How To Take Your Company’s Facebook Fan Page from Zero to 40,000 Fans

It was last year that  I met a Facebook marketing specialist, Mike Watkins at a marketing event. I was impressed by his story about how he had  taken the SUPRE’s fashion brand’s Facebook page from zero to 40,000 fans shortly after Facebook released the “Page” option to add to its “Profiles” and “Groups” membership options. I met him again recently for a video interview that I will be publishing in the next few days, in the meantime I would like to share his story.How To Take Your Companys Facebook Fan Page from Zero to 40000 Fans

Facebook “pages” have only been around for 2 years and in that time we have seen major global brands embrace Facebook for engaging and interacting with their customers with some major brands Facebook pages fan subscribers now approaching 40 million and providing another way to communicate that goes beyond traditional media and email.

So what were the key elements to acquiring the 40,000 fans and what strategies did he use to continue to engage and nurture the Facebook fans for SUPRE’s fashion brand?

The biggest challenge to business is to display the “Value” that using Facebook will bring and Supre needed to be convinced of the benefits rather than just playing with the latest social media shiny toy.

Initially the major challenge was to convince management at Supre of its value and why they should be implementing a Facebook marketing strategy, so the question of “Why” use Facebook needed to be answered.

Stage 1. Why Use Facebook?

1. Facebook pages are a more effective and intimate direct marketing channel

2. It is instant and up to date whereas printed and traditional media is usually out of date quite often before it hits the street

3.  It is a real time research tool (SUPRE receive hundreds of individual answers within 2-3 hours of the questions being asked)

4. You create a long-term relationship between the consumers and the brand that creates a digital asset with longevity

5. You create a highly leveraged channel that distributes your brand and message by “World of Mouth” as updates to the Facebook “Page” ripple and spread through friends updates and news feeds. This is an incredibly fast and effective organic brand distribution vehicle.

Stage 2. How Do You Start?

a. Define and Understand Your Target  market

Understand who you are talking to.  So first you need to have an in depth understanding of  who your target customer is, so you will need to research the following: Consumer psychology papers, Magazines, Movies, Music, Books and even the celebrities they idolize.

In essence you need to understand and “Grok” (to share the same reality or way of thinking) how your market thinks and acts.

b. Get the “Tone” right

Your brand needs to be perceived as a member of the target market to be trusted. Talk like them and act like them in communication and content

c. Identify the engagement fundamentals

Canvas the entire spectrum for a 2 week trial of content that your research revealed that would receive engagement from your target users and remove content that doesn’t engage. (try everything once)

d. Treat it as a long term investment

Ensure the client knows it is going to take time and persistence and give them some concept of what to expect in 18 months

e. Keep it Real, Relevant and Relaxed (3 R’s)

The latest competition on SUPRE’s Facebook page

Facebook Supre Zero to 40000 fans

Stage 3. Making It Happen

Step 1. Seeded the Facebook page with Facebook display advertisements to build fans

Step 2: Defined the regular updates for the Facebook page

Then keep activity running to a pre-determined schedule.

There are 4 major types of updates:

1. Conversation  –  is designed to stimulate conversation with the fan base by asking thought provoking questions that encourages short succinct answers from fans

2. Pictures – upload images that the client wanted to expose consumers to for SUPRE professionally taken images of models wearong clients clothing

3. Link – Deep linked updates that that drives traffic away from Facebook to the clients other online properties such as website, online store, blog or YouTube channel

4. Product – spotlight a new product that the client is releasing or will release. You can test new designs and get feedback on possible new items

Step 3: Determine Update Frequency

Do this so that you are not spamming fans

Step 4: Update System for the week

Map out what products are going out that week then implement those updates into the system that were designed to drive and a lot of engagement. Get approval from the client (Rinse and repeat every week) “The update system acts as the backbone to the entire page strategy”

Stage 4: Monitor, Measure & Report

Report weekly or daily depending on activity and client requirements including

  • Monitoring demographic analysis provided by Facebook Insights
  • Measure growth rate (this can be done through two sources and and you can view both daily and weekly rates)

Example of a report

Facebook Zero to 40,000 Fans

Key Findings From The Supre Facebook Campaign

  1. Facebook pages has “saved” SUPRÉ real $’s through realtime market research
  2. Facebook pages has “made” SUPRÉ real $’s through reatime market research
  3. Facebook pages has made SUPRÉ real $’s through “product and brand exposure”
  4. Old school market research is dead
  5. Engagement = Organic Brand Distribution
  6. A brand can influence social change

Nearly 2 years on and now with a Fan count of over 300,000 SUPRÉ’s Facebook strategy can be called an overwhelming success because Mike was initially able to show value to senior management at SUPRÉ.

For more in depth information read the 9 page whitepaper.

Image by Andrea Omizzolo


  • Kathy Strader

    It is always nice to read something I can implement right away.

  • Gabriele Maidecchi

    With so much going around Facebook I think it’s very important to come up with some original way to use this platform, related to your brand.
    Sadly, having just another business page isn’t going to cut it if you want real numbers, both in “Likes” and actions from your fans (especially in actions, as a Like is just one click away and doesn’t mean much overall).

  • Ryan

    “Old school marketing research is dead.” That’s probably a bit of a silly comment when you look at how well AC Neilson is doing and how graduate programs like UGA’s Master of Marketing Research is doing so well.

    • Gianluigi Cuccureddu SMP

      Online research methods are influencing how marketing research is done, extra layers of intel.

  • Ryan

    “Old school marketing research is dead.” That’s probably a bit of a silly comment when you look at how well AC Neilson is doing and how graduate programs like UGA’s Master of Marketing Research is doing so well.

  • Alison Shuman

    I’ve been really struggling to build up a fan base. I think the points you make are right on – it has to be a plan, not a hap-hazard approach of hit and miss marketing ideas.

  • Dawn Abraham

    Jeff I hear what your saying and you have some great tips. Thanks for putting it out there. But  if you try to much to build your audience essentially on someone else’s web site, after all we don’t have control over Facebook. Then you can find yourself out of luck when the rules change.

    Facebook is great at changing things that are not always in the users best interest.  Now there is Google +1 and next month it will be something else.  I have a fan page and just started to really use it in the last five months. 

    I have over 60 thousand social media contacts and most of them are not on my fan page since I just made the time to pay attention to it .Where does it stop? You have to pick one or two of these platforms and your own blog or web site is the most important and concentrate on building relationships with the people you meet.

    I make a excellent income because I know how to drive traffic to my web sites using the social media  platform and more importantly I spend most of my time developing unique outside of the box programs and services that get my clients more business. Then writing about it on my blogs.Mostly the major search engines are sending me my traffic.

    Hers is my point I see a lot of people with 20,000+ fans on Facebook and you go their web site and they have maybe 200 visitors a month.That goes to show you if your Facebook business page AKA fan page is too good people don’t leave it.  It’s not only Facebook either I see this on all the social media sites people with 25,000 followers on Twitter and I look at their site no traffic and they abandon their accounts.

    Jeff mentions to drive the traffic to your web site which is so important. It seems most people don’t know how to do that. 


    But since I’m a Marketing Expert with a lot of small business clients depending on me to  come up with  unique and effective ways to get them more business and web traffic I can’t spend to much time on social media. And you don’t have to you can spend less than a hour a day and be successful.

    Just remember when you use these tips have the actual contest on your web site.  I did that and it was very effective. Driving all the traffic to my site where people became familiar with all the great content and services I have to offer.

  • Justine Kelleher

    really good and useful tips. I like stage 4. Actually I never heard of these measures or analytics for facebook. This goes in my bkmrk folder of what to do with FB.  Thanks

  • The PokerGosh

    Very interesting.. 
    Thanks for sharing…

  • The PokerGosh

    Very interesting.. 
    Thanks for sharing…

  • Shu’aib Jamaalu ud Din

    Brilliant – Im on it already…

  • Monica Nielsen

    Jehankyhank you for sharing such great information. I am grateful you share you’re knowledge!

  • Charles Amayoh

    Great article and a must read by all. Thanks

  • Mega Meetei

    Thanks for giving this valueable information

  • Connor Meakin

    awesome article. Thanks Jeff.

  • Connor Meakin

    awesome article. Thanks Jeff.

  • Concrete Consulting

    The link is taking me to a suspended account? I’d like to read the whitepaper. Good points!

  • Ijaz429

    this is a fascinating story but does anyone know what they did to get to 40k fans? i understand the content was really good but how did they get people to look at the content?

  • Cheap flights to Kathmandu

    I appreciated your kind way of knowledge.Great Stuff Here..hope more to come.

  • Jeff Bullas

    Thanks for pointing that out. I will check the link.

  • Basu Maharjan
  • La Caravella
    like my page pleaseeeeeee

  • NEESH Design

    Thanks for another great post Jeff….Off to share again.