There’s a Facebook page that has (as of the time I posted this) minimum 15,000 fans / likes.
27 out of the # friends I have on Facebook “like” a certain page.
Those 27 people know I am a fan of that page too, however…
… probably less than 10 of those people actually know that I created that page from scratch.
Back when Facebook was still in the early years, before there was “Pages”, there were “Groups”. If your favourite TV show / Movie / Band / Official brand wasn’t on there already as a public group or account, then chances are a fan would’ve created one for you, until you made an official appearance.
How do I know this? Because I did this twice for two separate groups.
THE FIRST TIME.
My favourite band close to my heart is Australian rock group Spiderbait. There was ZERO presence on social media at the time, except for a website that hadn’t been updated since 2006. As I wanted to share my love for the group to the world wide web, in 2007, I created a Facebook group based on them. At the time, I had a gripe with people calling their song “Calypso” from the movie 10 Things I Hate About You.. as “Sunshine On My Window“, so I called the group It’s CALYPSO! Not “Sunshine On My Window!” – The Spiderbait Fan Club. I added ‘tags’ to get peoples’ attention when they searched for ‘Spiderbait’ on Facebook, and slowly the group developed into a couple of hundred people. After a while, I changed the name to simply “Spiderbait” to make it easier.
While the group interacted with each other and shared stories, photos and their collections, in 2011, I was contacted by Spiderbait’s PR, firstly to congratulate me on creating a fan base on Facebook, and second – asking if she could have shared control of the group as it was already established. Without hesitation, I added her and we both shared the ability to develop the social fan base. When Facebook started to create “Pages”, the group merged with the newly created official page and the group was ‘closed’. The group is still on Facebook, but now dormant.
What did I achieve? Getting the band onto social media.
THE SECOND TIME.
I love / worship just about anything D-Generation / Working Dog related. You know, the guys behind the movies The Castle, The Dish, and TV shows The Panel, All Aussie Adventures, Thank God You’re Here, and most importantly – The Late Show.
The Late Show was a weekly live comedy show on Saturday nights broadcasting on the ABC from 1992 to 1993. It was the next step after The D-Generation Breakfast Show on EONFM, which was the step after their sketch comedy show The D-Generation.
The Late Show was a revolutionary show, and always appears in the Top 10 + lists that usually make it iconic and a cult favourite for Australian TV. Forty episodes were developed, and never repeated again. The only repeats were during out-of-survey on TV and the show from last week showing on the Sunday night. There were three VHS tapes released with Best Ofs, and then making the transition to DVD, but other than that, if you want the full episodes – best to know someone on how to.. ‘obtain’ elsewhere.
Growing up on this show, I can say it helped me curb and influence my sense of humour and meta-references. Most of the time, they’re out-of-date but someone will get it.. somewhere. With Working Dog only having an out-of-date website for years, and Twitter only being slightly new, all I had for fan access was a fan-operated website owned by my friend Kim. Kim had been running the site for years *cough* GEOCITIES! *cough* and had made the odd news article posting through the early days of WordPress. As I was working in commercial radio at the time, I had access to audio, interviews and other bits and pieces I kept in my archive. So Kim gave me author access and I started to write articles for anythingWorking Dog / D-Generation related. But, on Facebook, there was ZERO presence. So, I created a Group page a la Spiderbait story above. A few friends controlled this group too, but then Facebook announced the “Pages” system. After working out the kinks, I eventually created The Late Show Facebook fan page.
This page originally started with a few friends and others and the “Likes” were around the low hundred mark. Things like status posts of quotes were the main content. But before you know it, the page grew to a few thousand. So more content was generated – from well known quotes, to random iconic images of scenes from the show, and news articles. Once YouTube videos started to pop up, those were posted too. I kept the content related to the commercially available DVD releases so it was familiar to the audience. Fans were also quoting the scenes and contributing, such as photos and signed merchandise from the cast.
Then the Memes started to appear. From the stock standard Meme Generator sites out there, I’d take an image and put the Impact font on it – as one simply does not neglect the Impact font in a Meme. However, I realized the page was becoming more and more popular (growing into 8000+ likes), I made my own screen shot quotes and tried to make them topical to what was happening around that time. A prime example is this Meme I created for Australia Day:
The two characters are Neville and Gavin Oz, aka The Oz Brothers (played by Santo Cilauro and Rob Sitch). In their first appearance in Season Two of the show, they brought the house down with an iconic sketch. Gav (Sitch) returns home from the shop, disappointed. Neville (Cilauro) asks what’s wrong. The rest… well… you can view it here:
If you notice at the 2m 23s mark, the whole “This country’s stuffed!” part happens. For the fans, it’s a very well-known phrase from the show. Even though the context is about cricketers not getting their dues, the quote can be used in a different way – such as Australia Day. So I took screen shots of the footage, opened Photoshop and used font that is similar to the title of the show, quoted the scene, and posted it on Facebook and the Twitter account (which is@TLSChampagne). The result? Over 1000 shares in a day and over 1000 likes.
Even on the Twitter account I created, I post the majority of images / video / quotes from Facebook on the feed. However, to make sure more people follow the Facebook page and Twitter account separately, I randomly make some posts ‘exclusive’ to Twitter or Facebook (Eg. Posting one item on Twitter only). This way, it keeps the follower active on both accounts.
At one stage, the accounts got so many followers, Working Dog hadn’t even shown themselves on social media. I contacted them to offer them to take over the accounts, but they were happy for me to continue the accounts as they had been watching what I had been publishing. The accounts are that popular now, even though I have clearly marked them as ‘fan operated’ pages, many people think it’s actually the Working Dog team. It’s that strong of an online friendship, we follow each other and interact on a regular basis via tags, Tweets and other ways. As a thank you, they even invited myself to a filming of their show Have You Been Paying Attention? and Santo, Sam & Ed to meet the crew and for a chat.
At this present time, there are 15,074 likes on Facebook, and 2,137 followers on Twitter. Not one dollar was spent on Facebook’s advertising system. Everything was grown organically by posting content. I even branched out further by writing articles based on fan ideas, such as “where’s Piffy The Bellringer?” “Remember Martin/Molloy?” (which inspired another radio industry website to write an article based on the anniversary) and even got #Bargearse trending in Australia on Twitter for the late Lucky Grills’ birthday.’
What classes did I study to know all this?
Nothing. Everything is self-taught.
So, if I could get two well-known brands on social media, imagine what I could do for you!
If you want to read more articles I’ve written based on The D-Generation / Working Dog – head to ChampagneComedy.com