Case Study : Zero to 150,000 Facebook Growth Without Paid Marketing
Neha has grown her Facebook page from 0 to 1,50,000 in just 10 months – please note – without spending any money on Facebook Ads.
Let me tell you Neha’s skills
- She doesn’t know anything about online marketing
- She is not a professional designer
- She doesn’t know how to use Photoshop
- She never learned social media
- She hasn’t hired any freelancer or social media agency
The only skill that she possesses – is the humble and helping attitude for new moms.
More than 90% of her facebook posts are images – here is the Facebook Page
I know more than anyone else how depressed she was feeling two years back. I know because she is my friend, my life partner, and my support system.
She was losing the purpose of her life.
She didn’t join back her job after delivery of our child who is now four years. Her first two years were busy with our child. She wanted to do something but not a corporate job.
She spent her entire year 2015 in search of something that she could relate to. She tried different things but she was not getting the contentment with the results.
In October, we went for a long vacation in Goa. During our casual discussion, I suggested her to write her parenting journey because it was tough. We raise our son without any external help so we learned a lot about parenting from the internet.
When I look back, even I got surprised how she managed everything single handed. Yes, I supported her but she worked beyond my imagination to manage the infant and our house.
She wrote two articles during our Goa vacations. The first time, I saw a feeling of happiness on her face regarding her work. Still, she was not sure what she could do with parenting articles.
It took me three months to convince her to start her own blog, that she started in Feb 2016.
She published the article but no one appeared to read her articles except a few of her friends. No one.
She wrote a couple of articles but could not find any audience. Since she was not interested in marketing, she found it tough to promote her work.
From outside it may look that we both are in the same domain but our interests are different.
I love reading books & blogs about content marketing and I can execute aggressively what I learn. But she is a slow mover who can spend several months on a single task – like an artist.
She is an artistic mind without having skills of photoshop. I work with an attitude of moving fast even if I break things but she makes things perfect in the first attempt.
She started her Facebook page after three months of launching her blog. She started crafting out her work on parenting with her artistic mind.
The initial months were not so great, with a moderate traction.
Slowly her campaigns went viral with little marketing skills. Almost zero marketing skills.
She agreed to share the growth secrets of her Facebook page. Let’s learn from her how she grew her page without spending any money on Ads.
Now Neha will explain..
Coming up with the viral ideas
I never came up with viral ideas. I always look for some content ideas that can help my readers. When you de-focus from viral ideas and shift your focus to ideas that matter for your reader then virality happens.
If my focus will shift to virality then I will end up making campaigns like, “Comment Ameen and your child will get blessings”.
That I never want to do.
People have weird ideas that only click bait & spammy content goes viral. Yes, that goes viral but there is no brand value.
You might have commented on such post or shared a photo of beggar child in hope that Facebook will donate $1 for each share.
But do you remember which brand or person took that initiative? No. The virality comes and fades away with hoax and rumor based content.
If you wish to become a great brand then don’t look for cheap and quick solutions to get virality.
Instead, give more value to your readers so that they recall your name when your next post comes in front of them.
Your question should be on how to come up with great ideas to help your readers.
#1. Answer the queries of your readers
I check the comments on my articles, questions from my readers in my emails, and see what’s being asked in the parenting communities and groups.
#2. Get inspiration from your industry players
I call them industry players, not competitors. I believe that we should not compete with anyone.
Everyone has their own competence and space in the market. We can put our complete focus on quality work rather than beating someone up in the competition.
I get inspiration for content ideas from companies, bloggers and influencers of my industry. I never copy their work, because I consider that against my ethics.
I pick a great idea and re-create the content on the same topic but with a different angle.
For example, I saw few images on the topic of Dad & Daughter relationship, those were created by soosh.
I loved the campaign.
Rather than copying, I created my own campaign on the same topic. I did not copy the style or their text but just the underlying message. The love between Dad & Daughter. I still give credit to the original creator because they inspired me to create my work.
My content became viral.
Here are the stats.
- Reach – 25,00,000 (25 Lakh)
- Shares – 6,00,000 (6 Lakh)
- Likes – 1,30,000
- Comments – 3500
You can imagine the growth of my facebook page after this campaign.
A well reputed startup copied my idea – Along with concept, they copied some images as well as some text.
I don’t want to disclose their name because my intention is not to malign their image.
I just want to make a point that copying someone’s work cannot make you successful in the long run.
People are watching you.
They got a little success with the copied work.
- Reach – stats not available publicly
- Shares – 1400
- Like – 1300
- Comments – 100
I don’t know why their campaign was not a hit even when they had 10 times more audience than my page, when I published my campaign.
Copying someone’s work comes with a lot of disadvantages.
- You cannot publicly accept that you copied someone’s work
- If you are copying a viral content, chances are high that your audience has already seen that. They can smell your fakeness from a mile away.
- You cannot build relationship with a person after stealing her work
- You lose your brand value
- You have the risk of getting mentioned in articles like these that might go viral again, spoiling your name or attracting legal penalties.
Make sure that your content is high quality
You can not just hire a good designer or photoshop guy to make high-quality content. Yes, they can execute better than a novice like me, who never opened photoshop on.
The high quality content means the images, videos and articles that your audience love to consume and share.
I am telling you two most important quality parameters those are applicable to any kind of content that you are creating.
#1. Emotional Value Of Your Content
You can not spit out information on the screen of your reader and expect her to love your content. You have to find the emotional value of your content.
You must read the book Contagious if you want to learn why any content goes viral. The author Jonah Berger explains that content with certain emotions goes viral faster. Those emotions are-
I do not focus on the first three but a lot of media companies, religious organizations, and political parties are surviving because of viral content based on first three emotions.
Positive emotions are more pleasant and equally viral.
Spread positivity in the world, by focusing on things that give happiness to people around you.
Most of my content has certain emotional value rather than bland information.
That’s the prime difference between ‘information’ and ‘sharable content’.
#2. Usability of Your Content
Don’t just focus on emotional content. That’s just half the story.
If you have to cook a dish for your family then you would find healthy ingredients and put some condiments to enhance the taste.
Emotional value is condiments and usability of content is healthy ingredients.
Go back to the first step where I told you that I find content ideas from my readers. That ensures that my content becomes useful for them.
I write content in breast feeding, child care, mother care, home remedies and whatever is the requirement of my audience.
You can start with small wins and then your audience will make your posts viral.
How to start with small goals
If you see the growth chart of my facebook page, I hit my goal of reaching 10,000 likes in 2.5 months.
I started my page in June 2016 and able to get only 1000 likes in the first month. I was continuously producing the great content and slowly my page grew to 10,000 likes.
After getting 10,000 likes, things became relatively easy as you get an audience to give the boost to your content.
In the initial days, I was sharing my content in Facebook groups. Now I don’t feel any need to share my posts in the groups for promotional purpose. I share in the groups only when it’s required.
Don’t ever spam in the Facebook groups.
I never spammed, nor do I recommend you to spam in the groups.
I was part of an amazing cooking group ChefAtLarge. Once I shared my post in that group thinking that the mothers present in ChefAtLarge would like my content. They liked but the admins didn’t. They blocked me from my favorite group where I used to spend one hour daily.
I learned an important lesson, that I should not share my posts where they are not relevant. Forget about spamming.
The benefit of getting blocked was that now I had an additional hour to spend on my creative work, rather than participating in cooking discussions.
Every loss can become an opportunity if you think in a positive manner.
Tools vs. Creativity
Tools won’t make you creative. You can express yourself better if you know tools as well. I regret that I never got time to learn Photoshop.
I execute my creative work in simple tools like Canva and Stencil.
Canva is Free
Any final advice for social media marketers who want to grow fast
Start contributing to your niche groups to help the community.
Don’t spam as spamming can’t help you to grow. Instead of it, keep your focus on the quality.
Give your 100%. Your work will speak for you and your brand.
Leave your comment and I will respond as soon as I get time.