How Myrtle Beach Doubled Their Facebook Fans In Just 5 Months

If you live in the USA, chances are you know about Myrtle Beach, a very popular travel destination based in South Carolina. Thanks to a connection from Tammy Curry via Twitter (Social Media is a waste of time huh?), was able to get in touch with the right person.

When it comes to Facebook pages, they weren't doing bad at all necessarily. The page wasn't being updated consistently and there wasn't a ton going on, but they were averaging anywhere from 1200-1500 fans per week organically.

However, they had a goal to build it up and get it growing. Now, being that they had around 110,000 fans when we got started, there was definitely a need to build up engagement and interaction with the existing community.

Not only that, but if we could simply get a small fraction of the fans to share with their friends, we could get the page to grow more. One of the first things we did was implement a contest. In my opinion, contests are an amazing way to get traffic, fans, etc. and depending on what is given away and the value the main audience sees in it, you can do really well.

The contest was very simple and that's the keyword here: Simple. If you make things complicated and don't have a clear call to action, people will get confused or un-interested, and move on. It was set up to where all they had to do was make sure to become a fan, click a link that would share the contest on their Facebook wall, then leave a comment on the post with the link to what they shared.

Within the first week, we added over 4500 fans, an increase of almost 400%. The weeks following up to the end of the contest which lasted a month, added about the same and less than a week before the end of it, did extremely well:

After all was said and done, we were looking at nearly 30,000 fans added to the page. Not too bad from going from 1200-1500 fans/week organically.

The winner received a free 3 night stay at Barefoot Resort (travel wasn't included) and it didn't cost that much at all for Myrtle Beach. Shortly after the success of that contest, we ran another one, this time with similar results and lasting only 2 weeks.

Like I said before, contests are great but they do tend to cost money and it's not something you maybe want to be doing all the time. However, for the sake of this, it was great and worked out very well as it may in your case. Let me stress that these results are not typical and I do not promise, or claim that you can get these same results.

During the contest/s, well after they were over, and since the fans weren't exactly used to consistent updates, I wanted to make sure that we built a more active community, as well as increased the interaction. You see, for true results in Social Media, it can't be a one-sided conversation. It thrives on balanced communication, communication that both parties have open back and forth.

One of the best ways to increase interaction and engagement, is the open ended question. Still to this day, it's one of the most highly underrated tips or tactics if you will, in regards to Social Media. Here's just a small example of some open ended questions we asked:

This is just a small amount, but you basically get the idea. Because of being more engaging, the monthly active users nearly doubled as well which was up until I stopped managing the page. Really asking these open ended questions, and doing other ways of getting people active and sharing, can really go a long way.

Two ideas and frankly, not anything new or undone before, was the "Click like" and "fill in the blank" updates. Each had their own way of either getting people to share and having people be more active. Here's a couple examples of the results from that:

In fact, the second to last week of November, when we started implementing these two things, we saw the biggest jump in monthly active users, about a 14% increase. Coincidentally, it was also our largest increase in fans over one week. Here's the proof below:

All in all, over the course of 6 months of managing Myrtle Beach's Facebook page, we averaged 5225 fans per week. This is a massive jump from it originally sitting at 1200-1500 fans per week organically. And what made it all happen and grow, wasn't necessarily the contests, although they helped to give the page a jumpstart...

It Was The Interaction And Open-Ended Conversation

That's the essence of making Social Media truly work and get results. One can pitch nonstop and talk about themselves all day, but you'll just eventually upset followers or fans to the point of them leaving and not listening. Keep in mind, we also posted about hotel deals and things of that nature.

Again, that balance really comes in handy that way people can continue to appreciate you, listen to you and eventually buy from you.

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