How We Doubled Our Facebook Fans and Raised Money for the Gulf Recovery Effort

10 days ago, the Matrix Group Facebook fan page had 280 fans.  As of tonight, we have 576 fans, more than double our starting number. How did we do it?  We launched a campaign and created an incentive for people to “Like” us.

The Background

Matrix Group has had a Facebook fan page for a couple of years now and we had been slowly building up our fan base. We did all the usual things to generate new fans: we let our customers know about our Facebook page, we linked to it from our Web site and blog, we asked staff to invite their friends to “like” us, we included the link in staff e-mail signatures, and we asked our Twitter followers to fan us.

I had recently read an article about how the Weekly World News got to 40,310 fans in 4 days (up from 3,244 fans!) and got inspired to launch our own campaign.  Weekly World News offered an exclusive video, they changed their ad daily, they did A/B testing on their ads and they leveraged their huge user base.  But what kind of incentive could we offer?  Unlike Snapfish, the photo printing site, which recently offered a coupon for a free 8 x 10 photo collage for “liking” its fan page, Matrix Group doesn’t have products to offer.  And we don’t have a customer base of tens or hundreds of thousands of people.

The Campaign

We decided to use good, old-fashioned corporate philanthropy to incentivize people to “like” us.  The campaign was incredibly simple:  we would donate $10 to a specific charity for every new fan we got between June 21 and June 30.  We selected the National Park Foundation’s (NPF) Disaster Recovery Fund in the Gulf to be recipient of our campaign.  NPF is a Matrix Group client and the entire Matrix Group staff, like the rest of the country, is upset about the Gulf oil spill.  Selecting this fund only made sense for us.  BTW, we put a time limit on the campaign because we know that people are more likely to act when they have a deadline; hence the June 30 end date for the campaign.

We promoted the heck out of the campaign over the past 10 days:

  • We posted regular updates to our Facebook fan page
  • We tweeted regularly about the campaign
  • We asked our staff and friends to update their Facebook and Twitter pages
  • We actively asked for retweets
  • NPF promoted the campaign to its Facebook followers
  • We promoted the campaign on our Web site

The end result is that we’ve exceeded our goal of 500 fans and we’ve raised nearly $3,000 for a good cause. BTW, in case you’re interested, funds raised by the NPF Disaster Recovery Fund until September 1st will go to National Park Service efforts in the Gulf Coast region including park enhancements, education and environmental monitoring.  No funds will go towards mitigating BP’s responsibilities.

How about you?  What are you dong to generate fans for your Facebook page?  What kind of campaigns have you launched?  And with what results?  Please share your experiences!

2 thoughts on “How We Doubled Our Facebook Fans and Raised Money for the Gulf Recovery Effort

  1. I definitely “LIKE” this.

    This has been a great tool for fundraising on facebook and everyone at NPF is grateful to have been the beneficiary of this promotion. I feel that it success depends largely on the fan count in the post when you tag them on facebook and hopefully facebook will maintain this feature for future fundraisers!

    For example:
    Join Matrix Group and help a park now!

    Technology Product / Service: 599 people like this.

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