On Your Site
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Facebook Like Box is out. It’s been replaced with the Facebook Page Plugin and I have to tell you, this is a Facebook update that I love.
It looks really cool and it was about time Facebook gave the ‘ole Like Box a face lift.
Anyway, the Facebook Page Plugin is the perfect solution to promoting your Facebook page on your website without sending traffic away from your webpages.
In other words, people can ”Like” your page within the Facebook Page Plugin, and this way you get them to become fans without disengaging from your website.
Here is a quick tutorial on how to install it on your website.
Experiment With A Facebook Exit Pop-Up
Personally, I have never tried one of these exit pop ups on my site, but I have seen them on various websites like Zazzle and I would definitely encourage your to experiment with them.
These bad boy can be easily created with Optin Monster, a super sleek tool to create optin forms without a developer.
Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up this Facebook Like optin pop up.
Run Facebook Ads
Promoting your page on Facebook doesn’t have to be expensive or totally frustrating.
Recently I developed a very simple strategy for a few of my clients who don’t have massive budgets so they could grow their Facebook fan base by spending $50-100/month.
That’s about $1.60- $3.33 per day.
The results were fantastic, but naturally varied from one client to the next, because they are all advertising to different types of people on Facebook.
Here’s an example of one of the most successful ads we ran.
The copy was simple and to the point.
We also included a call to action at the end so people understood right away what we were asking them to do.
With Facebook ads you have to make sure to test and tweak. So after a few weeks of playing with different copy, targeting options and imagery, we hit our sweet spot.
These are the results we had when we ran the ad for a two month period.
New Page Likes: 457 (from people who are our ideal client, not random people)
Total Spent: $151.09
Cost: .33 cents/new fan
Reach: 9,641 peeps
CTR: 4.315% (this is a good CTR, which indicates that people engaged with the ad)
Relevancy Score: 7/10 (pretty good, this indicates how well our ad is performing with the specific audience we selected in our targeting)
So this second example is from my own business.
Again, you’ll notice the copy is similar, very short and explains in very clear ways how I will add value to my fan’s lives when they ”LIKE” my page.
I also included two calls-to-action, one inside the actual copy and another one on the image itself.
Remember to keep your image under 20% text so Facebook approves your ad.
This tool that can help you figure out how much text your ad images have before you submit them to Facebook for approval.
These were my results for the past 5 months.
New Page Likes: 1,120 (from small business owners and entrepreneurs interested in online marketing)
Total Spent: $339.95
Cost: .30 cents/new fan
Reach: 35,724 peeps
CTR: 2.818% (this is a good CTR, which indicates that people engaged with the ad)
Relevancy Score: 7/10 (pretty good, this indicates how well my ad is performing with the specific audience I selected in my targeting)
How To Create Your Own Ad To Promote Your Page
I decided it was time to create a step-by-step tutorial to show you a few of my best tips to get great results from your promoted page ads.
If you want written instructions, download my free Facebook Likes Ad Guide.
- Budget: $50-$100/mo
- Use custom audiences to fine-tune your targeting and lower your expense.
- Use great imagery and explain how you will provide value.
- Play with the bid once your ad is live for a day or two so you don’t spend a lot of money.
- Expect to pay anywhere from .30- $2.00 per fan depending on how well you craft your ad and the type of audience you are trying to attract (sometimes there’s a lot of other advertisers trying to compete for space in the news feeds of certain type of people and that drives up the cost).
- Test, experiment and tweak.
Taking Action & Staying Organized
So, here comes the fun part.
You need to figure out exactly what resources you will need in order to grow your following on Facebook from scratch.
These resources could be anything from getting an assistant involved, to signing up for Canva.
Next, you want to break down how you are going to accomplish your goal.
We’ll break down the action you need to get done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to stay on track.
You’ll also want to establish a key metric. This is just a fancy word to describe how you are going to measure your progress.
I created this free, customizable PDF so you fill in your daily, weekly and monthly tasks and stay organized.
Download it here.
Over To You
I hope you found this article to be valuable, and I would love to hear about other strategies you’ve used to grow your following on Facebook from scratch.
Leave your thoughts and suggestions (and even questions) in the comments below.
I’d love to read all about them.