Technically Troy

Ideas in the Net

Liking the New Year on Facebook: 2,012 for 2012

If your organization has a little history and less than 2,000 likes or followers, this might be a fun way of engaging (and growing) your social media audience: celebrate those milestones all the way to 2,012 in 2012.

I manage social media for an alumni association. Before I started, the organization had setup a Facebook group that wasn’t very active. Like many non-profits recently, we made the switch from the more limited group to primarily using a fan page. Starting over and getting everyone over to the new page wasn’t always easy, but as everyone cheered in the new year we hit some landmark figures ourselves online worth celebrating.
The idea came as our new Facebook fan page approached 1,954 likes. 1954 is a special date for the founding of our institution, and once the page hit that magic number we posted a celebratory message and a video about the building of the campus at that time. For an audience that cares a great deal about heritage, that’s a popular message that gets liked, commented, and shared.

Depending upon how fast your like-counter moves, you can celebrate different important dates in your organizational timeline all the way up to 2012. We posted a collection of women graduate accomplishments when our page hit the 1970s. When the page got up into the 1980s, we linked to a You Tube video of our school’s first bowl victory. That link even sparked further inquiries from our graduate community about where they could get footage of old games, and an opportunity to let them know about a group providing those archive services that wouldn’t have come up otherwise.
We had a lot of fun with it, and it gave us the chance to create some unique posts looking back at our history. Viewing user statistics, those messages were also some of our most effective.

What if you have more than 2,000 likes already? With social media tools always emerging, there’s bound to be a new site or social media tool that you are going to be trying to reach your customers in new ways. A similar approach can be done on Twitter as you build toward 2012 followers, or if you’ve recently just started growing your Google+ circles. If you post videos, create your own channel on You Tube and count up your subscribers. Reach your business networkers with a growing LinkedIn group. Just like us starting over with a Facebook fan page, there will always be something that gets started from scratch to build up.

What if 2,012 a long way away? If you’re a small organization or still trying to get past triple-digit followers, there may be other important numbers that can generate post ideas (addresses, prices, quantity, etc.). But even if you’ve got a ways to go, you want to grow there and beyond anyway, right?

We also started to do more targeted Facebook advertising recently. Our most successful ad campaigns used a similar theme, asking for help getting us over 2012 likes for 2012. The ads were setup to target our alumni who hadn’t liked the page yet, and we only used a budget of $1 per day (the minimum). We typically were getting a handful of new likes directly from that per day within that small test budget, and have tried other approaches since but that message generated the most responses so far.

Writer’s block? Coming up with new content daily with limited time and resources is challenging. Think about meaningful numbers to your organization, and if any of your social media accounts are approaching those dates or figures to spotlight. I quite enjoyed the change of pace and unique content opportunities during that week or so of featuring important dates in our organization’s history based upon Facebook like totals at the time.

Before having too much fun with numbers, though, make sure to not stray from your communication objectives and don’t go overboard. We try not to post on Facebook more than a couple times a day (ideally morning and evening to spread them out) to avoid flooding people’s newsfeed or becoming an annoyance to unlike. The idea is to engage your existing audience in creative content they care about in ways that prompts them to share with others and keep those numbers growing.


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