[Case Study] 5 Ways to get 20,000 Facebook fans in 4 months
You’ve probably read a handful of basic articles about how to create brand awareness on Facebook. While the information in these articles is often good, doing just the basics won’t make your company stand out from the rest. Below are six out-of-the-box tactics MyWeather.com used to gain just over 20,000 Facebook fans in 4 months. Their focus is weather, but each of these ideas can be reworked to fit any type of business.
1. Personalization: Every Friday they give their users a chance to ask for their very own weekend forecast. Users can post their weekend plans and destination on their Facebook wall, and they’ll answer with a comment that includes a brief summary of the forecast for their area and a unique URL. For example, if Sara Smith were headed to Boulder, CO for camping this weekend, they would comment: “Sara, it looks like a perfect weekend to camp in Boulder,Co. Temperatures will be in the mid 70’s with clear skies and a gentle breeze. Here’s a look at your personalized forecast: http://www.myweather.com/#forecast?lat=40.014986&lon=-105.270546&label=Sara Have a great weekend!”
Yes, this level of personalization takes time and effort – but less than you think for the impact it has on the consumer.
2. Engagement: They respond to as many wall posts and comments on their Facebook page as possible. In addition, their meteorologists message new fans thanking them for liking the MyWeather.com and asking them to spread the word.
3. Creativity: Come up with an engaging wow-factor for your page. What’s theirs, you ask? Experiments! They brainstorm projects that can be related to the weather, give them a whirl, and post the resulting video, photos and story on their page. A few months ago, they baked cookies in a car during a heat wave. Some brave employees – including their company president – even ate them! Last week, they placed three crescent roll cans on the pavement outside to see which would burst open first.
Although these experiments are only loosely weather focused, they’re still fun, engaging and real.
4. Listening: Use your fans’ responses to create additional content.
Over the summer MyWeather.com asked their fans to finish the phrase: “You know it’s hot when___.” They then took the best answers and turned them into cartoons which were posted every Friday. The fans loved them!
5. Straightforwardness: When celebrating big milestones (such as 10,000 fans), the MyWeather.com team post photos of cakes and decorations – and also take the opportunity to directly ask the fans to write a recommendation and share the page. Fans respond to sincerity and openness.
What else have they done?
- Created a small number of Facebook ads.
- Built a Welcome tab, Twitter tab, Mobile Apps tab and Promotions tab on the Facebook page.
- Ran several photo contests.
- Asked fans for suggestions, feedback and ideas.
- Asked questions – everything from trivia, “how has the hurricane/tornado/drought impacted you,” to “what do you think of our site’s new feature?”
- Posted lots of pictures, including screenshots of their website displaying interesting weather events.
Running a successful Facebook page isn’t always about having the best custom URL or repeatedly using the most widely searched keywords. For MyWeather.com, success came when they added fun and personality into their strategy. One happy fan who feels a personal connection with your business will do more for your outreach than 10 indifferent customers who marginally “like” you.
[Side note for small business owners: Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO) noted in an interview that Facebook will be announcing a plan to offer free $50 advertising credits for up to 200,000 small businesses. Be on the lookout for this deal.]