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How to Get Facebook Fans: The Easy Way and The Hard Way

Have you ever found an easy and superior way to do something, then watched in bafflement as people insist on doing it the hard way?

You will never make money on Facebook if you have the wrong fans. And the best way to get the right Facebook fans for your business is with Facebook ads.

There are two main obstacles to people using Facebook Advertising:

  1. A lot of companies don’t have a budget for Facebook ads
  2. Most people don’t know how to create Facebook ads that are affordable

Let’s tackle both issues…

1. Why It’s Foolish Not to Budget For Facebook Ads

Ok I’ll give you a pass if you have no budget for AdWords and no budget for print and… basically no budget for advertising. No wait, I won’t give you a pass on that- the number one reason businesses fail is they don’t advertise. Ok I made that up- but companies who’ve been through recessions and survived have seen their competitors flounder and go out of business after stopping their advertising to save money.

So should you spend some of your AdWords money on Facebook? Probably. But first let me show you my priorities for businesses. I do AdWords, SEO, Email Marketing, and Facebook marketing for clients, so my recommendations are not biased toward one online channel. Let’s talk about that, then I’ll come back to Facebook ads.

Prioritizing Your Online Marketing Efforts:

  1. AdWords for the highest ROI keywords
    AdWords reaches a point of diminishing return. Once you’ve established what keywords you can get a good ROI on, spend the rest of your budget on the lower priorities.
  2. SEO to get long term traffic on keywords you can rank for
    Every site reaches a point where they frankly don’t deserve to rank for more competitive terms. Even expanding your content with your blog only goes so far. Keep blogging, and move on to Facebook.
  3. Facebook Marketing and Advertising
    Facebook now gets more pageviews than Google. You can capture a targeted audience and, like an email list, market to them repeatedly. It’s way better than Twitter for B2C marketing
  4. Twitter Networking for PR and Opportunities
    Twitter gets only 5% the reach of Facebook, but it’s great for networking, reaching bloggers and journalists, and B2B marketing.
  5. David Blaine
    He is amazing, so if the previous channels didn’t work, you’d better get in touch with the street magician.

Free Facebook Fans Suck

Don’t go to Facebook just because you don’t have a budget for AdWords. It really sucks to try to get fans the free route.

  • Yes, you can get 50 of your friends to fan your page. No that’s probably not your target market.
  • Yes you can run contests, but these fans will all be cheap – as in, they want free or low cost stuff. They’ll discount you to death. Red ocean, anyone?
  • Yes, you can create a video that you call “viral” but unless it gets thousands or millions of views, it wasn’t really viral. Viral marketing is nearly impossible to do on purpose.

Cheap Fan Services?

You can even get some company in India to get you really cheap fans, but I keep hearing from regretful business owners who look at their Page Insights and find these fans are from countries they don’t serve. They may even be fake profiles, which means they won’t interact with you and they’ll water down your Post Feedback Rate. I’m not saying anything as sweeping as companies from India are unethical, but I am saying that you need to watch out for these super-cheap fan services and check up on the fan quality if you do feel you need to go this route.

How To Get Good, Cheap Fans Who May Actually Buy From You

If you haven’t been into the Facebook Advertising interface, maybe you don’t understand how incredible the targeting is:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Language
  • Relationship Status
  • Sexual gender preference
  • Education
  • Interest targeting
  • Page targeting

And if you’re stuck in the search marketing mentality (I was since I never did marketing or advertising until Google came along), you probably don’t realize how much demographic targeting can increase CTR (which lowers CPC, just like in AdWords).

Yes, interest targeting is different from keyword targeting, but that’s another issue. We’re just trying to get you the right fans- people who would buy your product or service if they knew about it.

There’s still a big question about whether Facebook marketing leads to sales. I have seen it work. But I’ll tell you it will absolutely NOT work if you have the wrong fans. So it’s worth it to pay for fans if that means you get real prospects into your Facebook Marketing sequence.

2. How to Do Facebook Advertising Affordably

Here are some of the biggest mistakes I see people making with Facebook ads, which drives up the cost and keeps you from finding cheap, targeted fans:

  • Not testing enough ads
    Sound familiar? I’ve written that about AdWords too 🙂 You need to test 20-40 Facebook ads to find one or two that are cheap.
  • Targeting too many interests with the same ad
    Also similar to an AdWords mistake. In AdWords we group keywords tightly and make the ad fit them – same deal with Facebook Ads.
  • Using the wrong bidding model
    If you use CPC when you should be using CPM, your cost can be 25 times higher.
  • Bad Pictures
    Remember, this is FACEbook. If you’re not testing faces, think about it. Also, a 110×80 image is pretty small, so you may need to zoom in closer than you think. Oh, and by the way, hot woman are not always the best choice.
  • Long Copy
    Assume you’ll get 3 seconds of the ad viewer’s time – less than AdWords. Make it snappy.
  • Trying to Do Too Much
    With the ad, just get the like or the click. Break your sales process into more pieces to ensure you get a higher conversion rate on the current action (which is a click or a like).

If you fix those six things, you’ll be ahead of the curve. If you want to learn more, check out my FanReach training.

How Much Do Fans Cost?

Based on my own experience, which includes about 25 companies in addition to another 15 or so case studies I’ve seen from several other Facebook marketers I work with, here is the range I target and expect:

  • Business to Consumer: $0.003 – $0.35 per fan; three fans per penny is the cheapest I’ve ever seen. I’d expect an average of about $0.15 per fan
  • Business to Business: $0.50 – $2.00 per fan; you may be able to go lower, but this is what I’ve seen. However, B2B offerings can be higher revenue, so it may still all work out for you with good margin.

However, not every business is ideal for Facebook Marketing. If you can’t find a discernable passion your audience has in common, they probably don’t “like” anything you can target cheaply enough.

Also, every niche is different, every business is different. As you may know with AdWords, two businesses targeting the same keywords can get dramatically different results because of their brand, offerings, and websites. It’s the same with Facebook Marketing.

Go ye and get likes wisely.

Photo Credits: Jester by CarbonNYC, David Blaine by Nikstar*, Crazy Sexy Cheap by redgoober4life

Brian Carter The Carter Group

Brian is author of The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook and Facebook Marketing: Leveraging Facebook’s Features For ...

How to Get Facebook Fans: The Easy Way and The Hard Way

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