This article was originally published by Forbes, and even though it’s a few months old the methods discussed within it still apply today. Their version has been slightly modified to bring it up to speed.
Okay, before we get started, let’s differentiate between purchased followers and real followers. You can do any type of Google search and find hundreds of services that will have their robot and spam account followers go and like your Facebook page in just a few days. And if you do that, you will ruin your Facebook page. You see, Facebook has an algorithm that looks for these types of activities. And if they find that your page is indulging in a quick fix, they will penalize you. Going forward your organic reach will be stymied and your page will never have the potential it could have had if you had built it the correct way.
Now, even though we’re going to be discussing real followers, this doesn’t mean you didn’t pay for them. Instead, you’ll be paying Facebook. Because Facebook has become a pay-to-play network for businesses. They just want to make sure that you’re paying them and not someone else. And when I say you’ll be paying for them, I mean you’ll be spending promotion dollars to attract them.
Alright, so is it possible to get a quarter of a million people to like your page in under a month? Yes. It’s actually quite easy when you follow a set plan. I’ve done it myself several times over for pages that my agency owns and operates.
You will need time and money to accomplish this. If you’re expecting to be able to do it for free, then it is still possible, but it is ridiculously unlikely that you can accomplish it in the time frame laid out.
One quick note before we begin. There’s the possibility of “boosting” your page on Facebook which will attract people to like and follow your page. You can get people to like your page for anywhere from 50 cents to 5 dollars per follower on average. This is not that strategy. Instead, we’ll be targeting a cost per new follower well below 5 cents.
You’ll first want to identify an audience that has a significant number attached to it. By this I mean you want to choose who will be fans of your Facebook page. And you’ll want to ensure that there are enough of them to warrant a 250,000 follower number. Thus, if you’re creating a Facebook page for dog owners, choose dog owners. Do not choose hairless chihuahua owners who live in Arizona. That second audience is far too small and you’ll never gain your desired following.
Once you’ve identified them, you’ll want to create a saved audience in the Facebook ads platform for this group. I recommend creating a half dozen versions of the audience and target them in different ways. For instance, you can choose people who like pages about dogs. You can also target people who follow other popular dog pages. There are even ways to target people based on their buying habits. So, create a few different ways that you’re going to target dog owners (again, the audience we’re using as an example).
Set up your Facebook page and fill in all the pertinent information. I also recommend creating an Instagram page at the same time since you can receive a lot of collateral benefits on Instagram from your activities on Facebook. For example, one of the pages that I’ve created on Facebook reached the 250,000 follower mark and the Instagram page reached 30,000 followers in that same time with almost no additional effort.
You’ll now want to find out what your audience is engaging with. Go to pages that speak to your target audience and study the posts they are putting up. Find out which ones are getting the most likes and shares. Then create a posting calendar for your page and emulate those posts. For instance, if you notice that people engage with cute images of dogs (which they do) at a high rate, then you’ll want to source as many of these posts as you can. They may also engage with training tips (which they do), so you’ll also want to work posts in about that topic as well.
On average you’ll want to post at a minimum of 4 to 6 times per day. And spend a few days populating your page with posts before you start any type of promotion. That way the page looks like it’s been around for a while. You have a higher chance of people following your page if they see some history.
You’ll now want to boost every single post you publish. I recommend using a set small amount per post. Usually, this is $5 to $10. And you’ll want to boost them for just one day.
As a quick cheat sheet, images will get the most engagements in terms of reactions (likes, love, laugh), shares, and comments. Videos will receive a lot of views, but less actions. Updates are third in reach, and link shares are dead last in the amount of people you can reach for the same amount of money. So, I would put most of your time into image posts at first.
The reason you’ll be boosting every post is because you’re looking for the outliers when it comes to cost per engagement. Some posts can cost 10 cents per engagement and others can be upwards of $1 per engagement (a terrible post if that’s the case). But there are some lucky few that will be below two cents per engagement, and some even less than a penny. These are the ones you’re looking for. As you skim the data, find the posts that did extremely well on a cost per engagement basis and then go back to those posts and boost them with more budget.