Facebook Organic Growth: How to Defy the Odds and Grow a Huge Facebook Community

Do you want to grow a massive Facebook following?

Are you wondering how an organic Facebook strategy can be successful?

To learn how to grow a huge organic following on Facebook using techniques you have likely never heard of, I interview Holly Homer for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Holly Homer of KidsActivitiesBlog.com to find out how her Facebook page fan base grew from 7,000 fans to more than 530,000 fans in only 8 months without using Facebook advertising or crazy gimmicks.

Holly shares how beginners can develop their own Facebook strategy.

You’ll discover the unfortunate circumstance that jumpstarted Holly’s success.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher, SoundCloud or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Customer Service

Where the Quirky Momma Facebook page started

Holly shares that she and her blogging partner Rachel had started the Quirky Momma Facebook page several years ago. While the page was mildly successful, it wasn’t driving any traffic.

Even though the page had shown prior growth, it had been sitting at 10K-13K fans for 18 months. In early October 2013, Rachel set a goal of getting to 50K fans by Christmas to support the spring launch of their book, 101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!, and started to post to the page more frequently.

auirky momma facebook page cover image

Quirky Momma has grown to over 500K fans using only organic tactics.

She says they noticed that a competing Facebook page with a huge audience was posting content from the Kids Activities Blog without providing a link back or attribution—the page was even cropping the watermarks from Holly’s images and posting them with the updates.

When she looked closer, Holly found that the updates from this page posting her stolen content were getting up to 9,000 shares each.

Listen to the show to hear why this was a turning point for their Facebook content strategy.

How they changed the approach to managing the Quirky Momma Facebook page

Holly says seeing the viral impact of their stolen images made them go back and find the top 50 posts on their blog. They concentrated on only sharing posts that were already doing well on other social media sites like Pinterest—posts that had viral potential.

auirky momma facebook page lego table post

This blog article has over 3,000 shares on Facebook.

She says that they were only sharing a few times a day and sharing mostly their own stuff because that’s what they knew best. As the page grew, they realized they could help other people and started to find other really cool content to fit in with their own Facebook posts.

Listen to the show to find out how Holly and Rachel used Facebook Insights to develop a successful content formatting strategy.

What directs Quirky Momma’s high-level strategy

Holly explains that there are two things in Facebook Insights that are really important to a Facebook strategy: the People Talking About This number and reach.

She laughingly says that to get a good People Talking About This number, you need people to talk about you. She explains that this means you need engagement like people commenting on, liking and sharing your updates.

quirky momma talking about this

Find a page’s Talking About This data by clicking on the arrow next to the People section on the left side of a page.

Listen to the show to find out why Holly believes understanding reach is at the root of success on Facebook.

What makes up Quirky Momma’s content mix

With their main goal being to drive traffic to the Kids Activities Blog, Holly and Rachel focus on sharing amazing things to do with your kids.

Holly explains that she and Rachel post to the page 26 times a day as part of a 24-hour posting strategy. Each day, they work from a posting framework and try to keep the posting ratio at 1/3 owned content to 2/3 content from other sources.

3rd party content on quirky momma facebook page

Quirky Momma shares others’ content two-thirds of the time.

She says that in addition to the article links, the page posts three questions a day sourced from messages people send to the page. Holly says they let their fans answer the questions to drive engagement.

Listen to the show to discover how Holly decides which content to post each day.

How Quirky Momma’s posting frequency evolved

Holly says that in the beginning they posted twice a day. Then, based on their own metrics, they began to add more posts each day.

facbook organic growth podcast image

Find out how to grow a Facebook Page organically.

She explains that while 26 times a day seems like a lot of posts, the thing to remember is that Facebook isn’t showing 100% of her posts to 100% of her fans. She says her average Facebook fan probably sees 3 to 4 of her posts a day.

Holly shares that they patterned their frequency after Pinterest, where a lot of their fans also spend time and didn’t seem to mind a barrage of beautiful photos coming at them. She says that’s the key. When you share high-quality stuff from your niche, your fans will want more of that.

She talks about how she decides to create images for third-party articles shared on the Facebook page.

Listen to the show to find out how Quirky Momma responds to fans who message them to say the page posts too much.

Discovery of the Week

I’ve recently discovered a really cool two-part tip for taking selfies with your iPhone. Even if you don’t take selfies, you likely take a lot of pictures with your smartphone.

First, did you know you can use either the + or – volume control on the side of your iPhone just like you would the button on top of your camera? Press either button and you’ll take a picture with your phone.

H/T to Mari Smith who shared the second part of this tip with me at a recent conference. You can also use volume control on the headset that comes with your iPhone to take pictures!

iphone selfie

Mari Smith took this image using the volume control on her iPhone headphones.

The headset hangs off of your phone similar to an old-fashioned camera, so you can have your hand below the camera. Just click the volume control on the cord to take killer pictures without having your arm stretched out in the photo at an awkward angle.

Check it out and let me know how it works for you.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how this works for you.

Other Show Mentions

social media success summitToday’s show is sponsored by Social Media Success Summit 2014.

This is our largest online event. It’s completely online, so no travel involved. There will be three sessions each day spread over an entire month. Each day has a theme.

These are some of the sessions we have lined up: Social Media Strategy, Google+ Marketing, LinkedIn Marketing, Twitter Marketing, Blogging, Pinterest Marketing, Podcasting, Video Marketing, Content Marketing, Instagram Marketing, Social Analytics, plus lots more.

We have handpicked the best experts in the world to teach you all about how to market on all of these various channels.

If you want to learn more, visit here where you can check out all of the speakers and the agenda. Make sure you grab your ticket before the price goes up. We’ve got a lot of earlybird sales going on right now.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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What do you think? Have you built a strong Facebook community? What are your thoughts on delivering great customer service? Please leave your comments below.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, founder of My Kids' Adventures and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. He's also the host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. Other posts by »




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  • Holly Homer

    Thanks soooo much for having me, Michael! It was great fun and I could talk about this for hours!

  • Holly Homer

    Thanks soooo much for having me, Michael! It was great fun and I could talk about this for hours!

  • Holly Homer

    Thanks soooo much for having me, Michael! It was great fun and I could talk about this for hours!

  • LGTurner

    Holly, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to your interview. I learned so much and you have a new fan on your page!

  • Sean Morelli

    Another cool thing about the earbuds with the volume apparatus as a camera click. Earbuds go bad all the time. Instead of throwing the next pair in the trash, save it and store it in your camera case as a corded clicker and use the ways mentioned in the podcast.

  • Sean Morelli

    Loved listening to you Holly. Great interview!

  • Holly Homer

    So glad to hear that!

  • Holly Homer

    Thanks Sean. I have been a Social Media Examiner fan for years, so this was a real treat.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Holly – You are a rock star! Thanks so much for being on my show

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Great idea Sean

  • Scott Goddard

    The fact is Facebook is giving less and less reach to business pages – down to 1% probably going to 0% unless you pay. My view is that we keep reading about all these strategies that sound great on paper (and they are), yet the time spent trying to find reach can now be spent better via other more productive marketing avenues. Unless of course Facebook decides to start providing better reach again – which I doubt they will. My KPI’s over the past 12 months has dropped Facebook off the chart as a preferred marketing avenue for my business – time spent vs effectiveness (actual results). You can have the most amazing, engaging post on the planet, yet if Facebook isn’t showing it to anyone, what’s the point . Just my view.

  • travisrhaley

    EXCELLENT podcast! Super valuable! Thank you!

  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    Haven’t had a chance to listen yet Mike, but did notice this is probably the longest post title I’ve ever seen on SME – a three liner! Since you are one of the kings of the headline, I’m curious. A new approach combining catchy and SEO?

  • Holly Homer

    Oh I can totally understand shifting resources away from FB because of the algorithm changes, but the bottom line is that FB needs viral content to compete with other social networks. Your average FB fan doesn’t go out curating amazing content, but will share it when they see it on the platform. FB needs pages that find and publish this content and is still showing that content to fans. In fact, though all the changes over the last 8 months that we have endured while growing the page, one thing FB has not changed is the strength of a truly viral post – in fact, I feel like it is stronger than ever.

  • Holly Homer

    So glad!!!

  • Holly Homer

    I am curious about that too! Spill it…!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    WOOHOO, go @hollyhomer:disqus!! You’re an inspiration to many. I love your whole strategy and your integrity. Keep up the great work!!

    And, thanks @mikestelzner:disqus for including the fun selfie + tip. Hehee, love it!!! :D

  • Matt

    I have started a new e commerce website and trying to promote it. I got a strategies of using facebook over e commerce.

  • http://twitter.com/HowieGoldfarb HowieG

    Too bad this is really a one off situation. Very few Brands that sell products or services could every match this unique experience of this Mommy Blogger. People just don’t care about most businesses like they do having things to do with their kids.

    The key is you said defying the odds and the fact is why choose a strategy that you have to defy odds to succeed. Coke with all their deep pockets has abandoned their 84 mil Facebook fans for this very reason.

    That said great case study here!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Scott – I hear you and yes this is a bright spot in an otherwise bleak situation. We have been experimenting with these techniques on our page and they do work. It’s not just theory

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    My pleasure

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Jeff – I write headlines different for podcast episodes because of iTunes. I always lead with a few words that will be seen in iTunes. In this case the rest after those three words could have totally been the headline. Now listen to the show as you will love it

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks much Mari

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    How this helps

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Howie – No true. This is highly applicable to any brand that has a smart content marketing strategy. We have applied it to our very B to B page and are seeing great results.

  • TwirlyGirl | Girls Dresses .

    Wow. That was one of my favorite podcasts yet. Social Media Examiner, there are a ton of sites that post useful information, but in my opinion, you are by far the best. Thank you!

  • TwirlyGirl | Girls Dresses .

    Holly Homer, thank you for sharing your knowledge. I’m so inspired by what you and your partner have created. We’ll be sharing your blog with our fans for sure. :)

  • charlesjmeyer

    Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail

    ✒✒✒✒✒✒✒✒✒✒ http://www.Jobs7000.Com

    ===================================

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks so much Twirly Girl :)

  • http://candasbarnes.com/ Candas Ifama Barnes

    Holly and Michael this was so AWESOME! I learned a LOT and have many great ideas to apply as I’m seeking to grow my business and my page. Holly, I especially appreciated how your very clear way of explaining made me want to experiment with what you shared.

    Michael, this was my first time listening to your podcast. What a perfect episode to start with. I’ve already subscribed and I’m looking forward to learning and growing as I listen to more. Thanks!!

    P.S. Loved the picture taking tip for the iPhone. Did you also know you can access the camera from your lock screen without having to put in your passcode, etc.? Here’s how: when you first turn on the phone, the camera icon is in the lower right hand corner~if you tap that it’s a very quick shortcut to the camera. All the best ;-)

  • Jo

    This is a great strategy for pages that already have a substantial fan base but if you’re just starting out, I don’t think it’s possible to avoid paid FB advertising

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hi Jo – I think I would give this a try. Remember that about 9 months ago their page had practically no following

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Glad you enjoyed it Candas and be sure to listen to back episodes. Also thanks for that tip

  • Michael McKay Combs

    CONGRATS ON THE SUCCESS OF UR COMPANY.

  • http://candasbarnes.com/ Candas Ifama Barnes

    Michael, you’re quite welcome. I’ve already added several previous episodes to my list. All the best!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Michael

  • Holly Homer

    I agree with Michael. I think if companies shifted their thinking from a purely promotional strategy to a value-added content steam – sharing things that their key demographic would like, the process would be the same.

    Because we share a ton of stuff that doesn’t have any direct relationship to us, our fans trust us when we promote ourselves {or our book}.

  • Holly Homer

    Oh I am so glad! I can’t wait for you to test some of it out on your own page…such an adventure.

  • Holly Homer

    I have been working with pages with much less than what we started with and the growth is slow, but steady. Once you can catch some momentum, it gets a lot easier…and more fun.

  • Holly Homer

    Thank you!

  • Mark Sarpa

    Thanks so much Holly and Michael. This was so helpful.

  • Holly Homer

    Oh good! So glad to hear.

  • Holly Homer

    Amen!

  • http://www.feed140.com feed140

    Amazing tips you have here @hollyhomer:disqus. As a startup twitter marketing tool those tips you shared helps a lot. Can’t wait to apply those on our FB Page!

  • Jitendra Padmashali

    Its really great to read this post here , thanks for sharing, Good job Michael.

  • Jonathan Pyke

    This was an excellent episode, even for SMM standards. How do you feel this works though with pages with smaller likes? I’m managing a number of pages with around 4-600 likes, which is a lot smaller than 7k and while I’m thinking the principle is probably the same, it’s a much smaller pool to gather meaningful metrics!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Great question, I guess you won’t know until you try

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks so much

  • Ilonka van den Ancker

    thank you for sharing this Holly! I am wondering: as a marketing consultant I do not think that this works for me. As i am afraid when i post an update from a popular post from my competitor, that people who than read that blog drives them away of my site or my products. What are your thoughts on this?

  • dineanddish

    Fantastic insight, Holly! Thanks for sharing. I found it really helpful!

  • Holly Homer

    Jonathan, I have been working with other pages with reach in that range and they are steadily growing. It is easier to test things out on our page because the results are more obvious, but the strategies are the same. Smaller pages will benefit more from sharing popular posts from pages with a bigger talking about percentage. I have seen crazy-great results from regular shares which seem to get more exposure than anything else on the page.

  • Holly Homer

    I would worry less about your competitors and look at your buyers – what do they have in common? What would be of value to them? Share popular things that your buyers would like. Once you build a platform that is a resource within your space, then you are going to get a lot more attention on the things you want to share like product reviews and updates and sending people to your site.

  • http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/ Joan@Chocolate and more

    One thing that wasn’t mentioned and I think is important to note is engagement. This is “Social” media. You can’t just drop posts and run. When you get that comment, you need to respond to it, acknowledge the person who took the time to type and hit enter. Doing this will not only increase loyalty but also puts that post back in the news feed for more viewers to notice.

  • http://www.stayathomemum.com.au/ Stay at Home Mum

    Absolutely loved this podcast – Holly you are amazing!! I see many similarities between your page and mine, but you have given me a few things to try to get our Talking About stats firing! Fabulous thank you!

  • http://www.HypoGal.com Lisa HypoGal

    Terrific Info l Love the selfie tip- thanks #HypoGal

  • http://www.launchgrowjoy.com/ Andreea

    wow, what a great interview! thanks for sharing so many great tips…

  • Kristy Henry

    This was one my my most favorite sme shows! Such a great interview and I love how ‘REAL’ it was! You are able to really relate to Holly.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Glad you found it useful :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Glad you enjoyed it!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    For sure Joan, I fully agree that engagement is important.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Andrea

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    I read your mind Kristy :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Lisa

  • Kristy Henry

    I think what I was surprised to hear is someone finally saying ‘Organic reach isn’t completely dead’ but you just have to work at it and learn what your audience wants! Which is different than the ‘organic reach is dead. Start paying.’ Which is somewhat true, but this is an alternative that takes some hard work, but is worth it. Thanks so much for this interview. It was a breathe of fresh air.

  • http://www.katharina-lewald.de/ Katharina Lewald

    I often have the feeling that Facebook works really good if you can share great pictures, e.g. of your products or pictures illustrating your blog post’s topic. But what if you don’t have a physical product to sell, let’s say you want to market a service? This is why Facebook marketing starts to get me very frustrated. I like Holly’s tips and they are great, but they definitely don’t work for every business, blog or website (as you already mentioned, Holly). Does anybody have tips for Facebook marketing or social media marketing in general for the case I can’t put great visuals and product photos in the frontline?

  • http://nailpolishsociety.blogspot.com/ Nail Polish Society

    I don’t know how much these tips can apply to my page’s demographic, but I will definitely do some experimenting! Thanks for all the advice.

  • http://rosebakes.com/ Rose Atwater

    How do you schedule posts from other pages? I thought it was bad to download and re-upload a photo from someone else’s Facebook page? My understanding was the proper etiquette is to simply use the “share” function under someone else’s photo… but you can’t schedule a “share” can you? If so, I’d love to learn how!!

  • Pingback: The First Glimmer of Hope for Organic Facebook Reach - Pro Blog School

  • http://provingo.com/ Justin Young

    Great message. I learned so much. Love the bit about controversy. Thank you Holly!







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