The real Facebook success stories come from business owners who are delivering relevant, timely content to their fan bases and cashing in on the rewards of their efforts. The name of the game is engagement. It’s no longer enough to just have a bunch of fans following you but not really paying attention.
In this column, I’ll offer some core statistics to save you time, energy and money so you are poised to launch your first campaign. You will also become educated on Facebook applications which are necessary to run campaigns and the Facebook Terms of Service, which need to be followed or you’ll suffer the wrath of Zuckerberg.
Generally speaking, the goals of most Facebook campaigns are to:
1) Increase fans
2) Collect user data
3) Drive foot traffic
When planned strategically, you can meet all three of these goals in one smartly designed campaign. To do this, you need to educate yourself on what type of Facebook campaigns delivers results. Those of you who know me know I am an analytics freak. I’m not a believer in just throwing things out there to see what sticks. When it comes to social media, not doing your homework can backfire and tarnish your brand. Let’s take a look at what has already been established as the best way to engage fans on Facebook.
Top Performing Campaigns
A new study by Wildfire Interactive analyzed a random sample of 10,000 Facebook campaigns to determine which type of campaign performed the best.
These results match what I have seen personally through my experience with Facebook campaigns, and for that matter, with people in general – they all want discounted or free stuff. A good way to start is to run a coupon offer for “Facebook Fans Only,” such as 20 percent off an accessory purchase or $10 off a $50 purchase if a user “likes” your page. This brings that customer into your store (where they will likely purchase more products), and you now have them as a fan on Facebook so you can market away.
Giveaways are also popular — I have a million stories about giveaways, but this is my fave. One of our dealers had 10 branded hats to give away and he had people lined up outside the dealership before it opened to be sure they got one (no lie!) So, doing something similar is a total no-brainer —just give away something with your brand name on it. I personally like a buy one, get one free T-shirt giveaway because you gain one, possibly two customers from Facebook. They then walk out of your dealership advertising your business on their backs. It doesn’t get any better than that, and what does it cost you – 10 bucks? What’s a new customer worth to you?
When one of your Facebook fans shares your content with one of their friends, it’s called “earned media.” (It’s kind of an odd term, I’d prefer to call it “earned customer” but I don’t make the rules). Interestingly, the Wildfire Interactive study findings were quite different when analyzing the amount of “earned media” or user “shares” that Facebook campaigns generated.
The results aren’t too surprising — people like to talk about themselves. They like to show off their great taste, talent and intelligence by telling the world their opinions. On the flipside, those same people don’t want to look like tightwads by “sharing” a coupon with friends, so they keep it to themselves. The same goes for sweepstakes and contests. Why share this information with you when all it does is reduce the odds of winning?
In order to launch a Facebook campaign, you’ll need to find an application and install it on your page. I recommend Woobox, North Social, Offerpop or Wildfire. These tools generally offer a free trial and/or charge a very low monthly fee, and require minimal technical knowledge.
One very important reason why utilizing an app is necessary is you are then assured that your campaign meets the Facebook Terms of Service. For example, if you want to run a sweepstakes or contest, there are a multitude of rules surrounding this process. You cannot use Facebook’s own features (such as liking a page) as a method of participation. To quote the promotion guidelines, “You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat or posts on profiles (Timelines) or Pages.”
How to Get Started
If the idea of running a Facebook campaign intrigues you, determine your goal, set your budget and find a resource that can deliver. You need someone to plan, install, execute and monitor the campaign, and they need to do it flawlessly or your efforts and budget will be wasted. On this one I am going to flat out recommend that you outsource the work to a competent agency that specializes in social media strategy. I know, I know — you think your internal marketing person can do it along with the 80 other things you piled on their plate this week. Or hey, what about your son who is home from college? He needs something to do and then it would be free!
I call that thinking pennywise and pound foolish. I also call it naïve, because I have seen dealer after dealer fall on their face with their social media efforts while their forward thinking competitor is primed to kick their tail out of town. What kind of dealer are you?
Facebook Terms of Service: http://www.facebook.com/legal/terms
Facebook Promotion Guidelines: http://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php#promotionsguidelines
More information on planning a sweepstakes: