Nick Ehrenberg

How to Get Thousands of Facebook Fans in 6 Months #NMX

Social Marketing, Andrea Vahl, NMXWhen I first wrote this headline, it almost sounded too good to be true. Sure, you can generate Facebook fans via random followings, scattered postings, and local word-of-mouth. Eventually, you’ll run out of steam – and your company page will run out of influence. There is a better way to handle social marketing on Facebook – and it can bring thousands of active people into your community.

Social media consultant Andrea Vahl presented such a plan at NMX, focusing on the harmonious relationship between content strategy and efficient Facebook page design. You won’t even need to raid the company budget much – Vahl emphasized that these tips are made for businesses with little room for additional social marketing funding.

Here are Vahl’s 5 easy steps to skyrocket your Facebook brand page:

1. Set Your Goals

How do you want to achieve your Facebook growth plan? Vahl noted that social managers should set goals that make sense – overall growth is still good for awareness, but subscribers are the best goal. Goals should be specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

Vahl made specific mention of Facebook’s recent firestorm over organic search, and ultimately argued for a change in behavior. Social managers should shift their mindsets on organic search, as Facebook is becoming more pay-to-play at this point. Consider it more as a subscription model – the sooner that you realize Facebook isn’t free anymore, the better your results will be.

2. Set Up Your Page

There are multiple tactics and best practices to optimize your Facebook page. Vahl highlighted five key strategies to make your page more attractive:

  • Use an engaging profile picture (sized 180×180 pixels)
  • Create a well-design cover photo (sized 831×315 pixels)
  • Craft keyword-rich copy on your About page — add testimonials, use milestones creatively, and add your FB page policy
  • Create tabs that capture visitor email address
  • Set up your custom page URL

These tips should help your page look cohesive and professional – an important goal regardless of the business direction.

3. Develop Your Content Plan

As organic search is declining in Facebook, you should adjust posting strategies accordingly. Vahl suggested evenly splitting status updates between text and photos, and using links only 20 percent of the time. Engagement is the primary goal with your social content, so encourage frequent sharing and post on a regular basis (at least 2-5 times daily).

As an added tip — instead of using the share button on updates, post something straight on the page and tag users with their Facebook page name. Vahl argued that this generates greater reach potential.

4. Grow Your Page

Your Facebook page – business or personal – is a fluid, dynamic property. It doesn’t exist in a vacuum, nor should it linger soulless in the digital ether. You’ll need to build and cultivate your audience – and there are several strategies that can help.

  • Invite your warm market. Use the Invite Friends button, and reach out to customers via e-mail. These are the people most likely to follow right away, so utilize them to kickstart your plan.
  • Participate as your Page. Target complementary pages, comment on posts as your page, and watch local pages. Spend at least 5-10 minutes per week on community management.
  • Use all areas of Facebook. From your page to your personal profiles, to natural groups and private groups. There’s much digital real estate for the taking.
  • Use Facebook Ads. Focus on news feed ads, which generate the best click-through rates. Also, look to Sponsored Stories for building social proof.
  • Add a Facebook Like Box. Embed this handy widget on your website for additional inbound traffic.
  • Run a Facebook contest. Providers such as Offerpop, North Social, Woobox, Tabsite, Contest Domination, ShortStack, and Strutta offer contesting services via Facebook.

These are just some of the tools readily available for page managers, and they can help attract, engage, and convert new members.

5. Assess What Works

Your Facebook Insights page is a gold mine for engagement data. Look at engagement rate — the percentage of people who interact with your post from those who have seen it. This will help identify which posts are most effective with your audience. Keep an eye on traffic spikes as well – they are often attributed to a single update or interaction.

There are no guarantees in social media, but these strategies can help any Facebook page manager legitimately boost their audience – and likewise increase their influence within the market.

What strategies have you found useful in increasing your fan base?

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  1. Hi,
    Nice post, but I wonder Getting Thousands of Facebook Fans in 6 Months. It’s difficult to get until n unless it’s an entertainment page or some discussions or educational page, that too you are active on it for daily basis.

    • Hi Divya,

      Thanks for the comment! I agree that the concept is ambitious — the title of the article is derived from the session itself — and there are no guarantees of success. But you are right to point out that active usage is a large part of growing the audience.

  2. Avatar Chris Reich says

    Getting thousands of Facebook Fans won’t generate a nickel of business. Facebook is showing the signs of early demise as younger users flee and spam enrollments rise. I recommend clients save their money and time. Build engagement through your own site if your type of client really want engagement.

    Most businesses have clients who do not want engagement through Facebook. When they need service, they expect you to deliver.

  3. Great tips Nick all the way around. I bet Andrea’s session was super interesting. I am not sure how to interpret the

    As an added tip — instead of using the share button on updates, post something straight on the page and tag users with their Facebook page name. Vahl argued that this generates greater reach potential.

    Was that in reference to uploading an image or video then tagging other business pages?

    I couldn’t agree more about getting past the fact that Facebook is no longer free and using its sponsored stories to build audience and reach. Facebook advertising provides a laser-focused mechanism to hone on an audience more specific than you can image, even using your own email lists to build custom audiences. Too many small businesses are leaving money on the table by not leveraging Facebook and it’s targeting capabilities.

    • Thanks, Rick! Glad you liked the post. You are correct about the tagging point — Vahl argued that tagging other users or businesses in an update has greater reach potential than simply hitting the share button.

  4. It’s all in the approach in my opinion. I agree just having thousands of fans won’t make you money. Connecting and building a relationship with your most valuable and active fans will increase your value to them. We all know that people do business with people the know, like and trust.

    Great article and I’m appreciating comments.

  5. Planning is a big help. Create an action plan where you will monitor the engagement and you can check the goals you have for the whole week.