Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Invites to likes "one-two punch" for state agency's Facebook page

After I posted Are you overlooking the easiest way to build a Facebook page audience?, I was glad to hear how it worked for longtime colleague A.J. Hostetler, communications director for the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. So many of my clients bemoan what they see as low follower numbers, even though the vast majority of Facebook pages average about 250 followers. So we're all looking for ways to boost those numbers.

My post recommended a mundane, but easy, way to boost your Facebook page likes, by using Facebook's "invite" function to convert those post likers into page followers. Here's what Hostetler reported after her agency gave it a try:
I saw the item in your newsletter encouraging Facebook users to issue invitations to people who like your Facebook posts but haven’t liked your page. We’re a medium-sized state agency with very specific audiences (older adults with disabilities trying to enter the workforce and older and vulnerable adults – and their families) which has been building its social media visibility over the past few years. Our monthly goal of new Facebook likes is 80. Lately, I’ve been boosting posts that seem to have “legs” to help us reach people who might be interested in our topics.

Just a few days before I read your newsletter, I boosted some posts from our “dogs days of August” Facebook campaign. When I read the information about inviting people to follow your Facebook page, I thought this was a good opportunity for us. On Aug. 18, I asked our social media specialist to start inviting people to like our page. Given the hundreds of people who had engaged with the posts I had recently boosted, she issued a lot of invitations. Within two days, we gained more than 100 new likes and only two unlikes.

I think this one-two punch really worked for us, so thank you for sharing that bit of advice.
I'll just add that Hostetler wrote to me on August 22, so that boost of effort was a four-day catch-up effort. More time yielded even better results: Yesterday, she reported that "for the month of August we received 3 times our monthly goal of new followers, due in large part to inviting those who 'liked' our posts." Talk about a boost!

There's a lot to appreciate, as well, in what she's sharing here. Note that the agency has a goal for page likes, rather than leaving it to whim. It's using boosted posts to further its reach, a smart strategy that need not be expensive at all. And it's keeping track of "unlikes" -- although I believe (as Facebook must) that a user who likes a post is more likely to like your page. So it's great to see that borne out in the results with a low "unlike" rate.

(Photo of DARSI, the DARS services dog, by Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services)

Join me in Edinburgh, Scotland, on October 20 for a new workshop, Add Meaning with Metaphor: Improve your Speeches with the Most Powerful Figure of Speech. It's a pre-conference workshop at the Edinburgh Speechwriters and Business Communicators Conference, designed to help both speakers and speechwriters use this powerful tool. You can register here for just the workshop, the conference, or both.

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