Editor’s Note: As of August 7, 2014 Facebook announced an update to its Platform Policy, prohibiting the practice of like-gating. With this update, businesses still have the opportunity to require users take a specific action, such as sharing their email address. For more information, read our post on action-gating.
I’ll bet you’re painfully aware of gargantuan numbers like these, especially if it’s been hard to attract fans to your own Page. Remember: While Coke and Disney’s Pages offer valuable insights about how to market on Facebook, their number of fans certainly isn’t typical.
Setting a goal for a social campaign shouldn’t be focused on competition with other Facebook Pages. If you’re hoping to increase the number of people who Like your Page, seeking Disney-caliber numbers probably isn’t feasible. Having a realistic goal will lead you to success. Having an unrealistic goal will lead you to panic.
Here are the five questions small businesses and organizations should ask while planning a social campaign:
- How many fans does my Facebook Page have already?
- Why would someone Like this Page?
- How tech-savvy is my audience?
- How often do I interact with fans?
- How are people going to find the Page in the first place?
Leveraging the Power of Fans
These are the kinds of questions the marketing team at Sugarbush Resort, a ski and snowboard resort in Vermont, considered when designing its first social campaign.
Jake Robertson, the resort’s interactive manager, explains that the goal was to get about 1,500 new Facebook fans. An ambitious goal to be sure, but not an impossible one — before the campaign, the Sugarbush Facebook Page already had more than 7,000 fans and often engaged with that audience. Not only that, the resort’s email newsletter had almost 50,000 subscribers.
With a social campaign that offered fans a chance to win a prize from a total amount of more than $15,000 if they Liked the Page, Jake and the team were right to be optimistic. With so many fans and subscribers, Sugarbush Resort could leverage the popularity it already had.
Email contacts “Liked” the Page after an email notified them about the giveaway, friends shared the prizes with Facebook friends, and Sugarbush regularly tweeted about the deal. To top it all off, regular Facebook posts with videos, photographs, and descriptions of trails garnered more Likes, so that the friends of fans would see some of the activity in their Newsfeeds.
Sugarbush Resort promoted its social campaign through email, Facebook, and Twitter.
Suffice it to say, Sugarbush blew its goal out of the water.
By the end of January, Sugarbush Resort had nearly 3,000 new fans and almost 2,000 new email subscribers. “The results of the campaign were double what we expected,” Jake says.
And the giveaway doesn’t end until March.
Promoting Something Specific
In many ways, of course, Sugarbush Resort has a lot of advantages — like a marketing team and thousands of fans — that most small businesses and organizations don’t have.
Jackie Adamany, the founder of Blue Orchid Handbags, is on the other end of the scale. With a Facebook Page that had around 70 fans before her campaign, and just two other employees, Jackie drafted her campaign with much different expectations.
“I had been trying to get new fans, but they weren’t that interested in what I had to offer,” Jackie says. Her social campaign’s goal was to promote the Last Minute Market, the final show that Blue Orchid Handbags attended during 2011. After launching her campaign on Facebook and promoting it through an email newsletter, she noticed a sudden uptick in fans. “I got 20 new fans in four days,” she says. Now, the Page has 115 Likes.
More importantly, several people showed up at the show and said that they had heard about it from the Facebook Page. “I’ve never had that happen to me before,” Jackie explains. One fan even bought a handbag, making the campaign a definitive success.
While Sugarbush Resort and Blue Orchid Handbags may be very different, both businesses knew the value in setting a goal that was both ambitious and realistic.
Whether you’re after a thousand new fans or just a few additional attendees, make sure to take into account where your Facebook Page already stands. After all, the foundation of any campaign is your social media presence.
What do you think small businesses and organizations need to do to set realistic social media goals? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.