Friday, 26 March 2010

A small case study: How to get followers on social media

As many marketers out there are still trying to figure out social media and how to grow their fanbase on Facebook, we thought we would share this story with you.

In July 2009 Mr Tapio Junes started a group, or a "cause", on Facebook against drunk driving. With very little effort his cause had virally spread to reach 42.000 followers in March 2010.

Starting the spread
In July 2009 Mr Junes started by googling the web for facts and statistics about drunk driving. He posted these on his Facebook “Cause page”. Tapio sent a message to his friends in Facebook. The message was simply a comment about these facts, “Are you annoyed by this too?” The spreading really took off when he started posting news items, video clips and statistics about drunk driving. He never actually sent direct messages to the followers, he emphasises that catchy news on group’s Wall is enough to get followers work for the common purpose.

Maintaining the growth
On a typical day 20 to 60 new followers join the cause, and statistics in Facebook show that many of these instantly attract 1 to 2 additional new members. All Mr Junes does anymore is post a new news items and related videos on the group wall every now and then but the viral spread is continuing. As this is a topic that engages many people it has also spurred active commenting on the pages.

So, let’s summarize what we learned from this case:
1. Start the spread with a short core argument to existing contacts. Make sure it has some news value to make it interesting and credible
2. If possible, support your messages visually. Choose images that have a similar impact as your core argument.
3. Be active and give members a reason to be active and keep coming back: The best reason to be is frequent and interesting updates, so look for interesting sources and always introduce your material by describing links. A great method for writing relevant descriptions is to simply ask yourself “why am I posting this link”.
4. Let the group members take care of inviting people, this occurs if you manage to keep the pages interesting and up to date.
5. Don’t “spam” people with messages, people do not like huge amounts of messages from the group owner
6. Celebrate growth of the group by thanking when you reach milestone numbers!
PS. (For your reference, the Finnish Anti Drink driving group can be found in Facebook on: )

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