“Have you heard of Facebook?” says nobody, ever. With an astonishing 2.01 billion monthly active users, there are compelling reasons for your brand to nurture an active presence aboard the social media giant.
But how do you use that presence to get results that make a difference for your business?
Let’s face it. Most people browse Facebook for fun, to catch up with their nearest and dearest and share snippets of their lives with their wider social network. People don’t use Facebook to be sold to.
So how does your brand bridge the divide between a business that wants to boost its bottom line and an audience that wants to have fun? There are oodles and oodles (and oodles) of technical articles out there about the mechanics of a successful Facebook marketing campaign.
But when it comes to the crunch, it’s the concept behind your campaign that’s important. Take a stroll through Inspiration Forest with the following brands that nailed it…
You’ve heard the theory about six degrees of separation, right? Well back in 2016 Facebook crunched their data and found that each of Facebook’s global active users is connected to every other user by an average of three and a half friends; 3.5 degrees of separation.
Ding, ding, ding – that’s the alarm bell alerting you to the opportunity to seriously enhance your brand reach. For advice on how to do that, you could do worse than take a look at Qweertee.
Qwertee sell delicious-looking limited edition t-shirts. The catch? Each one is available for just 24 hours. To build the buzz around each day’s fresh t-shirt design, Qwertee give one away for free – day in, day out. Like the image of that day’s t-shirt and you have one chance to win, share the image and you have two chances to win, comment on the image and you get a third chance to win.
It’s a simple offer. But it generates hundreds of likes, shares and comments – all of which helps to build hype, expand the social reach of Qwertee and boost sales. Could you come up with something similar to whip up a little excitement about your products or services?
Never underestimate the power of free. Shutterfly is one of the market leaders in products that have been personalised with digital photography. You know, photobooks created from your best Instagram snaps and so on.
To entice sales, Shutterfly came up with a promotion to offer a free personalised ceramic mug. And the audience they chose to target? Mums with kids at home. Now that’s a pretty specific niche. But using Facebook’s Offer Claims feature, Shutterfly could reach out to their target audience and distribute a unique, single-use offer code to each person who clicked its ad.
The three-day campaign resulted in over 16,000 offers reclaimed. But crucially there were 8,000 additional purchases generated, resulting in an 11-fold return on ad spend.
Got a specific offer for a niche audience? Facebook makes it easy to create your campaign.
3. State Bicycle Co.
When it comes to social media, it’s best to think visual. After all, Facebook posts with pictures get 5.5 times more likes compared to their text-only brethren. Making the most of the public’s penchant for pictures is Arizona-based bicycle manufacturer State Bicycle Co., who create beautiful visual content for their followers to ogle.
Keen to grow their Facebook audience and boost online sales at statebicycle.com, the company came up with a number of ways to reach out to cycling lovers. One of the most popular is their weekly photo challenge, where State Bicycle Co. reward the follower who submits the best snap on a given theme (e.g. the winner of the “most beat-up bike” theme landed themselves a brand new ride).
State Bicycle Co. also offer unique discount codes on ‘Facebook Fridays’ and encourage followers to like posts to reveal sneak previews of new products.
These efforts have been richly rewarded. Since 2013 State Bicycle Co. has grown its followers from 4,500 to 480,000. Today, 12 per cent of State Bicycle Co.’s website traffic comes from Facebook, at a fifth of the cost per click of other platforms. Best of all? State Bicycle Co. attribute $500,000 in annual sales to coupon codes and traffic from Facebook.
Think visual. Get creative. Tease your new products.
4. Castle Chevrolet & Castle Buick GMC
Outsmarting your competitors in a busy market? That’s where Facebook can be all kinds of useful. Just ask Castle, whose Chevrolet and Buick GMC showrooms are located slap bang in one the most competitive territories in America. Tough brief.
Castle wanted to raise awareness about their dealerships and shout about their fabulous aftercare programme, which essentially amounts to free tyres and free oil throughout the lifespan of each customer’s car.
To do this they turned to Facebook Adverts, targeting the campaign to Facebook users who were located within a few miles of their showrooms as well as those that lived near Castle’s top competitors.
The ads featured a map that showed exactly how close Castle’s dealerships were to the audience. The results? Little short of incredible. The three-month campaign generated 2,212 unique visits to the dealership website at a cost of $0.98 per click. 23 vehicle sales were directly attributed to the campaign, providing a 23x return of advertising spend.
Disney Parks has a long-standing partnership with Make A Wish Foundation. To shout about it the marketing folk at Disney came up with a wonderfully simple idea. For every photo that featured Mickey Mouse ears and the hashtag #ShareYourEars uploaded to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, Disney would donate $5 to Make A Wish Foundation.
The campaign was a huge success and Disney ended up donating $2 million.
Remember, marketing doesn’t always have to be about you and your brand. People know when they’re being sold to, and they don’t enjoy it. Today’s consumers are savvy and tend to see through gimmicky marketing ploys.
By providing genuine value – in this case a charitable donation – Disney generated huge engagement around their brand. Of course, the value you provide doesn’t have to be monetary. It could be based on information or advanced access to your products or services. Just concentrate on providing value.
Over to you…
The opportunity to expand your brand reach through Facebook is huge. Not just because of their sheer volume of active users, but because of their user-friendly marketing tools.
It’s easy to control your ad spend, monitor the success of your ad and target incredibly niche audience with limited offers. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and experiment!