Tag Archives: audience growth

How To Grow Your Page Without Facebook Ads

When No One Can Hear You…

A local restaurant has long been a tourist attraction during Hilton Head Island, SC’s hot summer months, but up until April 1st, they were only open for dinner. Not used to an empty restaurant and with only a few fans on their page on Facebook, they approached us to help them get the word out that lunch is now being served.

If you know how to make them effective, Facebook Ads are a great way to grow your page with targeted fans. There are also hundreds of ways to creatively engage fans so the page grows organically, but one of our favorites here at Pertnear is showing our potential clients just how much attention they’re capable of getting from a large audience! A carefully worded post plus an attractive incentive can lead to a response that is almost overwhelming–if you’ve got the right audience.


Among others, Pertnear has a Hilton Head Island page on Facebook, grown and managed internally with over 80,000 fans. Our targeting strategy allows us to have thousands of daily interactions with an audience made of people interested in visiting the island, longtime vacationers, and locals. We join forces with our clients like Local Business X and leverage* our page to pick out which fans have the potential to become valuable to their business. How? A classic radio-style call-in contest. This approach is old school, but it’s another reminder of how social media marketing’s fundamental purpose depends on an concept most marketers have long known leads to brand loyalty and trust: relationship marketing. To build value and trust, you have to be willing to give a little.

Call-In Contest

After negotiating what kind of incentive the business would like to offer, we write a post asking fans to call or email the business to redeem their prize. In the case of the aforementioned Local Business X, the phone rang within a minute of posting and continued to do so until gift certificates were sent to the emails of 20 very excited fans. The contest lasted for about 30 minutes.

Why This Works

Contests like these are quite simple to execute yet tremendously valuable for your business’s social media presence and brand awareness. Take a look at what you gain and why this strategy works:

1. Audience Growth

Naturally, without an audience on your page, your posts will not be seen. Such was the case with Local Business X, so they reached out to leverage our Hilton Head Island – TravelTell audience to catalyze their own growth.

Generally, the more you are willing to give away, the more likely you are to catch the attention of quality fans and the more eager they are to respond and consistently engage with your business. Call-in contests not only drive fans to “like” your page, but they also create value since such a promotion is exclusively for Facebook fans. Exclusivity encourages fans to stay engaged as you are offering them something unavailable to them anywhere else.

2. Targeted, Quality Fans

There is always the argument that some people will sign up for anything as long as it’s free, but the majority of the respondents will turn out to follow through on using your services. Partnering with a Facebook page with similar demographics as your own target market ensures that the type of fan you are getting is more likely to engage than one you may have accumulated by suggesting your page to your own 500 Facebook friends.

3. Benefits Go Beyond Social Media

Since Local Business X’s giveaway was exclusively for Facebook fans (and noted as such on the voucher they received), the restaurant is now able to track how valuable their incentive was by the amount of fans that come in to redeem them. Not only can they gain a clearer picture of the efficacy of the contest and their page, but a simple post is all it took to drive new business!

*We’ve learned a lot of things while doing contests like the call-ins. Before partnering with a page that has a bigger audience to promote your business, ask yourself:

Does It Make Sense? In the example above, using our TravelTell page to promote Local Business X makes sense, since fans repeatedly ask us where to eat and what to do on Hilton Head Island. Going to local restaurants is a key characteristic of our target market. We’re often approached by products and services that have little to do with our “eat, stay & play” mantra of our TravelTell pages, so using the same strategy doesn’t work nearly as well–if at all. If you’re going to drive fans from one page to another, make sure there’s a common link not only to protect your brand, but to ensure that your fans are of quality to your business!


How to Grow Your Page By Thousands in a Week

One week ago, Cabins USA hadn’t a trace of a presence on Facebook. This past Friday, they had 38,000 fans—at the time this post was written, that number had jumped over 8,000 fans over the weekend. What is this unassuming cabin rental company from Pigeon Forge, Tennessee doing to grow their business page at such a whirlwind speed? Pertnear‘s Jeremy Koch and B.J. Shell were happy to enlighten us.

Pertnear, a social media marketing agency based on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, uses specifically targeted Facebook Ads to jump start page growth while simultaneously managing the page with creative and engaging posts so fans instantly participate. This strategy not only allows the page to grow, but ensures quality fans with a genuine interest for the page. There are two key things that allowed Cabins USA to be so successful so quickly:

Initial Ad Targeting

The Facebook platform is unlike any other in that it allows for specific ad targeting based not only on traditional demographics (age, sex, geographical location, etc) but also the likes and interests of users and those of their friends. A Facebook Ad targeted to a user that loves the Tennessee Mountains is more likely to garner a response when prompted to share a favorite memory on the wall. This may seem like common sense, but the key is to find that one commonality that all fans share that makes them want to be active on the page. While it seems that perhaps it’d be more beneficial to have a higher reach based on many potential commonalities, keeping your reach concentrated and small will result in fans that are more engaged.

Additionally, when a Facebook user “likes” the Cabins USA page, it appears in all of their friends’ news feed (a Facebook user has an average of 130 friends). Here is where the power of word of mouth marketing truly manifests itself. Marketers have long known that an endorsement from a friend is infinitely more valuable than an advertisement. With the ability to recommend pages to friends and the general interest of seeing what they are engaging in, a business page has the ability to grow exponentially!

Making the Page a Resource

Cabins USA is a rental company that assists vacationers to the Pigeon Forge area with cabin accommodations. Instead of using the page to immediately generate leads and sales, the strategy was to make the page a resource for lovers of the Tennessee Mountains. As reflected in the ad copy, fans are asked to post their pictures, share their memories and tell why they love the Pigeon Forge area. By encouraging fans to actively engage right off the bat, potential vacationers are able to learn about the area from people who had positive experiences during their stay. This creates value not just for the Cabins USA page, but also for the destination as a vacation spot. Ultimately, with continued nurturing of the fan/company relationship and subtle guidance through posts, this value will translate to trust that encourages lead generation and sales when fans are ready to make their booking decisions.

Update: Cabins USA Fan Count at the time this article was posted: 46,378. How about now? Cabins USA