In this article, you will learn:
- How to increase followers on VK.com (Vkontakte) fanpage or group
- What are the additional advertising services that can help you get more followers
- What are the pros and cons of each of these methods
As you probably know, Facebook for many reasons did not manage to become a leading social media in the Russian-speaking internet. VK, or Vkontakte, is the leader by number of users in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, and is one of the most visited sites in the Runet. Many Western companies, brands, film and music stars have realised the potential of VK and use it to communicate with their Russian-speaking customers and fans.
Let’s take a look at the methods of how to promote a fanpage and increase the number of your followers on VK.com.
1. Add VK widgets on your website
First, start with attracting users that already know you — your website visitors. Add the VK button on your website, next to the icons of other social networks. You can dowload logo in high resolution here .
Add a button for sharing on VK. Most of the plugins already support sharing in Russian social media. I use Shareaholic for WordPress.
Add a widget of your fanpage. You can configure it here.
Advantages – it’s free. Brings you first subscribers, builds your Russian customers loyalty.
No disadvantages, I guess.
2. Start VK.com Targeted Ads Campaign
Advertising on VK.com (check out my guide to VK advertising) using targeted ads is one of the most effective way to promote your group, fanpage or website. The same as on Facebook. It is available in your Ads panel: https://vk.com/ads. You may choose a pay per click option or pay per 1000 impressions.
Definite advantage is a flexible configuration. Flexibility allows you to show your ads to a specific target group. There are interesting custom settings, for example, showing ads to users who have a birthday tomorrow. Or the travelers, which VK.com recognizes if they log in from other countries.
Disadvantage is high CPC in large cities, like St. Petersburg and Moscow, where it may be up to 50 rubles and higher. So the cost of one subscriber becomes too expensive. However, it should be emphasized that high CPC only apply to the most popular and competitive topics. To check average CPC, you can use the ads creator, which can help you create a forecast for your campaign. But I recommend you to divide in half the suggested CPC , that you see on your ads creator panel. The truth is that VK likes to show you higher suggested CPC than it is in reality.
3. Exchange free posts with other fanpages
When your fanpage or group reaches a certain number of followers, you can try to exchange posts with other fanpages in your niche (not necessarily your competitors). The main thing is proper selection of pages to exchange posts with. You should look for a fanpage on the same level of followers and activity, and the cooperation should be beneficial to both parties.
Advantage – it’s free.
Disadvantage – there may be no fanpage or group that want to exchange posts with yours.
4. Start a retargeting campaign
I recently wrote an article about how to gather data about your customers from Russia. It describes the process of collecting so-called retargeting groups, which is the list of VK users, that have visited your website. When you’ve got a retargeting group you can run an advertising campaign like this: if a user is not your follower, you show him your fanpage ad.
Advantages – users who have already seen your website are more likely to react to your ad. So your CPC will be lower.
Disadvantages – if you have a small website traffic, the effect of this advertising will be very weak.
5. Invite friends to follow your fanpage
Method is used mostly by beginners on VK.com. You create your personal (or fake) account and send friend requests to people from your target group (for example, followers of your competitor’s fanpage). When they accept the request, you can invite them to your fanpage.
Advantage – it’s free. You know exactly who you’re inviting.
Disadvantage – private accounts often send out spam, so it can provoke VK moderators to ban your account too. This method requires a lot of time and effort.
6. Create additional non-commercial fanpage
This means to create and promote an additional fanpage that does not relate directly to your business, but is focused on its main topic. For example, if you sell baby products, you can create a group “Parents and Children”, which will discuss important issues, but you don’t offer to purchase your products. Create useful content for your audience, and then recommend your products in appropriate moment.
Advantage – cheaper then promotion of the commercial fanpage. If you’re able to create useful and entertaining content, your followers number will grow naturally. You can gather your target audience in one place, and then offer them your products regularly.
Disadvantage – it’s a slow and difficult process. The method does not work in all branches.
7. Buy a fanpage or group
If you don’t have time to promote a fanpage from zero, then in some situations it makes sense to buy a fanpage. It needs to match your topic or branch and be active (have new posts, comments, likes etc.). You can look for a VK fanpage or group sellers here.
Advantage is time savings.
Disadvantage – high risk. Selling fanpages is officially forbidden , because it is the property of VK.com company according to their terms of service. Besides that, there are a lot of scammers on the market who can leave you without money and without fanpage :)
8. Buy posts on other fanpages and groups
A lot of fanpages put promoted posts on their newsfeed. Price can reach up to 8000 rubles, and depends mostly on the number of subscribers and type of audience that it has. Average price is in the range of 1000-3000 RUB. Usually a post is placed for an hour and goes down after more posts are being shared. Next day your post is usually being removed. Sometimes fanpage owners also sell advertising in albums with photos and videos. All the details you can discuss with the owner.
There are three options of buying posts on VK fanpages:
- through the official tool which is called Paid Post Exchange
- through unofficial exchange service Sociate.ru
- contacting directly with the owner of the fanpage. Most of the popular fanpages sell advertising, so if you write a PM, they’ll give you all the details.
Each option has its pros and cons, but I recommend you to try Paid Post Exchange, because there you can pay with PayPal or VISA/MasterCard, and the last option, because it’s almost always cheaper.
The undoubted advantage is the low price for a click, about 0,2–0,3 RUB, depending on how attractive is your post.
Disadvantage – no targeting. It means it’s difficult to use this method to promote a fanpage in a small niche, because the amount of fanpages where you can find your audience is just small. But if a company operates in a wide geographic area and in popular branches (retail, fashion, cars, etc.), this is one of the most profitable ways of advertising on VK and gaining more followers.
9. Buy posts on users’ profiles
There are specific platforms where you can find bloggers or ordinary users who can put your promotional post on their profile. Actually, they can also like your post, comment, share, tag friends on photos, etc. You can buy such posts on Blogun.ru and Forumok.com.
Advantage is low price for a newbie version of buzz marketing.
Disadvantage – there are very few active and valuable profiles. Beware of accounts that have fake activity . This method gives small traffic compared with the other. Cooperation with users takes time.
10. Get high position on VK.com search results
I should write an additional article on this topic. In general, this method is to put your fanpage at the first place of the inner search results on VK.com for a certain query. Of course, query should be as popular as possible.
Advantage – if you’re lucky, you’ll get new visitors on a regular basis.
Disadvantage – no one knows which keywords are the most popular. VK.com does not give access to such statistics.
11. Learn how to use viral marketing
Create content that is actively spreading. Users see it in the newsfeed and if they are interested in your topic or business, they follow your fanpage. Theoretically, the creators of social media thought that this is exactly how a fanpage needs to evolve. However, as practice shows, it’s not so simple. Earlier it was possible to grow a fanpage up to 15,000 subscribers, and bring more and more followers using good content. But now fanpage grows very slowly even at 50-80 thousand of followers.
Advantage – it’s free.
Disadvantage – in most cases it is a long process. You must create excellent content.
12. Make a contest
This method works well for commercial fanpages. There are many different options for promotions and contests. In the same way as on Facebook, the main idea is to give a reward (your product, for example) for a random person in exchange for certain action (following your fanpage, sharing a post, etc.). The more valuable the prize, the more people you can attract.
Advantage – there is an “action” on your fanpage, it comes alive. Cost of a subscriber may be less than in case of targeted ads.
Disadvantage – quite often you may attract people who are not exactly from your target group. They are only interested in the reward and leave your fanpage after the contest is finished.
13. Make a free webinar
If your company has professionals with deep experience, which can bring value to your potential customers, then you can hold them for a free webinar. The only condition for participation should be joining your fanpage or group and providing contact information. By posting some promotional messages in large fanpages or sending a newsletter with invitation to your webinar you can quickly gather new users from your target group. For example, if you advertise a travel services, you can make a free webinar on lifehacks while traveling in a specific country.
Advantage – you attract people from your target audience. They’ve already been in contact with you. They’ve experienced your professionalism and know where to find you to buy your product.
Disadvantage – you need to have a great specialist who can make an interesting webinar. Does not work in all industries.
14. Do some SEO magic to get high rankings in Yandex and Google
After search engines started to index social media, some fanpages began to appear on Yandex and Google search results. Link network Sape.ru repeatedly published reports, that many SEOs purchase links providing to VK.com fanpages just to get higher ranking .
Unfortunately, links will not do all the work – you need to continuously improve your fanpage and increase its activity. But it’s worth it, because nowadays you can find fanpages on Yandex and Google search results even for high competitive commercial queries.
Advantages – you can get a lot of valuable traffic from search engines.
Disadvantage – long-term work on your fanpage content, increasing user activity. Instability of search engine algorithms and, therefore, positions of your fanpage in the search results.
15. Your last chance – Spam
You can invite people to groups using personal messages. Second option is posting links on the comments — manually or using specific software.
This is another method, which is popular among VK newbies. But if the point 11 (inviting friends to follow fanpage) works somehow, this method is a pure spam. Ban of your account in this case is only a matter of time.
Disadvantage – it’s spam.
These are the ways to gain more followers on VK.com. As you may have noticed, some of them are illegal (like buying a fanpage, or spam), and I definitely do not recommend you to use them. I described them just for your information.
Do you know any other methods? Please, share your experience or ask a question in comments below.