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How many fans do you need to be successful in Facebook?
Genuine social businesses only need 10 fans in Facebook
October 2012

email marketing campaign: in blog.jeroenhoekman.com

When discussing Social Media with managers, their first question usually is: “How many fans do I need to be successful in Facebook?” The number they expect to hear is somewhere around ten thousand, as it has a nice ring to it. My answer is always ten!

Why do people expect they need ten thousand fans on Facebook? Exactly because it has a nice ring to it. It is, no more than an impressive number that you can show off with, because as a number it has no meaning. Ten would actually be more than enough if you sell Porches or another expensive commodity, as long as you have a regular interaction with these ten fans and if they are regularly interacting with you. If they are true Porsche fans, it is most likely one of them will buy one from you in the coming years, so you can calculate if the investment in Facebook is worth this one sale (and you might even sell 2 or 3). As a bonus you have got yourself ten new sales reps almost for free, as these ten fans, if true fans, will be forwarding your marketing messages and other publications, offers, etc. to all their friends and contacts for you.

As with each marketing campaign your first thought should of course be: “Should I start using Facebook for my business at all”. You should find out what your Facebook costs are and how much more you expect to sell with it. Then compare that with all your other marketing campaigns to find out if you are making more money with your Facebook investment than with those other campaigns. This equation will tell you how many sales you need to get out of your Facebook account over a certain amount of time for it to be worth the investment. Once you have these numbers, you can figure out how best to get those sales and how many fans you’ll need more or less to reach this.

Thus in case of the Porsche salesman, the amount of ten fans might be enough to reach the amount of sales per year that will make the Facebook campaign more profitable than other ongoing marketing campaigns. However, in general it is more likely that you need a hundred to a thousand fans to get a serious value out of Facebook. This is also an amount you will be able to engage with on a personal basis regularly, thus highly increasing their value as opposed to a faceless mass of ten thousand who do not really feel involved with you. Because in the end that is the strength of a Facebook campaign, your ability to engage with your clients on a personal basis that will make them feel you care about them, which in turn will make them value your business over your competitors’.

What is your experience with your Facebook campaign and the number of followers you need for it to be successful? I am curious to hear about some different experiences.

 

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Some examples of social media and social media marketing campaigns that caught my attention:

United breaks guitars
Still an excellent example of how social media can damage a companies reputation and how this tends to stay for a long time.

 

 
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