One of our customers was recently feeling down because two of his competitors are planning to IPO and their advertising budgets have skyrocketed to a level that my client isn’t able to match.

He asked, “How do I compete for market share against companies that are now spending north of $100,000 per month on ads when my budget is only $20,000 per month?”

My answer is that it’s not the amount of money you spend but how you use it.

Anyone can throw cash into Google AdWords and Facebook Ads but that doesn’t mean that those ads will generate business with a strong return on investment.

I conducted an analysis using Fanpage Karma to see how my client’s competitors were doing and what I learned was very interesting. Over the last six months both competitors had put significant money into their Facebook ad campaigns to grow their Page size. What they failed to do was engage that audience once they Liked the page.

fanpage karmaIn the graphs above my client represents the pink line and bar. While their audience isn’t nearly as large as the competitor company represented by the yellow-green bar, their on-page engagement is much better.

You can see that the pink line representing my client has been ever increasing whereas the yellow-green line has pretty much stayed at zero engagement.

Reviewing this information showed me that there was an opportunity to go after yellow-green’s community. Those were people who Liked the page because they were interested in receiving information about services from the yellow-green company, but yellow-green failed to deliver anything worthwhile to them indicated by the low engagement.

This is a clear example of large companies spending money on ad campaigns with no conversion strategy in place.

What’s the point of having 100,000 Likes on Facebook if none of those people engage with your posts, click-through on your links or convert into customers on your website? There is no point. It’s a waste of money to run ad campaigns to bring your target audience to you without having a strategy in place to turn those Likes into customers.

Upon discovery of yellow-green’s Facebook failures, I advised my client to begin running a Facebook ad campaign specifically targeting yellow-green’s page. The competitor had already paid to vette the audience and find people interested in their services, now my client just needed to run a fairly low cost campaign to steal those people away.

Here’s exactly how we did it and how you can too…

1) Setup a Facebook ad campaign targeting competitor pages.

The first step was to set up a new Facebook ad campaign to increase the number of Likes for my client’s page.


When setting the targeting parameters for the ad campaign, I simply had my client put their competitor’s names into the Interests section. For example, if you were Burger King you might target McDonalds.


This simple targeting option will allow you to target your ad to everyone who Likes the Facebook Page of your competitor(s). Be sure to write very compelling Facebook ad copy to grab the interest of your audience. As you scale your advertising budget I also recommend you to start testing your Facebook Ads to maximize your ROI.

2) Use your posts to nurture your competitor’s community and earn their trust.

My client saw immediate results once he launched his competitor campaign. The audience he was targeting was still hungry for the help that they had hoped to receive from the other company.

I advised my client to begin posting to the Facebook page with information and links back to his site. This step is key because you want to earn trust with your new audience by posting educational information for them and at the same time you need to get them off of Facebook and onto your site where you can really sell them.

3) Boost your posts to increase your reach.

Once you start posting high quality content to your page you must boost your posts. Facebook only allows you to reach about 6% of your total audience for free. If you want to ensure that your new audience members see your messages you absolutely must boost your posts to increase your reach.

For example, here are the results for a post that my client did not boost:


Only 85 people were reached by this post and there were no Likes, Comments or Shares. Absolutely 0 engagement, just like the competitors who were failing to engage their audiences.

On the other hand, here is a post that my client boosted with just $25:


Look at that increase in reach, likes and shares! While this information isn’t reflected in the screenshot, I also happen to know that this post resulted in 3 new leads for my client!

Running a Facebook Page without boosting your content is just not a smart business strategy. I always ask people why would you work hard to get people to Like your page and then never do anything to ensure your message reaches them?

There really is no point.

BONUS: Try a lead generation Facebook ad campaign to target your competitor’s Facebook pages.

If you begin seeing good success with your competitor campaign – meaning that you start receiving a lot of Likes at a low cost you should begin thinking about running a direct lead generation campaign on Facebook.

Being able to obtain Likes is a great way to grow your community with the right people, but requires you to take a lead nurturing approach through posting daily content on your page.

A direct lead generation campaign – meaning using the same competitive targeting – but sending people directly to your website and bypassing your Facebook page could help you skip the nurturing process.

Keep in mind that this only works well if you have an excellent landing page. The design should be conversion friendly and the copy needs to be very compelling.

Final Thoughts

I know that many business owner’s feel it’s annoying that Facebook has become a pay-to-play platform for businesses, but I like to remind clients that this change actually gives them the edge.

Companies who aren’t serious about their social marketing will not pay for Facebook ad campaigns giving those companies who are smart about their social media channels a serious edge. It’s all about viewing Facebook as a real business channel rather than just a place you go to play games or chat with friends.