social media how toWant to increase the size of your Facebook community?

Want to avoid costly Facebook ads?

When you develop relationships with others in your niche and experts, your Facebook page can easily grow without advertising.

In this article you’ll discover three ways to grow your Facebook fan base without ads.

grow facebook fans without budget

Discover how to grow your Facebook fans without a budget.

Listen to this article:

#1: Guest Curate for Other Pages

Curating content for other pages is a great way to network with other people in your industry, while increasing your own visibility and reach.

Choose 5 to 10 successful Facebook pages run by companies offering services complementary to yours, since they share your target audience. Your expertise will offer real value to their fans. Then offer to curate content for them once a week in return for credit on their page.

For example, the CEO of a company was a speaker at a marketing and advertising course, which spent a lot of money promoting its own Facebook page. Every week on “Mobile Wednesday,” this CEO would be the guest curator on the course’s page, and share interesting articles on the topic.

At the end of each update there was a shout-out: “Posts today are curated by OnTheMob.” They also included a link to the company’s Facebook page. The result of this simple technique was a few thousand new Facebook likes a month.

curate similar content image

Curate content for similar pages to get noticed by their fans.

To get started, simply send each of your targeted Facebook pages a message offering to curate content under a specific category for them once a week. You can even do this once or twice a month. However, the more exposure, the quicker the results. The pages you approach should appreciate the opportunity to mix up their content and take some of the pressure off from posting.

Remember, the pages you reach out to need to be complementary, not competition. Any direct competitors likely won’t allow you to use their Facebook page to promote yourself.

#2: Seek Out Promotional Swaps

Search for and list about 30 to 40 Facebook pages for products, services or communities that are complementary to yours. As above, these complementary pages likely share your target audience and have roughly the same number of fans.

Here’s the Excel spreadsheet template I use to track partnerships.

excel spreadsheet template image

Make a list of Facebook pages that share your target audience. Track responses on a spreadsheet.

Once you have a good list, send each page a message, explaining a bit about yourself and your Facebook status (such as page likes and engagement). Offer to mention their Facebook page to your fans on a Facebook update if they mention yours in return.

Here is a sample intro message to adapt for your promotional outreach.

Hi (Name of page admin),

How are you?

My name is (your name) and I’m (name of brand)’s Facebook page manager. I’d love for you to consider a promotional partnership with our page. I think we can both benefit.

Our company’s Facebook page targets mostly (target audience including: gender, age, occupation, interest), and we post mostly content about (type of content you post).

We have (number of fans) with decent engagement rates. You can check our page out here (URL of your Facebook page).

It looks like we target a similar audience with different products.

Would you consider doing a promo swap between our pages? You would mention us to your fans and we’ll mention you. That way we can both get some fresh likes from real people in our target audience.

Please let me know if this seems interesting to you. Send me a message so we can clarify the rest of the details.

Thanks for your consideration.

(Your Name)

Once you reach an agreement, share your cross-promotional posts. Track results so you know which partners are good to work with in the future.

promotional swap image

Promotional swaps between pages are an effective way to get new fans.

I first heard about this technique from Neil Patel on a content hackathon. He praised this technique as the one he used to grow his Facebook page for his new experiment, Nutritious Living. Using this concept, pages have received great initial results: 1,200 new likes in less than two weeks.

Note: For this concept to work, it’s good to start with 3,000 to 4,000 likes on your Facebook page. If your page is still light on fans, you may want to reach out to your email list or consider doing an inexpensive Facebook advertising campaign to increase your fan base.

#3: Conduct Q&A Sessions With a Twist

Once Facebook introduced the Reply option, conducting a Q&A became a little more interesting.

Invite different experts in your field to answer questions on your Facebook page and rally users to show up and ask questions in real time. Fans can ask questions and interviewees can respond inline, making the Q&A easy to follow.

q and a image shutter stock 19450945

Give your fans the opportunity to get answers to questions from experts. Image: Shutterstock.

The get the most traction for an expert interview, don’t rely solely on promoting it through status updates, although you should do that too. Create a Facebook event. It’s easier and more natural for Facebook users to share and invite friends to an event they find exciting or interesting.

First, send out a request to an expert or a celebrity in your field. Ask if he or she is interested in participating in a Facebook Q&A on your page.

Here’s a sample letter to adapt for your Q&A requests.

Subject line: Live Q and A on our Facebook Page

Hi (expert’s name),

How are you?

I’m a huge fan of (blog). I really enjoyed your article about (article topic + link). I especially liked your thoughts on (narrow topic).

I’m (name of your company)’s head of marketing, and as a part of that, I run all of the company’s content marketing and social media efforts.

As part of our Facebook strategy, we host one industry expert a month for a live Q and A at a specific time and date on our Facebook page. Our fans can participate in the event and ask their favorite experts questions to learn how to be better at what they do.

I’m reaching out to you because I would love to have you on our Facebook Q and A session next month.

There are no preparations needed on your part, and although you’re welcome to share the event, we’ll do most of the promotion. You simply need to show up on the set date and time and answer questions for 45 minutes.

What do you say?

I know you’re very busy, but we’d love it if you can make time for a quick Q and A.

(Your Name)

Once you have your guest secured, create an event and start promoting it to your fans. As part of the invite, ask people to like your Facebook page and share the event.

create public event image

Create a public event for your expert interview.

Announce the event on your Facebook page. Include a link and pin it to top of your page. For extra impact, update your page’s cover photo with a graphic of your guest and event details.

Promote the event on Facebook and other social networks, send it to your email list and promote it through relevant Facebook groups. Unless it’s your own Facebook group, check the guidelines or ask permission before posting.

Final Thoughts

While there’s no one magic way to increase the number of organic likes to your Facebook page, there are plenty of tactics you can try to grow your audience.

Just have patience and apply these techniques to your Facebook marketing plan. The fans will follow.

What do you think? How have you increased your Facebook page’s audience? What no-cost tactics have you used to increase your Facebook likes and number of Facebook fans? Please share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments.

Q & A photo from Shutterstock.
how to grow facebook fans without budget

Tips for growing your Facebook fans with no budget.

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  • Amazing tips. However, if you are only starting out then finding pages who you can swap shout outs with might be very difficult. I suggest you try out the other methods first and when you grow enough, then try the shout for shout method.

  • Roy Povarchik

    Though I would suggest you get the first 2,000 followers before trying any of this method.

    If you have a good community, getting there should be a bog problem. You can also get there with Facebook ads without spending too much.

  • What a laughable post. My personal artist page on Facebook is 110k+ likes and grows by 1k to 2k likes a week. I have a few other pages for various things and all in the 100k+ likes range. All the tips in this article are nonsense. Nobody is going to like any page unless you post content that people will engage in and SHARE! People sharing individual posts is the TOP method to grow any page. For Facebook the TOP content thats engaged with and shared are videos. 99.99% of posts on a Facebook page should be tailored in such a way to provoke a share of that post. The other 00.01% of posts can be used for Business or in my case, my music Promotion. Google me! “DJBoabSpence” Kind Regards.

  • Roy Povarchik

    I agree that the key to growing your Facebook page is having really good content.
    None of these tips will really work without having good content!

    But if you’re trying to get new people to know Facebook page, this methods will work wonders for you. Guaranteed.

  • emfluenz

    Great tips on using FB pages to the most without spending money. I liked the collaboration and partnering idea. It has a great prospect of increasing the overall reach and will help the brands involved in it. I guess having your name referred at places has a positive effect on your brand.

  • Look mate. im watching the posts on Twitter of this article. If you simply copy/paste this articles URL into Twitter search bar and click “Live” you can see and im sure your aware that every single post is by an AUTOMATED feature such as IFTTT or BUFFER or various RSS feed websites. It doesnt take a genius to work out that NO actual fans or engagement is happening here (aside from myself being the only Human interaction). All these SEO tricks are certainly NO tricks to grow REAL FANS or Costomers! All these SEO folk use Bad websites such as TWIENDS to grow and these are FAKE numbers in their networks. NO REAL FANS or CUSTOMERS.

  • Roy Povarchik

    This is why I wouldn’t recommend the same FB tips for Twitter engagement 🙂

  • Agustin Carranza

    Great post!

    In my opinion, if you are starting your FB page or a customer FB page you can use the #1 and #2 methods, but using pages with similar number of fans or slightly higher, at least to do a post exchange between your pages.

    So, I think it could be a good way to find your followers.

  • Having good content is a must but I think pretty much all of us know that. Sometimes it just isn’t enough and that’s when these tips come in to rescue.

  • It’s become really difficult to gain organic reach on FB and as such, many brands do need to advertise IMO. But some great tips here. I find that I get a good amount of engagement on my personal Facebook author page, but my business page really does struggle without boosts. People appear to be wary of connecting with brands and will only do so if there’s a good reason (such as excellent content, great Q&As).

  • Andrew Healy

    Of all the great articles that get published here this is definitely not one of them. Can I have those 5 minutes back please?!

  • Nice post!

    Thanks for Tip #3: Conduct Q and A Sessions With a Twist. It’s like a Twitter chat, except for Facebook. I’m surprised Facebook hasn’t rolled out an equivalent to Twitter chats.

    One way to increase your Facebook page’s audience is to be present. Answer messages and reply to comments. You may also may consider sharing some of the posts your audience shares on your page. I do this with the animal shelter page I manage. I share Lost and Found Pets. The community rallies to reunite pets with owners. It works!

    Regarding curating content… Share content on your page that benefits your audience. Be like Santa Claus from “Miracle on 34th Street.” If you don’t have something your customer wants, find out who does and tell your customer. You’ll be surprised how much people appreciate it that you considered their needs. In fact, it may lead to a boost in business and sales.

  • Rákóczi Piroska

    Thank you for your useful article. When I was young I could learn that journalists are always looking for topics. Your #1 tip is based on the idea that Facebook page administrators sometimes run out of ideas.

  • Some girl

    Hmm. I like the idea of partnering with another business that compliments yours. But the Q&A event? I can’t see people actually remembering or taking the initiate to show up at a certain day and time to attend this “event” or see many experts willing to host these. I’m thinking as a user here. With everyone these days being so busy (myself included) I just wouldn’t ever schedule a time to get in FB for such an event. I tend to think most people use social media the way I do which is at random spontaneous times. After all it’s entertainment, not a work schedule. Just my two cents.

  • susanne

    just wondering what curate means in this instance?

  • Roy Povarchik

    Eventually, everything comes down to having great content.
    But you also need to get as many opportunities as possible to get that content infront of your target that still doesn’t know you.

  • Roy Povarchik

    Sorry you didn’t like it.
    But kudos for reading all this text in 5 mins.

  • Roy Povarchik

    Think of it as a webinar or a tweet chat. People show up for those, or they come back later on and read the Q&A just not live.

  • Nope

    Took a look at your Facebook page…and just as expected, you have a very low engagement rate compared with the number of likes. ‘Likes’ is just a vanity metric; it’s not as important as engagement. There should be thousands of people sharing, liking, and commenting on your content, but they aren’t–because your content isn’t consistent, isn’t meaningful, and frankly isn’t very engaging. You mention here that community managers should post things people should share (most businesses wouldn’t post the kind of random stuff you post, anyway)–however, it looks like your content doesn’t get many shares. Calling this a ‘laughable’ post is a little ironic, don’t you think? 😉

  • joiejoie

    Why didn’t you find this article great? Because I found the tips awesome. Could you share the points you disagree with so those of us who are in the dark could know a little more? Thanks.

  • Marfa

    Well, you sure seem to be getting a lot of interaction with this post already 😉

  • Andrew Healy

    We run over 20 pages and have been doing it since 2009. Being frank the only way to grow pages is great content mixed in with promoting posts and ad spend. Some of the pages we run for clients have 10’s of thousands of fans and there’s no way I’d let anyone “guest curate” content on these for their own benefit. $100 a month and $5 / post will get you much more traction.

  • Pt.NandKishoreDedhan

    I Think , Primarily! Nobody would Like to Share n Engage His Hard-Earned online Reputation n Business with Us without Any Profitable Criteria of Relationship Development on Unknown Ground.

  • Lysa Miller

    These are all great tips and if you don’t have a budget, if you do have a budget and even more time, adspend plus amazing carefully created and curated content will do wonders! It also depends on your audience, so these tricks will not work for all businesses, more likely to work with B to C, B to B much harder to reach here! Thanks Roy for the article. Not cool people dissing you here.

  • Roy Povarchik

    Nothing in this posts reccomdeds that this techinques replace having great content.

    What they will help you with, is save budget

  • TerryW

    Where I see all of the activity and numbers is in facebook groups. I have a couple of fan pages but my real results come from joining groups and posting. That’s where people in niches like to hang out, as opposed to fan pages where they can only post replies or likes. If they do post to the page it goes off to the side showing less than a sentence. I can drive some traffic over to my fan pages from groups but my fan page is not where they’re going to go hang out or even check regularly. And I have no idea when I post to my fan page how many of my fans ever see that post. What good is having 10K likes, or even 1M likes if not many of them see your posts? Usually my posts don’t show reaching very many people – unless I share the post to a group, then if it’s a good post it really gets around. I’m considering starting groups. Easier to get people to join and be active.

  • himanshu bounthiyal

    Nice Post @roy_povarchik:disqus , one can use these methods to increase Facebook likes, the process might take time but it will help in getting real followers in long run. but, here I am agree with @kerrybutters:disqus as well that “it’s really become difficult to get organic reach until unless your target audience shows interest in your brand voluntarily. Also, as what Kerry said that people do not take so much interest in brand page as they are more interested in personal interaction with other profiles. If I am posting something as a personal profile, people might get engaged, but with brand page there always a restriction you can find in terms of content. Social Media is all about give and take. without doing any contest offering goodies or some prizes, there are less chances to grab people attention, until unless you are promoting some social cause.

  • Tindi Stephen

    I enjoyed the post, but the discussion that followed is more revealing. Thank you all for sharing.

  • Roy Povarchik

    I agree with almost everything you’ve said.
    Remember that getting initial attention ia just top funnel – retaining interest etc. is a dofferent topic

  • Great post and tips here Roy. I am looking forward to working with my clients and having a guest swap with related pages on Facebook. Thanks and have a thankful Thursday! 🙂

  • Leon

    What about someone like me who just started a page,how do I reach my target market without all this ‘buying of fans’ or any other tricky nonsense like that?How does one get all those likes in one week?

  • Yeah, I am agree with you, indeed, getting initial attention is just top funnel. once visitors hooked up with you content and page, you can go further asking them to share your page as well, grabbing people attention is first and crucial task in social media.

  • For me, these are very interesting tips! Thank you!

  • Andrew Healy

    Can you give us some example pages where this has been successful for you Roy?

  • Rohit Singh

    Thnx for such infos….

  • Great post and some interesting comments.

  • Andrew Healy

    Can you give us some example pages where this has been successful for you Roy?

  • Ashley Po

    This was a really informative post. I am currently interning for a start-up event planning company and I think this would be another great way to get our name out there. We have been thinking about curating content for other pages and blogs and I think this is a great blueprint to use for it.

  • gozie

    Hello ,
    over here in Africa, internet isnt free and not cheap either. here a video will take much out of your monthly subscription and people most often surf the net with their mobile. so a post on face book that is catchy and engaging will get more likes and shares than a video or even audio. By the way, you dont discredit peoples idea like that…….we have never heard of you over here and i
    guess you should know why .

  • These are all great ideas, but I’ll add a strategy that hasn’t been mentioned yet. For me the easiest way to grow your Facebook fans without spending any money is to run contests. Try out polls, quizzes, surveys, etc. at times. If you are not sure which type of update will work the best, don’t be afraid to experiment. But the most important thing to grow your Facebook fans is to post great content to your page that your followers will like, comment and want to share with their friends.

  • Or even something like Reddit’s AMAs (“Ask Me Anything”). Right now the best option on Facebook is a “Let’s chat!” post, where people reply with their questions and the host replies to the replies. Awkward, and you have to keep reloading the page.

    Good idea about “Miracle on 34th. Street”, too.

  • Roy Povarchik

    Send me your email and i’ll send over. Since these are clients pages, it’s not my decision to make 🙂

  • I like the idea of a “Let’s Chat!” post. It may be awkward, but it’s a start.

  • Andrew Healy

    Why the secrecy Roy? Surely these pages are available for all to view on Facebook. I’m thinking of pitching Michael on a post that shows how small expenditure can produce huge results, including Google Analytics with 35% of website traffic coming from social.

  • Roy Povarchik

    Basically because not all companies like to share thier growth tactica. The desciosion of exposing how they grow is thiera alone, not mine.

  • Roy, these are insanely creative ideas for Facebook! I had stopped reading this site altogether because it had gotten so blah. I saw it on Twitter via @jonmorrow – and I am SO glad I did. Seriously, thank you.

    It’s a shame the trolls came out in force for this one, but I will personally be following you very closely. SME, if you’re paying attention, more of THIS.

  • Mohamed Nour

    Great article

  • isloooboy

    I am new to the FB Page Community and right now searching for good information about “How to Increase Fan Base? Your post is exactly about the method I was looking for. Thanks for Sharing such a useful and working method. I will try all of them and will check the difference as well. Thanks Once again.

  • Adealingz Akhter

    3 simple, yet awesome techniques. Simply awesome.

  • vicky sinha

    what should be the strategy for a automobile component company? pls advice me….

  • LexesFitness

    Dang your site is coming up on all of my searches! Love it 🙂 Again, thank you!!