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How To Prevent Spreadsheets Ruining Your Business

Digital expert, top 10% influencer with over 10 years’ senior management experience - including managing projects and teams, and growing companies in the Irish, international and online marketplaces. Co-founded one of the largest B2B blogs in the world, helped grow a B2B social media to over 1,000,000 members, created the strategy for one of the most effective SME Facebook pages in the world and have grown 3 business websites (, & to in excess of a 100,000 unique visitors per month. Have consulted and worked with both corporate and SME clients on leveraging digital to drive business KPIs. Speaker at industry events, have authored several industry reports on the Digital Economy and appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Insider and other leading online and offline business publications. Specialities include: Entrepreneurship Business Development, Start-ups, Business Planning, Management, Training, Leadership, Sales Management, Sales, Sales Process, Coaching, Online Advertising, Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media Strategist, Digital Strategy, Social Media ROI, User Generated Content, Social Customer Care.

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  • Hi Sam, In what time frame do you think it’s possible to go from 0 to 20000 without a big brand-name?

  • Hi Niall,

    I have seen fan pages go from 0 – 20,000 within hours of being started. The real key is to create a fan page which people are going to want to associate themselves with or want to share with others. Their are a number of methods to speed the process up however I would say that if you create a fan page with a viral topic and you follow the correct steps the average fan page should go viral/over 20,000 members within 10 days. Then once it is viral just start feeding the members your business in a way that is related to the group and appeals to them and your away. It’s not about the brand it’s about appealing to the demographic your targetting on Facebook, once you do that it doesnt matter what your companies name is, they’ll sign up.

  • Anonymous

    For small companies with 100-200 Likes. 20,000 seems like a daunting figure. In Ireland we have 1.58 million monthly Facebook users. That is compared to the US (150 Million approx). If you are a local service based company in Ireland should you still be aiming for 20,000 likes?

  • Sam, I agree with Greg and my experience tells me it is not as simple as you suggest. For instance, I posted a photo competition before the weekend on our eventelephant facebook page:

    We are starting with a small base of 540 fans. We have posted to various music fora. It’s on our blog: we have tweeted and told our friends. Bloggertone has tweeted. The competition: Win a free camping ticket to Life2010 next weekend, will of course, only appeal to a certain demographic, not even a fraction of percentage of facebook users.
    There are no miracles in either B2B or B2B marketing and sales through Facebook.
    If you have some more real examples that more of us could relate to, that would be great.
    Many thanks

  • Anonymous

    This is still something that I am testing for small business. For the lone home business owner looking to make some cash out of facebook it is easy because you don’t need the leads to be targetted. You are never going to get 100% targetted members in your facebook page however their are some methods of getting a much higher percentage. Greg, think about what other fan groups their are which were created for your specific area? I know in Auckland here we have a group called “Auckland” and “I love Auckland” which has quite a few members. Look to partner with other fan pages which do fit into your targetted city.

    Facebook also offer 20 wall posts a day if your looking to market. I have had some good success posting wall comments that are funny with a link. Their are other ways also however I am still testing those out. Also this isnt limited to just marketing in Facebook.

    You can look at other businesses who have a following in your area and see if you can strike a deal with them. The thing is though going viral is near impossible in a local market simply because you can’t control who jumps on board and who doesnt, I would still go for 20,000 likes though because the more likes you get the more expossure you get to your potential audience.

  • Anonymous

    There are a number of other ways to get your fan page exposed online. Most of these I am just testing though. Easiest method wold be to advertise on an already viral group in your area, they never want much in return and it can boost your fan base by a long way. Also I am not talking about business groups here. That is the next step, business groups arent viral in my experience because people think there getting sold to if you do it wrong. Im talking about building a fan page with a viral topic header e.g.”Get Facebook To Add A Dislike Button” “Theres always someone who eats the last gerkin at Mcdonalds” In a local market you can make the page about stuff that only locals would know about. e.g. “Wellington Blanket Man” He is a icon to Wellingtonians here in New Zealand. Chances are only Wellington facebook members will join the fan page.

    Then once they have you can start to market your business to them over and over again and get a good amount who could benefit from your business coming over to that fan page e.g. Do you live in Wellington? Join this group if you like the sound of winning funky camping gear? (Link posted here)

    Ill post the results of some of the tests I am in the process of doing, up a little later with how I did it.

  • Greg to your question about 20,000 people being an achievable number of people to Like your Facebook page if you are an Irish based business, you will find that even some of the biggest and most well known brands in Ireland would have less than 10,000 members of their community and often they have been attracted to the Facebook Page through Facebook applications with competitions and also Facebook advertising.

    In my experience the Facebook pages that have thousands of people in their community are those who either have brands that we truly adore, are provocative or have a cause that people get behind such as the X Factor Case Study (

    It would be great if we could see a case study like Sam suggests here in Ireland.

    I do however recommend that this approach would need to be linked to an overall marketing and communications plan – I am not sure there is real business benefit in having 20,000 people in your Facebook Community and then not having a plan to engage with them.

    Isn’t it the same debate as the size of your mailing list? Would you rather have 30,000 people on your mailing list but few open rates or responses to your calls to action or a smaller yet more responsive community.

    Sam to your comment that you can post up to 20 wall posts a day, I would caution against any brand or business posting very frequently. I’ve seen some brands post several time a day and members of their Facebook Page asking them to stop posting so regularly as their are filling up their personal feeds and ultimately they may either ‘hide’ your comments or ‘Un-Like’ you.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Krishna – for you detailed words of wisdom. You comments have helped put my mind at rest. (gosh that sounds a bit too dramatic, but you know what I mean). I agree that posting updates on your FB page can irritate your “Like” community.

  • Anonymous


    I admire all your efforts here. Any knowledge you can share is welcome and valuable. Are you suggesting that a company should set up multiple Fan or “Like” pages?

  • Hi Sam,
    Is what you are referring to “sensationalism”?
    And under false pretenses, by the sound of your last comment.

    So are you saying: make a sensational heading, get 20,000 likes, and then pump your new followers with 20 updates a day about your business?
    Am I understanding this correctly?

    If I “liked” a page set up by Paddy called “Bring back the Leprechaun and his pot of gold (we need the gold)”, is it then fair for Paddy to bombard my feed with 20 updates a day about his newest invention?

    You mentioned above that the viral aspect is not about business pages but getting noticed, getting likes (followers) and then capitalizing on that?

    It reminds me of when I go to a network meeting, hand out my business card a few times, and am then receiving newsletters and special offers, because one person who I gave my card to, took that as a right to send me what they like. We all know that is not professional practice, but it happens all the time.

    Quote – “I have had some good success posting wall comments that are funny with a link.” In Ireland we tend to use twitter for the funny links. I would use Facebook pages to post links to my page, I believe that’s why people are there in the first place.
    (I am not a lover of Facebook, but recognise the value in it for certain business types.)

  • Anonymous

    Hi Elaine, Thanks for your comment.

    As far as my understanding goes there is nothing sensationalistic about it. You all are smart enough to know that the last thing you want to do to the people when they join the fan page is bombard them with status updates. I would throw in status updates that are funny and fit with the group so they like the group enough to come back then maybe about 20% of the time I will recommend or introduce them to another fan page of mine I am looking to build or the business page I want to promote. I would have to disagree with your view on Facebook in relation to Twitter. People are on Facebook to have fun and recommend things to others, it’s like an online party. So if someone finds something funny and likes it other friends jump on the band wagan. I am pretty active on Facebook and every day my friends are recommending I join a group that they have no association with because it’s just funny or something I believe in. If I like it enough then I would do the same. In my opinion right it is much more worthwhile for a business to focus on Facebook then Twitter and much of this is because of Facebook’s new API changes.

    I am going to do a casestudy for you all because it seems that no one is actively using Facebook in the ways I am trying to get accross. Would there be anything in particular you wuold like in there Elaine?

  • I take your point about the viral aspect of just hopping on the band wagon – it’s like the joke e-mails of the 90s going around, little to do with us but we think they are funny, so pass them on.

    Yes Sam, I am now intrigued by your suggested uses of facebook, you may shed light on the mystery for me. I am not aware of the new API changes, and have avoided looking into the recent privacy issues that are all over the online media.

    It does sound like a big commitment though…more so than twitter or even blogging or email marketing. Will keep an eye out here, thanks πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    PS. All “Likes” at welcome:)

  • Anonymous

    Stop wasting our time with SPAM!!!

  • Looks fab guys, great work, well done everybody πŸ™‚

  • WOW, great job!!!

    This is an excellent business resources.

    And, of course, thank you for featuring my article, delighted to be included in such an amazing author panel!

  • Thanks for putting this together! It looks really good! I posted a link to it on my blog.

  • Congrats!

    and whoever did the layout did a really great job!

  • Cheers Ivan. It was the Channelship team πŸ™‚

  • One of the best ideas ever! I’ve enjoyed the e-book and probably I will share it on my blog soon! it really worth it!

  • Hi Hesham, glad you liked it! It would be absolutely great if you share it over at thank you, Niall

  • Thanks for the ebook..reading it now πŸ™‚

  • Thanks Mani πŸ™‚

  • There are a lot of business ebooks around but this is one of the best ones that I’ve seen for a long time. Having so many different, and may I say excellent, bloggers share their experience makes it a must read for any small business owner. It will take me a little while yet to read it all thoroughly but from what I’ve seen browsing through I’ll be more than happy to pass your link on.

    Many thanks to all the contributors

  • Thank you for such a nice compliment Elizabeth, we are glad you enjoyed it!

  • Only getting around to downloading this great offering now and WOW it is another job well done. Thanks to all involved, great work!

  • Lilfame2009

    Up and coming Artist need support…help..n

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