How to Steal Your Competitor’s Facebook Fans

Update: Don’t sign up for Social Lead Freak, Facebook doesn’t approve of it as it breaks their terms of service.

steal facebook fans

Facebook isn’t just one of the most popular sites on the web. It’s also a great place to gain new customers. But when you are starting from scratch, it can be difficult to grow your Facebook audience.

So, the question is: where do you start? The easiest way to start is by stealing your competitor’s fans. If they are interested in your competitor’s products or services, why won’t they be interested in yours as well?

Download this printable cheat sheet to learn how to steal your competitor’s Facebook fans.

Here’s how you can steal your competitor’s Facebook fans:

Find out who engages on your competitor’s Fan Page

Just because your competition may have thousands of fans doesn’t mean all of those fans are engaging with the page. Facebook has an algorithm called Edgerank, which determines what content is shown in users’ News Feeds. The higher the percentage of engaged users you have – fans who comment, share, or like your wall posts, the more Facebook will show your content to other people.

Due to this, you only want fans that are active. To find out who is active on your competitor’s Fan Page, you can use Social Lead Freak. Plug in your competitor’s Fan Page, and it will pull the Facebook user IDs of all of its active members.

From there, you can set up an advertising campaign that only targets those users. This way, when you are stealing your competitor’s fans, you are only taking their active ones, which will help you gain even more Facebook traffic.

If you want to see Social Lead Freak in action, check out the video below. It will show you how it works for Facebook (as well as Google+).

Analyze your competition

In addition to using Social Lead Freak to see who your competitor’s fans are, you’ll want to analyze your competition’s Facebook activities. Let’s say, for the sake of this blog post, Hubspot was a competitor of Quick Sprout, and I was trying to attract its fans.

The first thing I would do is run its Facebook fan page URL through Fanpage Karma.

fan page overview

As you can see from the image above, the first thing you will be shown by this free tool is the basic stats of your competition’s fan page. The data covers everything from the number of fans Hubspot has to their engagement ratio.

What you have to do is start digging a bit deeper to get an understanding of the kinds of posts that are attracting these fans as well as generating their engagement. You can do this by first looking at the engagement per daytime graph.

fan page engagement

As you can see from the image above, Hubspot’s most engaging day to post is Thursday. Which means if you are going after their fans, you would also want to post heavily on Thursday as it should generate more likes, shares, comments and new fans.

You’ll also want to look at what types of posts produce the most engagement. Hubspot posts both images and links. But their image posts don’t seem to do well.

fan page post type

This should tell you to avoid posting images, assuming you are trying to attract Hubspot’s fans.

Through the post history report, you can also see what types of posts have done well.

fan page post history

From the image above, you can see the specific posts that did well and the ones that didn’t gain any traction. If you are after Hubspot’s fans, you would want to post on topics related to the ones that received high engagement. And you would want to avoid posting on topics that receive low engagement.

Similar to Social Lead Freak is Fanpage Karma. You can use it to find out who the top influencers are.

fan page top users

The cool part about the list Fanpage Karma provides is that with one click you can see the number of likes, shares and comments each influencer produced. From there, you can see pages with the same active fans, which will help find more fans to steal.

fan page more fans


Stealing your competitor’s Facebook fans is much different than stealing their Twitter followers. The reason is that it is harder to do so on Facebook than on Twitter without spending a bit of money on Facebook ads. It doesn’t have to be much, but spending a few hundred dollars goes a long way as it gets the momentum rolling. Just make sure your ads only target Facebook user IDs that you pull from Social Lead Freak or Fanpage Karma.

Nonetheless, whether you have money to spend or not, you should be able to effectively steal your competitor’s fans if you follow the steps above. Just don’t focus on a pure number as more fans isn’t necessarily better. Instead, you should try to get as many engaging fans as possible since the higher their percentage, the better off you are.

So, how else can you steal your competitor’s fans?

Did you know Quick Sprout has software to optimize your website for search engines?

There are important changes on your website that will grow your traffic. Quick Sprout tells you how to make those changes.


  1. Joel Mwakasege :

    Wow this is so much better the twitter one was very useful let me put it to the use right now.

    Thank You bro. 🙂

  2. I like where you mentioned Social Lead Freak. That is a great idea for getting FB IDs

  3. Elite info as always.

  4. Nikhil Waghdhare :

    It’s great. I remember that kissmetrics also helps to track your social engagement details. It is also graet tool.

  5. You seem to be stealing a lot of things these days Niel. How many hearts did you steal on Valentines Day?

  6. Not only this gives a cool strategy to kick start FB fan base building campaign but is also detailed enough for execution.Excellent post !!

  7. very good blog post NEIL sir but both tools are paid any free tool like for facebook ?

  8. Neil, this is a great post, exactly the information I need at the moment. And instead of having to search for it it’s been delivered straight to my inbox! Cheers!

  9. Danielle Brown :

    Hi Neil, great post! Definitely will check into social lead freak.

  10. Joshua Cooper Miles :

    Hi Neil,
    Good article, I have used a similar procedure in the past on Twitter, backing out competitors follower’s email addresses on Twitter using the social123, then using those emails to target Facebook ads. The problem now is that Social123 no longer offers that service, and it looks like Social Lead Freak is also not currently working. Do you know any other services like these than can provide either an email or a FB ID to target ads…I don’t use the emails for sending SPAM, but for targeting the ads.

  11. Carole @ Rustic Artistry :

    I am going to be all over this! Can I combine the user IDs with the audience selection tools in Power Editor to get even more targeted?

  12. Hey Neil, great article. I wanted to do this a week ago, but I read somewhere that this involves the risk of Facebook suspending your account. Since the custom audiences is only meant to be from users who actively agreed to do so

  13. This is just great information that I couldn’t possibly come up with. I am defiantly going to steal some active fans. Thank you, Neil.

  14. These “steal your competitors fans ” series of blog posts are really awesome. Keep up the good work. Thank you.

  15. Parmveer Singh :

    Very Informative post. Thanks for actionable tips.

    Neil Sir, How is it possible that one facebook page with 263,981 likes exhibit 1,024,083 people talking about for a particular week? Can we find the post on that page?

    See this print screen check if you can give some clue.

  16. Neil, each time I see an email from you in my inbox I get excited. Everything you send is pure gold. Thank you so much for another nugget of knowledge and tool I get to add to both my treasure chest and toolbox.

    You’re great and this is great.

  17. Hi Neil,

    Getting your target user ID’s and then targeting them with facebook ads that’s reat.I didn’t knew about this social lead freak but now let’s give it a try.Thanks

  18. Great post as always Neal … every time I discover some new useful tips!

    However as Ron pointed out, while creating Custom Audiences through scrapers like SLF and targeting them with Advertising is hugely effectively, it’s also against Facebook TOS and your ads account may end up suspended (pretty unlikely IMHO but it may happen if you do it on large scale).

    Of course this does not mean that you should not use Custom Audiences. Right now they’re the most effective way to get cheap traffic/likes/sales from Facebook Advertising and there are many many ways to use them without scraping and complying with Fb ToS.

    I had wrote a pretty good post about Custom Audiences here:


    • Massimo, thanks for sharing your post. It is definitely going to be very helpful for all the readers 🙂

      • Dinesh Agarwal :

        Dear Neil and Massimo,

        I am one of the co-founder of Fan Harvest, a product out of Atlanta chapter of Founder Institute. We identify most engaging fans of your competitors without breaking any of Facebook’s TOS. We are 100% compliant with them as all of our data comes via Facebook’s APIs. We also provide analytics similar to that provided by other analyzing tools. You could check the analysis for QuickSprout at

        @Neil: I would love to get your comments on Fan Harvest. Thank you.

        – Dinesh

  19. Ivan Muljevski :

    1. Go to
    2. Choose likers or commenters
    3. Put facebook status from any page
    4. Repeat with another status from the same page or event similar page
    5. Take IDs in XLS- they are ready for custom audience ads 😉

    this is example of Neil Patel status –

  20. I have had Social Lead Freak for awhile and never thought of using it like this. Another great idea, thanks Neil!

  21. Great article Neil. The Social Lead Freak website says that the product is not available for 2 weeks due to updates. Is there any other tools that you know of that has similar functionality?

  22. hello paramveer

    YES, this is possible. this shows that this page is extremely populor or these talking about stats are fake ?

    only in these two cases this can be happens

  23. This article lends credence to the idea that online Gurus only talk about *certain* strategies until they’ve gotten all their use out of it.

    1. Social lead freak has been out for year and is actually one of the older U ID scrapers out there. Anyone paying close attention to local facebook marketing in 2013 knows about social lead freak and how effective it once was. That Neil decided only until now talk about is telling.

    2. Facebook is cracking down on facebook scrapers because it is an egregious violation of their guidelines, not to mention peoples privacy. Marketers are losing their fan pages left and right and it’s only getting worse. Kieth Kranc, Amy Porterfield, and Dennis Yu are explicit about not using scrapers because their “properties” are to valuable to lose.

    I think it is unfair for Neil to write a post suggesting you break facebook’s guidelines without mentioning the potential costs.

    • You don’t have to use social lead freak, you can do it manually without scrapers. I share tactics whenever I think it can benefit people and by no means do I want others to get banned.

  24. Thanks Ivan Muljevski for this tool,

    but not working here i dont know the reason ..

  25. Wow very interesting. I have always used the methods you outlined for Twitter but couldn’t figure out how to replicate it for Facebook. I will give this a try and hopefully Facebook will become useful again 🙂

  26. I think Social lead Freak is a paid one,any free alternative?

  27. I am facing issue with my fb ads, i scrap about 50,000 fb UID’s but when i added those 50k ids in campaign it using power editor tool not it showing me just 24k target audience. I selected many countries like USA, UK, Australia, Russia, Germany etc…

    But i dont kow why my audiance in tool low and i am not getting any click from on my ads.

  28. Interesting article, Neil.

    Other ways to “steal” your competitor’s fans would be to study the demographics of their Facebook page. By going to I can see that most of your fans are from Madrid, Spain (most popular city) and are 18-24 years old.

    You could set up Facebook ads targeted to that group of people. This might not be helpful to all businesses, but some.

    Another idea: You could set up Facebook ads targeted to people who like your competitor’s Facebook page. You’re not able to target all Facebook pages, but with many of the larger Facebook pages you can put their name in the “Interests” field when creating an ad.

    Recently Facebook added the option of adding your competitors to “Pages to Watch” (admins should see that box when viewing their Facebook page). You can monitor how many Likes they get each week and under Page Insights > Posts you can click on “Top Posts from Pages to Watch” to see recent posts from your competitors that are popular.

    Those popular posts should give you some ideas what kind of Facebook posts your target market likes 😉

  29. Ivan, I tried entering the ID and doing this but it is giving me an empty XLS file that just has “ID” and “name” columns…

  30. Raphael Ricardo@Target Market :

    Another great article,Facebook is a good source to get targeted traffic,When you start FB Ads,You are in control.

  31. A good insight and highly useful article, but at one place you have made a mistake and written up this free software (socialleadfreak) …I have visited a website and it is asking $97?

  32. Ron, can you explain what you mean by consent? If I use Facebook’s paid ads and target specific people, isn’t that the same as targeting any other demographic that Facebook offers?

    • In my opinion it is. Because currently with Facebook ads I can already target people who are fans of a competitor. I just don’t have the option to target only “engaged fans”.

  33. Thanks for the awesome guide, Neil! I’ve never heard of either of these tools before. Social Lead Freak is taking forever to load on my browser, guess you are sending them a lot of traffic haha

  34. if you are doing manually on a scale where you have an audience big enough to run ads, FB will catch you.

    You are uploading UID and happen to not have a Facebook where the user needed to install that app and give you the UID. Since the way to get a UID is using FB apps, FB know when or not you did scrub.

    Plus the concept of most active users that social lead freaks can find, in an automated way, can be illusional, you have so many spammers on FB that comment non stop promoting their products, and they might appear as an active user using comment count.

  35. Barbara McKinney :

    While spending on Facebook ads will be a trade off with other marketing spend, well-targeted ads are a sure-fire way to help you connect with potential fans who may not know you are there. Thanks Neil!

  36. Parmveer Singh :

    Thanks Neil Sir,

    I approached page owner & he said that it was due to one single viral post, which he’s deleted from his page to save himself from spam reports. That’s why I could not find it there.

    Thanks again for wonderful piece of information every time.

  37. Great Post & Great Tool to tackle Facebook. How do you manage such great posts Neil? Really commendable. Thanks for sharing.

  38. Shawon @The Ingenious Tech Inc. :

    Great one Neil,

    I am a regular reader of your each post, but didn’t provide any feedback. Well, but I can’t stop myself doing this for this post particularly.

    You are making me addicted to read your each post again and again to plan, revamp and execute for each of our clients businesses/ brands to build more reputation online 🙂 Keep doing it my friend!

  39. Thank you so much for all the tips and the graph, you attach. a lot to learn and a lot to do

  40. Social Lead Chef is also a great tool for extracting UIDs from fan pages. Both Social Lead Freak and Social Lead Chef uses FB Api so both are safe to use.

  41. Nice post. Will definitely try this..

    Is there any way from which we can get the Email Ids of the facebook fans of our competitor??

    If this can be done, than it will be a huge benefit..

  42. Neil has surly stolen his websites visitor’s heart 🙂 !!!

  43. Hey Massimo, what would you consider a “large scale”?

  44. That’s exactly my argument as well! But it does not seem that FB really cares about that.

  45. Pratik Unadkat :

    Neil, great guide first of all!

    But I have one doubt regarding what Ron said. If that needs consent, how one would approach in a right manner?

    Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of doing so already when your target audience already knows who you are and what your site is, why would one advertise to them again?

    Your article mentions the other way and your reply made me slightly confused here.

    Would be keen to hear more about it!


    • You don’t need consent to target someones fan page if I am not mistaken. You can run ads to your competitors fans through Facebook Ads without permission.

      What you would need consent for is to message people which you wouldn’t want to do. This is where a lot of people got in trouble.

  46. Adam Finan @ Tropical Nomad :

    Nice work.. Your articles are very helpful

  47. Facebook engagement has gone down a bit in the recent past.

  48. Another useful article, that will no doubt be very handy in the near future. There really is a lot to set up when it comes to promoting your site and getting properly involved with social media…

  49. Hi Neil! How do you get to the Top influencers on the Fanpage Karma site?

  50. This might be a silly question, but how do I choose specific people to target using Facebook Ads?

  51. hello neil bro,

    i used the tips you gave to steal twitter followers and within 2 days i increased my 30 percent of my total twitter followers and the good thing to use such tricks is that we target highly active users so i am able to make quality followership.

    thanks for such useful tips

  52. @Chris I am also looking for the same and a bit Google it but yet not get success. I think I have to wait for 2 weeks.

  53. Great article and tips Neil!

  54. hello Neil,
    I really appreciate your work. You have mentioned great points. Thank you

  55. WordPress Popup Plugins :

    Wow Neil! This is really amazing, i never thought i can steal my competitor fans in such easy way.

    You’re really awesome man

    Thank you very much

  56. I think if you put the hard work in, both on your social media efforts and with your business, then the customers will flock to you over others. No need for underhand tactics – our company has excelled without the need for it. Still, if you’re in a competitive industry then every bit helps. This also seems like a bit of a plug for Fanpage Karma, but I’ll let you off due to your consistently great blog content! :oP

    • Morris, great point. I think sometimes people need a little leg up and this definitely helps. Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  57. Neil Patel losses my respect. He has deleted mine (and others) comments openly criticizing this article for it’s dangerous advice to unsuspecting marketers. Our comments were constructive and contained no profanity. I have been reading Quick Sprout for 2 years and would have never suspected Neil to be so lacking in integrity.

    His advice for using Social Lead Freak will lead to the banning of your account. Whether or not one believes the risk is worth it is immaterial, Neil should at least have enough integrity to amend his article for those who are unaware of what scraping could cost them.

    Contrary to what some what have suggested in this thread, people are losing their accounts.

    Facebook Guidelines – Section 2, Paragraph C, Collection of Data, clearly states:

    “You will not collect users’ content or information, or otherwise access Facebook, using automated means (such as harvesting bots, robots, spiders, or scrapers) without our permission.”

    Here is a screen shot of the custom audience Terms –

    *This comment has been screen captured*

    • By no means am I trying to delete comments from people who disagree… I only delete spam ones and sometimes a few slip through the crack on both ends.

      I will have to check out Facebook’s guidelines.

  58. I agree with mardy.

    Especially given what we now know about federal scraping law (, the fact that Neil would endores this activity boggles my mind.

    Web scraping is a felony violation that is on par with hacking or denial of service attacks and carries up to a 15 year sentence for each charge. (see above link for more info on recent decisions)

    If any of you readers out there are considering engaging in scraping, please just do your research. Understand the risks. Losing your Facebook account will be the least of your worries.

  59. When I make facebook ads, I see no way to target specific IDs. I only see ways to target people who broadly “like” such and such. Or I can target people who are connected to a specific fan page, but ONLY if I own it. For example, If I have a page for “Buy Blue Widgets” and my competitor is “Blue Widget Emporium,” I may be able to target people who live in the U.S. and like “blue widgets,” but I am given no option to target specific people or people who specifically like Blue Widget Emporium because I don’t manage that page. If I also own a fan page for “Funny Dog Pictures,” then facebook will allow me to show my facebook ad only to users who like my Funny Dog Pictures page (not that I would want to, just giving an example).

    What am I missing here? How do I target IDs or fans of specific pages I don’t manage?

  60. Mardy and Joe are wrong. They clearly do not understand the difference between a program that does scraping vs a program that uses the API. Social Lead Freak requires you to connect to a FB app that accesses the API, it is not scraping. I would recommend reading more on this before jumping to conclusions, as it is unfortunate that the term ‘scraping’ has come to describe any software that retrieves information regardless of how it actually works under the hood.

  61. Neil …

    How can you possibly have consent when you’re stealing a competitors’ fans? Seems pretty clear cut to me that this is against Facebook’s TOS.


    • Seems everyone likes to throw around the term “Against Facebook’s TOS” without really understanding what those terms actually are or what they mean. More importantly, stealing fans is not stealing at all. It’s merely learning who is engaged with your competition and offering them something that may be of interest to them.

      In the end, my customers aren’t MY customers, they’re people and they’re other people’s customers as well.

      • Hey Guys, this is a dirt game hosted by Facebook, if they offer API for it, coder will say “thank you for the info” thats it. Poor Page owners spending thousands of $$ and tons of effort for FB ads…

  62. Goodness. What a bold face lie.

  63. Every time I read another or your post I get more and more amaze of the quality of content that you provide for free, am definitely getting very curios about the paid one.

    I really don’t see nothing wrong with showing your ad to the competition fan base is free market

  64. hello Neil,
    This one is great Article and it really helpful me in certian way i appreciate your work
    Thank you

  65. great tips, thank you so much. Now i think i can create FB ads more effectively

  66. You don’t cease to impress me Neil. I bought your traffic system guide and read every single post of yours with excitement, and this one again is pure gold. How is your new traffic U product different from the previous product? cheers

    • Luigi, thanks for the feedback. Glad I could help. The new traffic system will have many additional features that will help everyone achieve great results. I have added a ton of content to the update 🙂

  67. Shanjidul Alam Seban Shaan :

    Hello Neil, good to see you are writing about this tool. I was thinking cloning competitors’ fanbase is a kind of unethical marketing practice.

    Anyway, did you check the tool scrapes graph search? The tool is most advanced tool. You can scrape peoples IDs from graph search. Suppose you are trying to capture the IDs which were commented on QuickSprout’s post and like Hubspot and from UK. Search ‘People from UK who commented on QuickSprout’s post and like Hubspot’
    Or whatever you can search using graph scrape. You can target most potential audience using this tool.

    Two tools are FBGraphScraper, FBLeadJacker.


  68. Is it really ethical to use this method?

  69. Neil,

    As per the recommendation I bought this purchase. After 3 days I found this is not functional for me and requested a refund. They wont respond to my continuous emails. I have sent 3 emails on this to them and it has been already 8 days. I know you got nothing to do with that. This is just a small warning. If you are purchasing considering the refund policy, BEWARE!

    Thanks for the post anyway. Learned something new from this!

  70. Hi Neil. Excellent stuff. Looking for fb UID capture tools, i have a doubt. What’s better: Social Lead Frak, FB Lead Chef or Social Spy? Thanks e cheers from Brazil.

  71. Hi Neil.

    How would one figure out the audience? I’ve been around for some time, but when someone approaches me about marketing for them… I find myself struggling to find and segment a target audience. Any tips there?


  72. FB UID Scraping will now get you banned. Probably. Not sure how large of a scale you could do it now.

    But probably not worth the risk.

  73. Thanks for any other informative website. Where else could I am getting that kind of info written in
    such an ideal approach? I’ve a venture that I’m just now running on,
    and I have been on the look out for such information.

  74. Social Lead Freak is down!

  75. Prabu Rajasekaran :

    I found a lot of negative reviews on WF for SLF and also about FB disconnecting software like SLF from pulling data.

    Can someone still verify that all this works and for larger FB pages and groups?

    Thank you.

    • Sonia Lionel :

      Fbleadchef is still working for me. just used it today in fact.. so i can confirm this. Can anyone else confirm this as well?

    • as per today all of them have problems, FB play around with this guys and they have to fix tons of bugs everyday. Non of them have proper customer service. If you’re serious I would ask coder to customize tool for you to scrape the data you need.

  76. Stealing your competitor’s customers? Try using the deadly combination high quality and low price. Maybe a little old-school but it works.

  77. The best way to “steal” your competitors costumers is using “AnyAudience for Facebook”. It a chrome extension – very powerful and easy to use! It also a low cost product 🙂

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  90. Pretty sure Facebook just changed their terms and conditions to prevent you from specifically targeting UI’ds of people who have not already interacted with your page. Which would of course, make targeting ‘most engaged users of your competitors’ an invalid technique. Or did I miss understand?

  91. So just to confirm:

    This product is NO longer recommended and should NOT be used?

    Does the content of this post entirely irrelevant any more?

    Please confirm

  92. Hi,

    I just have a question. Is this method of scraping user Ids is allowed by FB? I want to use the user ids extracted from competitor fan page as custom audience in FB power editor. Will this method be prohibited?

  93. It is an amazing way to target the potential customer. I will try the method. Thank you Neil for sharing the technique.


  95. Thanks Neil,

    You just open my mind on FB strategies.

    Thank again.

  96. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for the information. Great one out there.
    My question: what is the current state of FB ToS in respect of scrapping?
    And is this really scrapping or doing research on your competition?

    Keep it up!


    • Toyin, I am not sure — I don’t participate in any of those activities. Competitive research is a lot different. Let me know if you come up with anything!

  97. I really loved it…but i heard it as a black hat technique on further research on it…Is it true???

    So is this technique really recommendable for business??

  98. Just want to thank you for posting this for free Neil. I wish we had more people who would give this kind of quality away for free!

  99. Ranjith Reddy :

    I’m gonna implement this. Thanks Neil I’m gonna rock it now. 😉

  100. why steal fans when you can just get free leads/fans?

  101. Muhammad Danish :

    Hi please tel me any good UI Grabber software or addon ? And tel me social lead freak still working ?

  102. It’s two years old article 🙁 What is the latest strategy ???

  103. Matthew Turnbull :

    Hi Neil

    Firstly thank for all the useful info you’ve been sending me over the last few months! Im wanting to apply this technique to music events, I have worked as an event promoter in my area for quite some time but am currently organising a national tour for some pretty big artists. Now that Social Lead Freak no longer works, is there any alternative? In a nutshell I want to be able to target Facebook ads to people that have attended other event promoters gigs or people that ‘like’ certain nightclubs in specific locations…

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Many thanks
    Matthew Turnbull

    • You can create a custom in audience based on this kind of behavior. Are there fb pages for events or the night clubs? You can directly target them

  104. Now i am unable to use this option. any other option to pull the details of auidence ?

  105. Hi Neil,

    Social Lead Freak to obtain competitors FB ID’s does not seem to be in business? After I clicked through I purchased this and not only received nothing – but not communication? Can you please advise about the status of Social Lead Freak – I have to tell you the website felt like a scam, but as I have been following you for the past year and trust your good advice I went ahead. Please advise.

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