Josie, who plans to write under the name Giusy Caporetto, is a member of MRWG and agreed to share what she did and what happened.
By her own admission Josie had no idea what to do or where to start, so she did the most sensible thing she could. She researched. She went on what she called a virtual tour of Facebook Pages for people she liked, from celebrities to family friends, looking for common threads. A Google search suggested she start by inviting friends.
Tip: when Googling for ‘how to get Facebook Likes’ there are some excellent and some seriously dodgy sites. Some of the latter suggest strategies that would do the completely opposite of what you’re aiming for or could even get you thrown off Facebook. So here are two trustworthy sites that have proved themselves over time:
Impactive8 http://impactive8.com/: Lots of free stuff, sign up for the newsletter (free) and they also run courses and provide personal coaching. Based in Melbourne.
Jon Loomer http://www.jonloomer.com/ You’ll probably need to fillet this website to find the info you want. Jon Loomer teaches people how to use the immensely powerful Facebook advertising machine, which is also immensely baffling if you’re not an advanced marketer. The good news is that he also posts lots of really good (free) info about how the Facebook algorithm works (or how people think it might work, because no one really knows except a few souls at Facebook) and that’s invaluable for building Facebook likes organically (ie without paying for ads or promo).
Josie invited the 558 Friends she has on her personal Profile to join her Page.
Tip: how to invite Friends to a Page you manage. Here’s the link https://www.facebook.com/help/174333482624856 to Facebook’s instructions for how to invite Friends from a personal profile to a business page, but be warned: the link often disappears and then reappears a few days later, amidst much conspiracy theorising in the forums about forcing you to advertise, etc etc.
Josie comments that 232 of her Friends acted on that invitation which is an excellent response. They also then, without asking, told their Friends about it.
Next she moved onto joining Groups.
Tip: Different groups have different rules, so it is always vital to check them out before mentioning your Page. Some Groups will throw you out for so much as a breath of promotion. Others seem happy to be constantly spammed.
Tip: Facebook Groups require you to participate as your personal Profile, not your business Page. So if this a Group where promo isn’t acceptable or if you want to be a bit low key about it, and you say something sensible or interesting that people want to know more about they will want to link to your personal Profile not your business Page (which they know nothing about). As they used to say in the Sixties “the personal is political”. Now in the 21st century it’s become the “personal just ain’t no more, especially on Facebook”.
Josie comments though that she checked with the admin first before promoting in any Groups and over a few weeks commenting and posting links helped her make it to the magic first benchmark of social proof: 500 Likes. The general rule of thumb in Facebook marketing is that you need 500 Likes to be considered to be worth paying attention to. The internet is full of wannabes and charlatans, so looking at how many Likes a Page has is one simple way we humans have developed for trying to pick a safe path. It is, of course, imperfect, but when were humans ever perfect? Of course, there will be exceptions to The Rule of 500, but by and large it’s a useful one. (The next magic benchmark is 1,000 Likes.)
Then Josie hit the real motherlode. She says “I was so proud that I had reached 500 Likes that I wanted to keep everyone interested. I started posting photos telling my followers a story, my story and the story of everyone who was interested in my particular subject”. Her Likes began to sky rocket.
Tip: This is the big secret about Facebook. People go there to be entertained and engaged.
Her next exploration was into using Promote Post. She said “I thought what the heck, let’s see if this will be a waste of money or can be used to my advantage”. She aimed for Page Likes and carefully capped her spend at $10. In a week Likes had risen from 4,000 to 5,000. This brought a key insight. Having people Like your page isn’t enough, Josie realised she had to reinvent herself with every post to make sure they didn’t get tired of the page and, as she says, ‘take their Likes away’.
Tip: Promote Post is a much better way to advertise on Facebook than Boost Post. Promote Post provides you with some options for targeting to particular types of people. Boost Post is simpler to use, but much more of a blunt instrument and therefore more hit or miss. Take some time to understand Promote Post and you will be glad of it.
At that point one of Josie’s posts went viral and racked up a Reach of 56,412. That was on a Page with, at that time, just over 5,000 Likes! That’s how Josie learned that posts can reach far beyond your fans.
So what are the key rules from Josie’s journey?
1. If you don’t know ask .. friends, google, anyone who will spare a few minutes of their expertise
2. Ask your Friends for help getting the ball rolling. There’s no need to badger them and if they are friends (with a small f) then they will be more than happy to help.
3. Join Groups, but check their rules first. Recognise this may well further contribute to muddling up your personal and professional life, at least as long as you continue to paddle in Groups.
4. Tell stories. This is so important. Make it entertaining.
5. Every post matters or as Josie says your newfound friends will take their Likes away.
6. Don’t be afraid to advertise. It’s not expensive, you can pause it whenever you like, or cap the spending. It’s a great way to quickly gather in like-minded strangers.
7. Be patient and consistent. It takes time. You can hurry it along with advertising, but it still takes time.
What does Josie plan to do next? She says her next mission is to build engagement. She has a sound base of fans, but having fans doesn’t necessarily mean you have willing book buyers. Not yet, anyway. That comes with building engagement. As Josie said one recent post reached 17,512 but “they didn’t give me a Like yet, if I keep them interested enough they will push that button soon”.
Is this useful? What have we missed? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. In the meantime, we all wish Josie the very best in continuing to build her author platform and for developing the cookery book. We’ll announce here when it’s published.
Josie’s Facebook page can be found a Pane Vino e Peperoncino. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pane-Vino-E-Peperoncino/896279153736204 Check out how many Likes she has now.
Additional commentary was provided by Sara Hood and her Facebook page is Marketing4writers. https://www.facebook.com/MarketingforWriters
Both Josie and Sara are members of MRWG.