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How a Page about Deer Has Exploded to 500k Fans with NO Facebook Ad Spend!

deer-crossingOver the years I’ve seen pages go “viral” and had some relative success with doing so with pages on my own.

But that was all before the pesky Facebook page algorithm made things harder.

Now when I see a page grow like crazy it’s typically due to a large Facebook Ad spend.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But is it possible in late 2013 to grow a Facebook page to half a million fans and not spend a dime on ads?

The answer simply is YES!

A Page about Deer Goes Viral

Recently a small marketing firm named Maxima Media moved to my small town. The guys in the company had a few clients in the hunting industry nearby and wanted a place to setup camp and enjoy the outdoors.

And Gatesville, Tx is a perfect location for that. We’re close enough to the big cities, but tucked away near the Hill country with lots of open space and wildlife.

Plus the cost of living is ridiculously low!

I stumbled upon these guys by accident and to my surprise they had been long time readers of my blog posts and had implemented many of the words of advice I’ve put on this blog.

I’d call them “fans” of mine, but that just seems creepy.

collin cottrell

I got to talking to them about the same time they started a page called “Whitetail Overload“.

The guys main niche has been doing marketing for those in the hunting industry and they have a passion for wildlife and hunting.

They started the page just to talk about whitetail deer and within a quick period of time the page literally exploded.

I sat down with the owner of Maxima Media, Collin Cottrell, and picked his brain a little bit about the growth of the page.

Instant Growth

The page was started on August 1, 2013 and has quickly grown to just under 500,000 Likes — by the time you read this it will be over 500k I’m sure.

whitetailoverload

To really get the page started the guys drove fan traffic from a few other hunting related pages they run — none with this size of fan base.

We started the page by doing some different Promos/Giveaways… to get the whitetail hunting fans excited about joining our page. Then we mixed in creative and unique engaging content… to make sure that the fans would convert into true Whitetail Overload fans.

At the same time they reached out to other hunting related pages to cross promote one another with giveaways and etc.

The growth sky rocketed!

Posting Strategy is the Key to Fan Growth

Finding and Creating creative content to engage the average whitetail deer hunting enthusiast is their main goal.

We started out by posting about once every 3-4 hours during the day… now we post about once every 1-2 hours. The purpose of each post is to get high engagement but also educate and entertain the hunting fans.

They mainly post photo updates that they either find or create in house, most either being humorous or highly targeted for their audience of avid deer hunters:

And those photos posts are:

  • Branded
  • Relevant
  • Eye Appealing

You’ll notice on the page that basically every post is an image related post and the engagement is very good.

They typically don’t post text only updates and rarely post pure link posts.

While my opinion is link posts drive more traffic than an image with a link for their purposes the interaction on the post has been more important than the traffic.

Currently they are in more of a “growth” stage, trying to build the fan page to around 500,000+.

Monetizing a Page about DeerĀ 

So most of you will likely ask “Why run a page about deer if you aren’t going to make money from it?”

And your question is valid.

Currently the guys are leveraging the high engagement on their page by offering custom t-shirts to their fans:

whitetail deer shirt

They will typically offer up a new limited edition design about every 2 weeks through a site where they don’t even have to create the shirt themselves!

While I can’t go into details on the dollar amounts they are making, the income is significant and allowing them to invest in other areas of their business.

The reason this is so successful for their page is the fans are prime customers for t-shirts, especially those types of shirts that are unique and a bit edgy.

And the guys have been smart enough to brand the shirts with their own logo — thus creating an army of fans around the globe!

In addition to just selling shirts they are also leveraging the page for their marketing clients by posting about giveaways, new products and etc. Such as the example below:

By having such a large following on this page they are able to send lots of traffic to their client’s pages, giving them more Likes and thus more income for their client.

It’s a win-win situation.

Their fans are interested in the products and their clients are excited about the growth.

Moving forward the guys will be launching a website related to the Facebook page and perhaps even a membership site, blog, vlog, and podcast.

They are currently weighing their options.

What Can You Apply To Your Page?

Maybe talking about deer isn’t your passion, that’s fine.

But there are a few key takeaways I want you to focus on that anyone can do for their own page:

  1. Solid and consistent branding
  2. Quality images
  3. Post relevant content thatĀ is hyper targeted to your ideal fan
  4. Leverage similar pages for fast results and fan crossover
  5. Promote pages of clients or others that your fans will be interested in
  6. Ensure the voice of the page is similar to your ideal fan
  7. Monetize the page in creative ways, while ensuring the integrity of the page