Dennis Yu

Silly! Facebook is like a garden, not a supermarket

Scott Rawcliffe is a fitness instructor who also coaches other fitness pros.
His content is solid, posting a couple of times a day with a strong mix of photos, motivational quotes, and interesting tidbits.

His reach was usually under 100 people (the number of people who see his posts) and he got only a handful of interactions.

So as many businesses do, he boosted a post here and there, spiking reach as high as 5,000.


But without keeping an “always on” strategy to develop lightweight engagement over time, the page loses momentum. It’s on, then off.

And the posts that businesses typically promote are promoting immediate sign-up.

These conversion-only, heavy sales posts typically get low engagement, in this case, none.  Small businesses get frustrated with Facebook, claiming that it’s not doesn’t drive sales.

The click-through rates on these ads are abysmal.

A low CTR (click-through rate) means a high cost per click, often over $3 per click. That’s why you must micro-target your audience to just a few thousand people. You don’t have the budget of a soap manufacturer to reach millions.

The lack of micro-targeting meant he wasn’t hitting exactly the right audience, so he was getting only a handful of LCS (likes, comments, and shares). In this case, only 9.


People see Facebook as a supermarket. Go to the cash register, pay for your vegetables, and immediately receive it.  Google AdWords is like this.

But Facebook is actually a garden, you plant seeds and nurture the plants, until eventually you harvest them.  It takes time, but the net result is an ongoing bounty of delicious, inexpensive produce right in your backyard.

Enter the strategy of audience, engagement, and conversion.

  • Audience: get your posts seen in the newsfeed by exactly those you want to reach, but wouldn’t get organically, mostly non-fans.  Yes, you must pay to get your posts into their newsfeed. If you have a few thousand fans, you can use friend-of-fan targeting to give social context to your posts (Justin Lafferty likes this). If you don’t have many fans but have a few dozen good posts, you can run page-like stories to get more fans. When users become fans, they automatically move into the engagement campaign.
  • Engagement: This is the workhorse of your Facebook amplification strategy, to make sure your fans are seeing your messages. You’re not making special ads here, just paying to make sure your organic posts show up.  You’re running sponsored stories to amplify the word-of-mouth effect, to let your target audience know when their friends have been engaging with your content.
  • Conversion:  Now you’re targeting fans with your offers. You wouldn’t propose to a total stranger, so why not show some tact on Facebook by selling only to folks you’ve warmed up and gotten to develop a relationship with?

Paul Adams, a product manager at Facebook, calls this lightweight interaction over time.

It’s about building relationships, much like the dating or gardening analogy.


So our friend Scott implemented this strategy of Audience, Engagement, and Conversion.

He’s spending $3 a day on his audience campaign and $3 a day on engagement campaign.

His click-through rates are literally 100 times better, as high as 10%.
Being in the newsfeed, as opposed to the right-hand side also helps.

And by having one ad that promotes the most recent post (the dark orange slice on top of each light orange bar– sorry that it’s hard to see), he’s building momentum.

And it’s costing him $6 a day.


Likes, comments, and shares are consistently trending up, even though people are spending less time on Facebook during the holidays (at least most of us) and he’s spending less on ads than before.

He’s got 125 PTAT (people talking about this) on a base of 320 fans.
In other words, his active user base is 39% of his fan base, it’s a 39% engagement rate.
Most fan pages are at a couple of percent at best.

Provided that he continues to post 2-3 times a day with interesting non-promotional content, he’ll keep building up awareness in his community. Over the long run, as his name gets out there, he’s generating more business via Google, email marketing, Facebook, and referral.

Are you watering your garden and patiently waiting for your plants to grow?
Have you implemented the AUDIENCE, ENGAGEMENT, and CONVERSION strategy yet?


Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads. He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations. You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel. You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.
I'm a member of Blitzmetrics Academy and a friend of Dennis to boot. Not only is Dennis highly intelligent and full of great and creative ideas, he's also incredibly generous with both his knowledge and his time. Success couldn't come to a better guy. Thank you for all that you do for the world, Dennis! 🙏

Michael Pacheco


Thanks 🙏 for being shining light in this industry. Love what your building for works overseas too network for jobs so innovative. Dennis helped me navigate having bad experiences with marketing agencies and doing dollar a day marketing which has helped my personal brand tremendously. Highly recommend.

Eric Skeldon

Founder at Kingdom Broker

Working with Dennis has been a delightful experience. After meeting him in 2015 I got to collaborate with him on countless occasions. His understanding for state-of-the-art marketing, his implementation, and his leadership put him into the top 0.01% of marketers and mentors.

Jan Koch

Ihr kompetenter Partner für innovative KI-Strategien.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dennis for my podcast in 2021 and since then we have maintained a friendship that grows with each interaction. I have seen Dennis' devotion to his friends and clients firsthand, and our conversations often result in us talking about how we can provide more value to the people around us. He is someone whom I can ask questions on a technical level, and look to on a personal level. If you have any hesitancy about hiring him, get over yourself and do it!

Isaac Mashman

Help scaling personal brands.

Geez, where do I start recommending Dennis? First, he is an absolutely brilliant marketer who understands where marketing is today and where it's going tomorrow. He also has an incredible passion for the International Worker community. The lessons he has taught me from his almost 20 years of experience hiring International Workers have been immense. Most importantly though. Dennis Yu is someone who wants the absolute best for you and is willing to tell you the truth. Dennis sat with me at a point in my business where I was floundering but did not want to admit it. He asked some very straight forward questions to get me to admit my issues, highlighted the issues, and then helped me create a roadmap to success.

Atiba de Souza

International Keynote Speaker | Video Content Superman | Superconnector |

Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will notr regret Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will not regret

Nixon Lee

The PR Whisperer

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