AskPat 97 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 97 of AskPat. Super stoked you're here because I'm here to help you answer your online business questions five days a week.
And before we get to today's question from Tony, I do want to mentioned today's awesome sponsor. As you know I only promote companies that I use and that I love and that I know will help you. And this company is all of those things. It's Stamps.com because you know, even though I do business online I still need to send out packages and letters and mail and Stamps.com makes it super easy to save time and money for postage. You can buy and print official U.S. postage using your own computer and printer. It's so incredibly easy. You never need to go to the post office again. So, right now, use my name, Pat, to get a $110 bonus offer, no-risk free trial. So, don't wait. Go to Stamps.com before anything, click on the microphone at the top of the page and type in “Pat”. Thanks so much. Now, here's today's question from Tony about using Facebook.
Tony: Hey Pat. Tony from TheQuarterlyReporter.com here. As we as bloggers have to grow our sites and increase our followers, I think we know how important social proof is, at least those of us who have listened to and read your stuff do. In order to get more social proof though, I was curious as to your thoughts about a paid Facebook ad. On one hand, I can see the risk associated with this. But on the other hand, it seems like a way to increase ones social proof standing for a relatively small cost. I'm torn here and really interested into your thoughts in this. Before I go though, I just really want to say thank you for all you do. I have learned so much from listening to your podcasts, reading your blog, and watching your how-to videos. Thanks Pat.
Pat Flynn: Tony, thank you so much for this question. And for those of you who are listening who might not know what social proof is, it's the idea that we all as human beings look to the group to determine what the right action is or what the right answer is. If you've ever been to a mall and you see a huge group of people surrounding, you don't know what it is, I mean, you can't help but wonder what it is that's going on in that big crowd, so you go over there just to see what's going on because everyone else is doing it. So, the idea of social proof online is to use the power of large numbers and large groups of people to show other people who are new to your brand and to your site, that your site and your brand is a place to be. And there are many different ways to do this.
Now if you're growing a Facebook page, for example, and somebody comes to your page and they see one person has liked that page, chances are they're going to be thinking something like, “Wow, okay, not that many people here. I don't want to be just one of two people. I'm not going to like this page or I'm not going to become a fan.” And, you can see why that would happen. I mean, because there's not that many people there. It's like if you go to a restaurant and there's only two people eating in the whole dinning room of 500 chairs, you might be wondering what the heck is wrong. Maybe you look at your watch because you weren't sure if you made it at the right time. Or maybe you wonder if the food is bad? You know? You never know. But, something happens as a result of people not being there. And the same thing happens when people come to your Facebook page.
So, of course, Tony, the idea of growing your Facebook page for the purposes of social proof is great because the more people you have on there, the more likely is it people are going to stick around and of course, over time, you're not going to have to worry about people leaving. But, the bigger your numbers become, the more easy it is to get new people to come and stick around. Especially if there's a lot of comments, a lot of activity in addition to number of likes or fans that you have.
Now, the question being, should you use Facebook ads to grow your following when you first start out? I will tell you and be completely honest with you, I've mentioned this on the blog, so it's not going to surprise people, but when I first grew my Facebook page for Smart Passive Income, I did do an ad spend of about 100 bucks to get to about over 100 fans on the page. Because I just . . . Exactly for the same reasons. I wanted to grow the page enough so that when I promoted it people weren't swayed by the fact that there weren't a lot of people there. And, to me, I think maybe it was worth it? Maybe not? Perhaps there are other strategies you can use to grow that number. And I'm going to go over those strategies right now.
If, for example, you either don't have the money to spend or you realize that those likes that you're buying typically aren't going to be very good users . . . Because, when you think about it, okay, let's say you have a Facebook page with 100,000 fan. I mean that's a lot of people, right? And for anybody who's brand new to the site, that's going to be awesome. Like, “Wow, there's 100,000 people here, I better check out, you know, stick around and see what's going on because 100,000 other people have.” But, if they're people who aren't in your target audience and if they're people who aren't interested or active or going to engage in conversation, it's just a waste of money. Because even though you might have 100,000 people there, those people aren't going to comment, they aren't going to, you know, participate in any discussions or share anything or ask questions or share opinions, and all that good stuff which makes Facebook so powerful. It's just kind of a waste and people who come on after and see these huge numbers and then realize, “Wow, nobody's talking,” it's kind of pointless, right? So, you always want to make sure that you have the right kind of people coming to your site.
And, I will mention that I've seen a few videos and read a couple of blog posts about how just low-quality paid advertising is for growing your Facebook page when it comes to buying, specifically, fans. When you specifically buy fans and you do it in a way that is sort of—hey, you can advertise your page traditionally, I believe, and they may have changed this since all this publicity came out about it. But, traditionally those leads aren't very good and they're coming from seemingly random countries and they aren't targeted to what you're actually targeted to or perhaps they are but they aren't going to be very active.
So, other strategies to grow your Facebook page. Before worrying about spending any money on that stuff—I mean, you may not need to spend any money at all—is, one, if you have an existing blog already, if you have an existing Twitter following already or following anywhere, Google Plus or LinkedIn, do whatever you can to get those people onto your Facebook page. I mean, don't do anything you can, I mean, obviously be smart and use common sense about it. But, you know, you want to mention that hey, I have a Facebook page and there's some, you know, I'm going to pop in some questions there that will actually give something away, specifically on your Facebook page so that people will come and become fans and depending on the size of your audience on any or each of those platforms, you might get to 100 or a couple hundred people rather quickly. And the reason I keep mentioning 100 is just, you know, for me at least psychologically, seeing three digits there is going to be something that makes me a little more comfortable with understanding that, okay this is a place to be. I feel like if I go to a page and there's 12 people, you know, I'm not going to really want to stick around as opposed to if I saw 112 people, well, then that seems like a lot of people to me. So, that's why I say 100 but, you know, it could be 75 or 85, I mean the number is irrelevant. It's just not an incredibly low number. And if you tap into your existing audience and existing platforms that's a quick, you know, rather quick way to make it happen. And, of course, if you give away something on there or give away something special even if it's an ebook or maybe just an audio file that you haven't shared anywhere else, something unique, that could help grow your Facebook page to the number that you'd like. So, you can have that social proof and use the power of that.
You can also run guests posts. If you do guests posts, which most people do to grow and expand their brand to bring traffic back to their site, you could nonchalantly or maybe very purposefully mention, “Hey, I have a Facebook page,” you know this is in your bye-line after that guest post, after you've hopefully written something of value for another blogger's audience out there in your target niche. At the end when you say, “Hey, my name is Tony, I blog at TheQuarterlyReporter.com. Here's the link to my Facebook page. You can become a fan. You can also get this free gift,” whatever, that could help as well. And, of course, you're leveraging the audience of another blogger that has sort of given you permission to write something and they've given you the okay to their audience. Like, “Hey, this is a person worth listening to, worth following because I've let them post on my blog.” And then, of course, if they reach the end of that post and they've enjoyed, they're going to be more than likely to click over to your Facebook page. And even if you only have a couple Facebook page fans at that point, if you've written something really well and you mention that you just started it then chances are that people are going to like it.
So, those are a couple strategies to help you build social proof for your Facebook page without having to spend. And, you know, I don't think you have to spend. But, again, I did it and I kind of wanted to do it the quick way, and I can't tell you if those leads or those Facebook fans are still there or if they've engaged at all. I only did about up to 100, I spent up to 100 bucks and it's hard to tell now because I'm over 70,000. So, if you want to go over to my Facebook page and check out how active it is and follow my strategies for using Facebook and getting engagement, I do a lot of interesting fun things. I actually do a lot of experiments on Facebook to see what gets more engagement. Make sure you use a lot of images, for example, and also allow people to select something. Like A or B, whatever this may be in your niche. Here's great tip: Show a picture, say which do you like better? A or B? You're going to get a ton of engagement which is going to help your EdgeRank score and allow you to be shown in more people's news feeds. So, it's little fun tidbit for you as we finish up this answer here for you.
So, Tony, I hope that answers your question. Thank you once again for submitting your question. If any of you out there have a question you'd like to submit and have it potentially answered here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can totally just leave a question right there on that page. You can use your internal mic or headset or whatever the sound quality. As long as it's audible then we'll potentially put it on the show. But, of course, I'm getting dozens a day now so ask a good one. Thanks so much. I appreciate it.
And, of course, I'm going to end here with a quote of the day as I always do. And this quote comes from one of my favorite quoters, Henry Ford. He says, “Paying attention to simple little things that most men neglect makes a few men rich.” Thanks so much and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat.
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