8 Proven Social Media Hacks You Can Use for Content Marketing

8 Social Media Hacks for Content Marketing

Click Here to Get Instant Access to All 8 Social Media Hacks + 4 Bonus Hacks Not Mentioned in This Post

If you’re like me, you will get a little bit jealous when you see a blog post that has hundreds, if not thousands of social shares. And I often wonder how it is possible that some content can reach millions of people through social shares. How do they do it?

When I started blogging in 2010, my content was not getting any shares – It was like a graveyard out there. A few readers, even fewer comments and zero social shares.

What was I doing wrong?

When you look at the social statistics, millions of people share content on social network each day:

  • There are 190 million tweets per day
  • There are 70 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook each month
  • 5 million people use the +1 button on Google+ every single day
  • More than 500 tweets per minute contain a YouTube link
  • Every minute, Tumblr owners publish approximately 27,778 new blog post

And more than 72% of all internet users are now active on social media. Surely it’s not just me, right?

What’s a social share?

Before we look at how to get more social shares, let’s take a step back to understand what a social share is – A social share is what happens when someone reads a piece of content they like on the web and publicly share it with their social network.

But that’s not all, a social share is also counted when someone in my network shares content and I “like” it (i.e., click the “like” button), even if I have not read the content.

Why do people share your content?

You start by creating great content. It’s easy, right?

Unfortunately, a lot of people forget that content marketing is part content, PART MARKETING.

Great content that gets zero views is almost a waste of time. Don’t let your content go unnoticed.

(Note: I’ve put together a bonus resource at the end of this article that will you give you a full list of social media hacks.)

And while creating a great piece of content is the foundation to a successful content marketing campaign, it’s not enough. In order to increase your social shares, you need to seed the content to begin with and get influencers to share it for you.

In the book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger, an associate professor of Marketing at the Wharton School, Jonah explains that there are six factors that influence why people share content.

These six factors are referred to as STEPPS:

  • Social currency: People share content that they think will make them look good, smart, and cool to those within their social network.
  • Triggers: People share content that is top of mind, because of associations with things that people think about all the time.
  • Emotion: People share content that evoke emotions.
  • Public: People share things are widely available and visible.
  • Practical value: People share content that they think will help others within their social network.
  • Stories: People use stories to communicate as a medium to communicate ideas

While your content doesn’t necessarily have to include all of these six factors, the more of them that you do include, the more likely it is that your content will be broadly shared.

Why is social sharing important to your brand?

Social sharing is an important part of online marketing and is beneficial for three major reasons;

  • Wider audience – The more shares you have, the bigger your reach
  • SEO & rankings – The more shares you have, the better rankings in search engines
  • Shares – It helps you find out what your audience likes to read and share
  • Revenue – A bigger audience and higher rankings will result in increased sales

So how do you get more social shares?

While there have been social media case studies on when the best time to post on all of the major social networks, I’m not talking about squeezing every last single social share.

Based on experience, I have outlined 12 proven hacks  that work.

In this article, I’ll be sharing 8 of them with you. The next time you publish a piece of content, use these social media hacks to boost social shares.

8 social media hacks to get more social shares

1. Focus on where your target audience is

It’s easy to get caught up in the next big social network but the true winners of social media marketing are brands that are active on the same platform as their customers. This is the foundation to social media marketing success.

It’s why fashion brands excel on Pinterest, and why B2B brands generate leads from LinkedIn. It’s business 101.

And if you’re unsure which social sharing sites to use, use the chart below:

Focus on where your audience is

If you sell products on your website that appeal to teenagers, use Facebook and Instagram. If you sell software and you’re looking for decision makers, use LinkedIn.

2. Create a social sharing culture internally

When new content is published, get everyone in your team to share the content. We all have a different network of connections – Whether through Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. My network is not the same as yours so when I share your content, it’s going to a different group of people. If you share it too, we’re expanding our reach.

Create a social sharing cultureCreate a social media sharing calendar so that your marketing team can share content on Monday’s and that your sales team can share new content on Wednesday’s.

And this applies to all of the social networks you become active in – Likes, retweets, shares, +1s.

3. Promote new content as soon as it goes live

Creating content is hard work and sometimes, you’re just happy to have completed a piece in time so by the time you click publish, you’re tired and your job is now finished, right?


You’ve done part of your job but, now the fun part really starts!

Do not sit around and wait for your content to gain traction in the social sphere.It doesn’t work like that!

As soon as you click publish, go directly to your social networks and start promoting the content. Immediately. Why?

It’s because that’s your best chance of getting people to read and share it. Remember the six factors listed above?

This is a great example of social currency. What’s cooler than being the first to share/ retweet new content with your network?

Not much. There are lots of people who want to be the first to share new content. Give them that chance.

4. Make your content really easy to share

You already have social sharing widgets or social sharing plugins on your blog content, right?

I don’t need to tell you that. But do you use the social sharing tools Click to Tweet or Markerly?

Markerly provides a free sharing widget that allows readers to share content has been copied or highlighted.

Make your content easy to share

Click to Tweet provides another way to increase social shares by allowing readers to share sentences within the content itself. It’s easy to set up and is great for sharing important quotes or key statistics within your content.

Example: Check out how VWO.com used Click to Tweet in their recent CRO industry insights report,

Here’s how it is viewed within the post;

Click to tweet on page

And here how it is displayed in Twitter. All you need to do is click the tweet button. Simple.

Click to tweet preview

5. Build your social media following… now!

You’re unlikely to reach social sharing success without having an active following.

When my first guest post was published on Moz, I didn’t even have a Twitter account so no one could follow me or interact with me.

Start by building a network of followers on Twitter or get more connections on LinkedIn. When you see your network increase, you’re more likely to succeed. You can even spend as little as five minutes per day growing your network.

All it takes is one connection or an influencer to share your post and for it to reach the masses.

6. Rewrite headlines and share the same content more than once

So you publish a new post and you share your new content on all your social profiles. Great job!

Then you wait another week before you do the same thing again. Your job’s done, right?

Wrong. That’s a wasted opportunity!

While your LinkedIn connections may become annoyed if you post several times per day, you won’t be annoying anyone if you tweet the same content three to four times per day. Twitter is a wall of noise of new updates and it’s easy to miss quality content.

Try going from one tweet per week to one tweet per day and watch your Twitter referral traffic grow.

Here’s an example of a post I recently promoted on Twitter – The same content was promoted three times within the first 24 hours.

Rewrite headlines for more shares

You can also tweet headlines several times over to change the content of the tweet.

For example, this blog post you are reading has several headlines that can all become tweets;

  • How to use social media to get more shares by @StevenMacd0nald [Link]
  • Why do people share content with their social network? Find out here [Link]
  • 8 ways to increase your social media reach [Link]

Instead of one tweet, you now have three, which can result in three times more social referral traffic.

7. Create a different intro message for each network

It’s easy to copy and paste the same link across several social networks but, this is where most social media marketing fails.

And it’s really not that inviting for me to simply click a short URL in my news feed – In fact, it kind of looks a little spammy.

spammy lead message

Yes, you are limited to 140 characters on Twitter, but there’s no limit on Google+ so use this to your advantage and create a different messages for each social network.

8. Share old content

How often do you visit a blog and read through the archives dating back two years ago?

Not often, right?

Most people don’t either.

If you have a piece of content that you are proud of that was published or shared months, or even years ago, don’t be afraid to repost it.

The chances are that in the time between when the post was first launched to now, you have more followers who may never have read the content. Reposting old content can lead a wave of new visits/ social shares.

Here’s real example; two weeks after the “how to write a great blog post” post was published on eMarketeer.com, one of my followers on Twitter promoted it again, which led to another tweet and retweet, which meant that an additional 2,000 followers had the chance to view that tweet weeks after the original post was launched.

Alternatively, you can use the social sharing WordPress plugin ‘Revive Old Tweet’ (highly recommended!)

Share old content on social media networks

Do these steps work? Where’s the proof?

I’m glad you asked.

At SuperOffice, they’ve been using this approach for the last two years since launching their CRM Software blog.

Here’s the proof:

  • Social referral traffic has increased by 600% since using these social hacks.
  • The number of social shares per post has increased from 20 shares to now more than 150 shares.
  • These social media hacks generate revenue.

The number of website leads generated from social networks has grown tenfold and social traffic conversion rates jumped from 1.3% in 2013 to more than 10% in 2014.

Leads Generated from Social Media Hacks

Now it’s your turn

When you first start to blog, you will quickly realize that it takes time to build a community that shares your content. It won’t happen overnight so be patient.

How patient?

Take a look at the chart below to see how long it takes to grow a successful blog:

Results of content marketing and social media hacks

If SuperOffice gave up too early, they wouldn’t be enjoying the success they have today.

Continue to create great content that your audience enjoys and build your social network.

Be smart about the way you introduce new content to the world and use the 8 social media hacks listed above to get your brand talked about online and to increase social shares.,

Get Access to All 12 Social Media Hacks

I want to help you increase both brand awareness and organic traffic, so I’ve created a set of bonus social media hacks that you can use to increase social sharing.

  • First: I’ve put together 4 (four!) bonus social media hacks not mentioned in this post
  • Second: The bonus tips include four of my secret hacks to help you get even more social media shares for your content
  • Third: The entire list of all 12 social media hacks to boost social sharing can be downloaded as a PDF (to save or print out)

Does this sound good?

5 specific tips for business leaders to succeed on Facebook

Alot of business executives are asking the same questions these days. What should we do on Facebook? How can our company take advantage of Facebook and other social media platforms? How can we improve relationships with customers/partners/employees/suppliers using new technology? How can we use Facebook to sell more, improve processes and cut costs!!

The principles for success are simple. The  challenge is (and has alway been) how to implement in real life!

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave us some advice when he was asked at the World Economic Forum in Davos a few years ago about how companies can succeed with Facebook. Here´s a revised summary of Zuckerberg´s response:

“Your customers, employees, partners, suppliers already doing what they want to do. What you need to focus on is to make it easier for them to do what they already do.” (Details are on page 48 of the book WWGD written by Jeff Jarvis).

Facebook can help your business in many ways. It’s not about creating Facebook pages. It´s not about writing status updates, posting pictures and running competitions. Don´t  outsource the task to  “social media experts” and communications advisers. As a business you need to focus on how you can make life easier for your customers, employees, competitors and partners to “connect”.

Your job as a leader is to point out the direction, make sure you have the right people on the job and move in the right direction. Management Guru and longstanding CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, says that strategy is about choosing a general direction and implement like hell. This mindset has worked for many companies for over 30 years. It will work well for your  Facebook activities as well. The details will fall into place after the first activities have been implemented! Therefore, the main advice is to get started! Just do it!

If you don´t know what to to, here are five specific tips for business leaders who want to succeed with Facebook.

1. Don´t block Facebook for your employees

How can your business succeed on Facebook, if you deny your employees access? Some companies have chosen to block Facebook for employees at work because they think employees waste time on Facebook or because IT says it´s a security problem. This is almost never smart. If you treat your employees like kids, they will behave like kids.Denying access to Facebook can become a frustrating annoyance – especially for young people. Most people have smartphones where they can use Facebook anyway. If you want motivated employees you should treat them as adults. If your employees are spending too much time on Facebook, Facebook itself may not be the problem!

2. Create an informal intranet for your employees on Facebook

Most of your employees are already on Facebook without you having to invest in expensive IT systems, boring training sessions and costly internal meetings. Take advantage of it. Create a closed Facebook group for your employees and let your employees communicate with each other there. You will be amazed by the benefits. Suddenly old and new employees can get to know eachother easier than before. People who know each other work better with eachother and often deliver better results (ref: Goretex and Dunbars number ). Just like there are formal and informal rules in the lunch room, you can introduce some simple rules for the closed Facebook group.

3. Create closed groups for better collaboration

E-mail is the biggest time waster in many companies. E-mail is, believe it or not, an outdated form of communication. Facebook (and other social platforms) work better in many cases. Think how many times you’ve received an e-mail CC and a long discussion dialogue on e-mail. Is it effective? Also check how your kids communicate on Facebook. A simple “like” is often easier and better than responding to all that you have read and agree but you have some questions. An e-mail from you can often end up stealing several hours working time from your staff! Explore how your business can use the modern social tools (not necessarily Facebook) instead of wasting time on e-mail!

4. Create open groups for your customers

People are talking about your company and your products already. Your business can use Facebook to gather customers in one place.  Pick up valuable feedback from your customers and use the feedback to improve your products, customer service and marketing. There are of course other ways to do this, but why not use a tool that most people are familiar with already? You don´t need to invest in complex IT systems and expensive contact management software. Test it out on Facebook. If it works on Facebook, you can consider other options. Create an open group for your customers.

5. Create a Facebook page for your business

A company Facebook page is the tip of the iceberg. Facebook gives companies opportunities to market products and services. To get started with this you need to register a Facebook page and start producing relevant content for your audience. The content will often come as a result of the first 4 tips in this article. When people begin to communicate internally, relevant content and good ideas often bubble up to the surface.

Good ideas alone are worthless. To be successful, both the ideas and the capacity to implement be present. So therefore: Point out the direction and follow up with an extreme focus on implementation. This is according to Jack Welch, the recipe for success in business. Success on Facebook is about the same principles.

Focus on implementation: Make it easier for people to do what they already do!

* Bringing elegant organization to the work place: http://tribes.no/2012/11/02/bringing-elegant-organization-to-the-workplace/
* Ideas are worthless without action: http://stammen.no/effektivitet/ideer-er-verdil% C3% B8se-no-action
* How to get 100,000 fans on Facebook: http://www.inma.no/ARTIKLER/Blogg/innlegg/Hvordan-fa-100-000-Facebook-fans-pa-under-ett-ar

Norwegian newspapers instruct consumers how to get rid of Facebook ads

During the last few months, two large Norwegian news organizations (Adresseavisen and TV2) have published articles where they explain how to get rid of ads on Facebook. From a consumer stand point this makes sense, but in a time when newspapers are struggling to find profitable revenue models online, should they be sabotaging the revenue model of a competitor?

And if removing unwanted ads is considered newsworthy for the readers, shouldn´t the news organizations also publish articles on how to get rid of ads on their own websites? Or should Facebook be treated differently?

Facebook: Ultra Local newspaper or direct mail?

Per Ravne Bugten the Consumer Ombudsman apparently believes that Facebook should be treated differently. He believes that Facebook should be covered by the same rules that apply to e-mail marketing and text messaging. The quote in the article indicates to me that he does not understand the underlying nature of the Internet. By definition everything that happens on the internet is direct marketing (if you define that all the information from commercial interests as advertising).

Facebook is a combination of ultra-local newspaper and a personal messaging system. It is completely voluntary to use Facebook and users accept the terms and conditions when they register. If Facebook is to be covered by the same regulations as e-mail marketing and text messages, it is quite natural that newspapers (Aftenposten, VG, TV2 and other advertising-funded agencies) are also covered by this legislation.

Individuals, media and advertisers must cooperate relevance.

The well-know Norwegian entrepreneur, Idar Vollvik and Netthandelen.no, a large Norwegian e-commerce company  buy ads on Facebook in a similar fashion as they and others are buying ads on TV2 and VG. The difference is that Facebook requires that companies be  more personal in their communication. In addition Facebook has obtained a massive amount of voluntary data from their “readers”. This allows for extremely targeted advertising far beyond what the newspapers will ever be able to.

The challenge for Facebook is that people have an expectation that Facebook should be personal and without advertising. This will change over time as people get used to advertising on Facebook and Facebook fine tune the way ads appear on. If you do not want advertising on Facebook, you can simply opt out or decline to login. It is not solely the advertisers responsibility to protect people from advertising! The advertiser, consumer and media must take responsibility for how advertising is presented.

Is all advertising bad?

The most critical people would argue that ALL advertising is undesirable and that companies should stop advertsing.

Thankfully most people have a more nuanced view on advertising. When you ask people: “If we stop advertising, how will you learn about new products and services?”. The answer is as often. “I will search for it online .. “Or” I hear about stuff from friends .. “. Google takes care of the first (search), while Facebook has made it easier to get news / tips / suggestions from friends and acquaintances.

In reality, Facebook is an improved newspaper where your friends are the news and your friends produce news for you. It is also a place where you can more easily get to know about products and services from commercial operators. It’s annoying that commercial messages are popping up increasingly mroe in the news stream. It’s also a bit scary that this news platform (and data) is controlled by a major U.S. company. These are the issues we need to continue to focus on! Let’s do it in a constructive way.

Bringing elegant organization to the workplace

Many people ask me how companies can take advantage of “social media”. In this blog post, I present some examples of how how you can bring “elegant organization” into the workplace.

In 2009, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the head of a powerful news company asked Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook: “How can we start a community like yours?”

Mark Zuckerberg answered: “You can’t.”

Zuckerberg went on to explain: “You don’t start communities. Communities already exist. They’re already doing what they want to do. The question you should ask is how you can help them do that better. Bring people “elegant organization“.


Before I dive into Zuckerbergs concept of elegant organization, I want to share the single most important factor for delivering success in the business world. It is a quote from Jack Welch, the CEO of General Electrics for 20 years.

He says:

“In real life, strategy is actually very straight forward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell.”

This means that you don’t need a perfect plan before you begin, you just need to point out a general direction, get people on board, and start implementing like hell.

As you get started, things will change and you will see the results and new opportunities. If you never start, you won’t succeed.

This is the single most important factor to win in business. When you implement something, you motivate others to take action as well.

An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.

Back to social media and the concept of “elegant organization”

Bringing people elegant organization

During the last few years, we have seen developments in several social services:

Facebook for Personal networks

Facebook enabled people to do organize their social networks; who they are, what they do, who they know and what they look like. This is what Mark Zuckerberg calls elegant organization of people´s social network. It´s not complex – people are just not used to it.

Linkedin for Professional networks

Linkedin has made it easy to organize our professional networks; who you know, how you want to be contacted, what you´ve done and what you want to do in the future.

Facebook and Linkedin have changed the way we manage our personal and professional networks. Now it´s time to apply the concept of “elegant organization” inside companies. It´s not rocket science and it may overlap with existing methodologies, but I am not aware of any article that takes a practical approach to Mark Zuckerberg´s thoughts about elegant organization.

Elegant organization at work

Most of us work in an office, we have colleagues, customers, partners and suppliers. The social network at work already exists and we must apply the concept of elegant organization to our community at work.

We have a work description and we do stuff at work. We sit by our desks, we answer e-mails, we attend meetings, we talk on the phone, we report to our superiors, we work with partners/customers/vendors. We plan and execute activities. We send instructions to co-workers/partners/vendors. We take breaks and throughout the day we communicate and we produce. How can we bring elegant organization into our daily worklife?

Elegant organization: Practical use

Hurtigruten is a Norwegian cruise company. It has existed since 1890 and has been through some tough times of reorganization and cost-cutting. In 2009 we began an online journey. Since the cruise industry is a bit behind, we chose a general direction and started implementing like hell based on experience from other industries. We wanted to make things better for customers and for people internally. Here are some of the things we did to bring “elegant organization” to Hurtigruten:

1. Making it better for agents and customers to book online

Our first focus was to make online booking for our customers and travel agency partners better. The current Hurtigruten booking engine is far from perfect, but we were able to launch it and then improve it. The numbers show that we made online booking better.

We created an ad-hoc global web team. Our goal was to maximize online revenues, take advantage of global synergies and make life more fun for customers, fellow workers and ourselves.

The team consisted of people from France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Estonia and the US. We worked across time zones and we worked with multiple vendors. We were forced to be effective and creative.

2. Skype chat rooms to communicate better internally

Most people know Skype for free calls on the internet. Few people know that Skype is excellent for  group chat at work.

At Hurtigruten we used Skype for a variety of tasks. We reduced number of meetings, e-mails and phone calls by gathering all team members(developers, web team and support) in different chat rooms.

When issues arose, we posted a question in the chat room. Within minutes, you would have an answer. This was much better than e-mail or phone calls because it doesn’t interupt people and you take advantage of crowdsourcing.

Each person chose when they wanted to contribute and when they wanted to interupt their “flow”. Nobody was on Skype all the time, but someone was usually responsive. This solved issues quicker and reduced number of unnecessary meetings.

We also created ad hoc chat rooms when needed. During the ashe crisis, a team member created an adhoc chat room so that everybody could easily communicate. We avoided lots of e-mails, reduced waiting time and all relevant people got the information quickly.

We thought about creating one chat room for all people involved to take full advantage of crowdsourcing, but we didn´t figure out how to motivate people to contribute. In many ways, a crowdsourcing chat room internally in a company is similar to how Twitter(or Yammer) works.

3. Blogging makes it easier to share, discuss and inspire

People sometimes laugh at blogging, but the web team blog has been a platform where we could share stories, practice our writing skills, publish news and discuss ideas. Major stockholders and people from senior management contributed to the discussion. Suddenly one of the blog posts was published on 37Signals product blog and we had 140 readers in one day. It´s interesting to note that research shows that people that blog at work are actually more productive than people that don´t blog!

Other advantages of blogging:

  • It motivates people, because they can share expertise
  • It explains to people internally what we do
  • It improves internal communication
  • It documents and summarizes our work for future team members
  • It shows people externally that we are working on improvments
  • It helps us develop our writing skills
  • It´s a great way to keep the staff curious about new developments and improvements

4. Basecamp – better than e-mail

Basecamp is a project management tool that helps us eliminate CC e-mails. Whenever you CC a person on an e-mail, you steal some of their time. With Basecamp, Messages are connected to projects and you drastically reduce the number of e-mails being sent. It’s much easier to follow discussions and it seems that people are more likely to contribute. We used Basecamp in connection with our bi-weekly global web meeting. Before each meeting, each team member would list 3 completed activities and 3 upcoming activities. We saved meeting time by doing personal updates in the order the updates were listed in Basecamp. We shared documents, designs and more. It’s was easy to upload and comment on performed work.

5. Snapengage – better for agents

Snapengage is an online chat tool that makes it easier for travel agents to get immediate assistance in our travel agency booking solution. We know that the main reason why people prefer offline booking is because they prefer dealing with people. In fact 59% of offline bookers state that they prefer offline booking because they want to deal with a person. By offering chat in addition to our online booking, we made it easier for our travel agent partners. Agents are more comfortable with our Agency solution because the chat makes what they do easier and better.

6. Superoffice Ejournal

Superoffice Ejournal is an e-mail support system that makes it easier to handle  high number of e-mails from customers. The system gives every incoming message a reference number and routes the e-mail to the right person. By using the system it´s easier for management to staff up with the right number of people and get accurate statistics on the e-mail volume.

In summary:

Many people ask me how companies can take advantage of “social media”. Facebook´s founder suggests we start focusing on making it easier for people to do what they are already doing. This applies to all aspects of business and in this blog post, I´ve presented some examples of how how you can bring “elegant organization” into the workplace. The strategy is simple.

  • Choose a direction
  • Get people on board
  • Implement like hell
  • Help people do things better

Is your company ready for social media?

If you’re a B2B company and think that social media is primarily a channel for B2C’s, think again. According to just released 2012 IBM Global CEO study more than 1,700 Chief Executive Officers from 64 countries and 18 industries worldwide, social media will go from the least used customer engagement tactic to the second, only surpassed by face-to-face interaction in the next 3-5 years. Why? Because social media is a very effective and low cost means for connecting with customers, sales prospects, media, partners and employees.

As you can see in the chart below, only 16 percent of companies are using social media to connect with customers, but that number is expected to increase to 57 percent within the next three to five years. The CEOs in the study predict that social mediawill push past websites, call centers and channel partners as the number-two way to interact with customers.

Social Media Readiness Checklist

It’s easy to get excited about the social media hype, but creating a social media program is more than just setting up an account and waiting while the leads come pouring in. It takes a little bit of research and forethought to determine what your social media program will be before you jump in.

Here are 4 questions to consider before launching into social media:

1. What do I want to accomplish with social media?

Social media can be used in many different ways for your business – brand awareness, customer service, lead generation, building customer relationships, etc. Pick the direction you want to go in so that your efforts don’t get diffused in too many directions.

2Where is my audience?

Don’t get caught using the wrong network. It could be disastrous. Where are you existing and potential customers, as well as your competitors hanging out? How are they interacting?

Use “listening tools”  such as Google AlertsGoogle Blog SearchTwitter Search and Social Mention to help you with some of the work.

3. What do I want to share?

What kind of content do you want the company to share? What cannot be shared? Content, as always is king. Good content can come in a variety of formats such as blog posts, videos, case studies, white papers, etc.

It’s important to set up a frequency of posts and provide information which is useful to your readers.

4How much time will I spend on this?

Although being part of social networks is free, social media is NOT free. It takes time, resources and commitment in order to make this successful. You’ll need to figure out who will be managing the efforts, be it you, your staff or outside consultant.

Social media can be a great addition to your other marketing tactics. And although you could be a user on Facebook, Linked in, YouTube, etc. in your own personal time, don’t get misled that it’s just as simple to get started. Take some time to think through the checklist and map out your plan before getting started and you’ll see much better results.


How to get 100 000 fans on Facebook in less than a year

In September 2011 a small company had 1 600 fans on Facebook. The company had no clear Facebook strategy and there was little activity on their Facebook page. Less than a year later, the company has over 100 000 fans, a very active base of enthusiastic fans and a Facebook page that contributes significantly to the bottom line! What happened  during this year? What can we learn? Strategy is simple. Execution is difficult!

Some Experts will tell you that you have to develop a detailed plan, set specific goals and get management on board  before you start. Other experts have a more practical approach to success with social media. I think this story will show that the practical approach is more effective .

Facebook growth

In order to succeed on Facebook, you need to attract and engage fans and measure effect in order to share success stories. Here´s the story.

1. Just do it

Some activties require little planning. I consider them “no brainers” when it comes to any Facebook effort. Here´s a short checklist:

When you start implementing, you trigger reactions from other people in your organization. You get people to think and you create a positive “sense of urgency”. You might even inspire other people to take action! You´ve essentially kick started your company´s social media efforts. No planning or meetings required. Just do it!

2. Do some research

You don´t have to reinvent the wheel. Look at what other companies do and emulate them until you come up with something truly unique. Expand your horizon. Look across countries and industries for inspiration. Read reports and blog posts about Facebook success stories. Learn from the best companies in other countries:

  • Who´s the best? Make a list of the 5 leading companies in the world.
  • What do they do on Facebook? How do they use Facebook on their own websites?
  • What do they publish on their Facebook pages?
  • How are they different?

3. Choose a general direction and implement like hell

After you´ve completed step 1 (Just do it) and step 2 (Do some research), you´re ready to really get going with your social media efforts. Test different approaches and adjust along the way. Remember that ideas have no value if you don´t implement.

  • Contests & promotions
    Facebook promotions are a great way to attract fans. In September the Norwegian company used Wildfireapp to launch a promotion. The first attempt failed, but in October they launched a new promotion using a quiz-app from Offerpop. The second promotion was successful and the fan-base  grew to 5000 fans.
  • Simplicity is genious
    In November the company launched a Facebook Christmas gift app. The idea behind the app was to make it easy to give Facebook friends Christmas gifts. The service had several social mechanisms to maximize viral exposure.  It´s also worth noting that Walmart launched a similar gift app around the same time. The app was not a commercial success, but the company gained some valuable social experience!
  • Christmas calendars 
    Alot of companies launch Christmas calendars before Christmas. It´s quite boring, but it works. People love quizes and contests with daily prizes. If you add a grand prize at the end, you´re guaranteed success. Read more about the Facebook activity that lead to 45 000 new fans.
  • Copy Groupon
    Groupon offers daily deals to a large customer base. If you have 100 000 Facebook fans, it´s worth trying daily deals towards your own fans. Only approx. 16% of your Facebook fans see any given post (source: Facebook – don´t remember exact source..)so you can post almost daily without wearing out your fans! Don´t abuse it and remember to focus on relevancy!
  • Common sense
    Mark Zuckerberg once said: “Communities already exist. They´re already doing what they want to do. The question you should ask is how you can help them do that better”. This is key to success with social media. What are your customers, partners, employees already doing? How can you make it easier for them to do what they´re already doing?

4. Measure results and share success stories

It´s much more fun to share success stories when you know the exact numbers at the beginning of your quest. Before taking on a new project, it´s essential to look at the numbers. There´s a variety of good tools out there: Facebook insights, Allfacebookstats and Socialbakers are good tools that make it easy to track progress.

Next steps

The story about the small Norwegian company that gained 100 000 Facebook fans in one year shows that you can succeed on Facebook without extensive planning and huge budgets. The key is to choose a general direction and implement like hell. It´s hard work and somebody has to take action. We hope that this short story inspires others to share success stories!