Why This MattersFour years ago, official brand pages on Facebook were a bit of a rarity.Today, not only are most major brands on Facebook, but over the lasttwo years, their total fan numbers have skyrocketed.During the first quarter of 2011, fan growth for many large brand pagesleveled off – or in some cases, receded. Over-couponing, non-strategicadvertising and dated management tactics have caught up with manyof these shooting stars. Recent platform and algorithm changes, as wellas more stringent Facebook policies, have also contributed to theslowed organic growth.So how does a brand grow its fan base in this new Facebookenvironment, and how should you evolve your strategy to keep up? Theanswer lies in understanding how the acquisition – engagement– advocacy process works and implementing balanced, creativecontent that drives engagement.This POV provides seven steps for growing your Facebook fan base. Page 2 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i
Table of Contents: 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom 1. Expand your reach with content 4 2. Make the most of media buys 12 3. Respond and engage 17 4. Create incentives 21 5. Utilize Facebook tools 27 6. Optimize mobile & offline 30 7. Activate through Inside Pages 36 Recap 39 Page 3 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i
1. Expand your reach with content Engaging content sparks conversations. Fans interact by commenting, liking or writing on your wall, and those interactions foster the organic spread of brand content and experiences throughout Facebook. More Interaction = Greater Reach
1. Expand your reach with content Engaged Likes Page Not Engaged Served Content Yes – Fans entered the No – Fans did not enter into theconversation and activated the Engagement? conversation and thus, content next tier of engagement. reach was limited. Amplified Reach Limited Reach Page 5 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i
1. Expand your reach with contentInformation: Deliver valuable on-brand information that your community willboth appreciate and share with their friends. Why this works: Well above average fan growth can be correlated to the days when the page posts its best performing content. Page 6 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 6
1. Expand your reach with contentConversation: If you want to really inspire your fans to participate, askthem! Make your ‘Call to Action’ as direct as possible. Why this works: This type of interaction drives organic growth through impressions and reach -- and by its very nature, conversational activity is communal. Page 7 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 7
1. Expand your reach with contentPhotos, videos and links: If your fans enjoy your content, give them more ofit within each post. Posts with photos or videos attached to them are more likelyto appear in the News Feed of your fans.Featuring two or more photos in your post will increase engagement andimpressions. One example of a compelling way to incorporate multiple images isby setting up photo quizzes or basic polls. Using this tactic, a CPG brand recentlysaw a 60% increase in fan growth above its previous monthly average. Page 8 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 8
1. Expand your reach with contentQuestions: The new Facebook Questions tool can be an excellent messagingtactic while also benefiting your brand as a valuable consumer/fan insight tool.The feature is designed so that anyone on Facebook can participate, which hasboth pros and cons. Since non-fans can answer, more people can see andengage with your message; however, this also means that you no longer requirethat people Like your page to engage.Although fans can engage with the post without being fans, 360i hasobserved that a “Questions” post can in fact attract new fans. Brand Advocacy Insights Page 9 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 9
1. Expand your reach with contentTagging: Being tagged by a promotional partner raises the exposure of yourcontent by making it visible on the tagged brand’s page. It also adds value toyour fans’ experience by exposing them to other pages they may enjoy. Tag your brand in photos Tag another brandCross-Talk: Brands can now interact with other brand pages the way individualsinteract with each other. Cross-Talk gives us two new capabilities: • Pushing certain actions into the News Feeds of shared fans • Writing on another brand’s wall or commenting on their pages Page 10 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 10
1. Expand your reach with contentCurate messaging: Ask your community for their opinion and then act on it.Championing fan messaging in your branded status posts is an easy andearnest that shows your appreciation for the community.Fans who feel they are being listened to are more likely to engage on your pagewhen they’re posed a question. Asking the community to write some of yourcontent can also offer you valuable consumer insight.Ask – The best way to find out whatyour community wants to talk about is toask them.And Deliver – The best reward you canoffer to your fans is to show them thatyou’re listening. Page 11 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 11
2. Make the most of media buys Media buys are your only sure-fire way to acquire a specific number of fans. There are a number of different ad buy options on Facebook, but the most successful of these tie back to a larger content or event strategy. After all, it’s not only how you get fans to your page, but how you keep them there.
2. Make the most of media buysEngagement Ads: These ads see a greater number of impressions and caninclude exciting and visual elements like Polls and Video. They work well to buildbroad awareness and brands can also utilize the size of the buy to execute tests(A/B creative testing, target testing, etc.).The most effective media campaigns typically combineFront Page Engagement Ads with Run of Site Like Ads. • Premium placement • Multiple ad unit options • Pay on CPM • Recommended for campaigns with: • Awareness objectives • High budgets ($50K+) • Engaging creative assets Page 13 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 13
2. Make the most of media buysMarketplace Run of Site Like ads – If you have the resources, Run of Site andMarketplace ads can efficiently drive fan acquisitions. The most effective CPCs(Cost per Click/Fan) are attained when the ads are managed and optimized daily. Page 14 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 14
2. Make the most of media buysSponsored Stories & Events – Sponsored stories and events leverage thepower of social context. Nielsen reports that 90% of people trustrecommendations from people they know. Although there are three types of sponsored stories, only two effectively drive fan growth: Page Like Story & Page Post Like Story. These both target friends of current page fans. Fans cannot directly like your page from an sponsored event, but using engaging and exciting content can draw users to your brand event and increase fan growth on your page. Page 15 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 15
2. Make the most of media buysGaming Ads – Paid media within games on platforms such as Farmville,Rockyou and Social Vibe can be a powerful tool for targeting users engaged insocial gaming. Gaming ads drive significant brand awareness and they haveproven to be extremely successful when tied to an incentive.Below: A toy brand’s Likes increased by more than 1,000% during theflight of a Facebook campaign that utilized Gaming Ads. Page 16 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 16
3. Respond and engage Driving engagement on your page requires both interactivity and proactive communication. A responsive messaging strategy sparks and rewards conversation – and encourages even more fan interactions. More interaction means greater relevancy, greater reach & more fans.
3. Respond and engageCommenting: Focused and strategic responses help to create “super fans,”who develop a personal relationship with your brand and become topsupporters. Identify opportunities to respond more frequently within statusupdates, as this notifies everyone who commented on the post instead of justthe single person who posted on the Wall. If engagement slows on your page, fan growth can be extremely difficult to retain. Facebook will stop recognizing content as relevant if no one is engaging. As such, the content will not surface in your fans’ News Feeds. Page 18 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 18
3. Respond and engageLike User-Generated Content: If you’ve asked your community to share UGCand they do so, reward them with acknowledgement and praise. Curatingcontent means bringing the best UGC to the surface on your page by “Liking”comments and Wall posts according to their influence level. Liking UGC can alsokick start conversations from your wall, which results in more relevancy to yourfans’ friends. Page 19 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 19
3. Respond and engageCustomer Service: Brands are increasingly using Facebook as a means to fieldcustomer inquiries and concerns – and new platforms are making it easier thanever for brands to respond and resolve problems in a timely manner.In some cases brands are using their Facebook page as a customer servicedestination, which accounts for almost all of their fan growth. RosettaStone andAT&T are two brands that utilize Facebook primarily for customer service. Page 20 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 20
4. Create incentives Contests, sweepstakes and fan- championing are excellent ways to create big buzz while also offering an exclusive reward for your fans. The bigger and more custom-designed the contest, the more incentive someone will have to join your community.
4. Create incentivesCreative Contesting: A retail company recently launched a sweepstakes inwhich fans of the page could enter for a chance to win a trip and a shoppingspree. The sweeps on Facebook resulted in a spike in new fans 3,900%greater than the previous month’s average daily fan growth.Be wary of over-couponing and dependenceupon sweepstakes for your fan growth. Ifyou create a community of fans who onlyarrive at your page for a sweepstakes, that’sall they’ll ever be.Engage your fans, then reward with couponsif you want to retain fan growth. Page 22 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 22
4. Create incentivesFan of the Week: One of the best ways a brand can celebrate its fans onFacebook is through fan recognition. Fan of the Week works best when the fans“earn it” by fulfilling an action or request. For example, Oreo fans are eligible forFOTW if they share a photo of themselves with an Oreo cookie. Page 23 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 23
4. Create incentivesCoupons: Coupons are always a fan favorite, though they should be deployedstrategically. Offering coupons to the community is a great reward for theirloyalty and advocacy. However, using a coupon only to draw fans to the pagewill most likely result in acquiring fans interested only in those coupons. Findingways to sustain engagement beyond the coupon/offer is critical to fan retention. How this works: A coupon program recently helped to deliver fan growth 108% above the monthly average. Page 24 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 24
4. Create incentivesGamification: Invite people to play with your brand and spread the wordthrough gamification. Applications can allow you to incorporate games,contests, sweeps and promotions directly from your Facebook Wall. Page 25 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 25
4. Create incentivesGroup Deals: Group deals like Groupon and Healthy Choice’s ProgressiveCoupon can also incentivize fans to spread the word on your behalf. Walmart’sCrowdSaver Facebook application invites shoppers to join together – from withinthe brand’s Facebook Page – to “unlock” a special deal. Page 26 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 26
5. Utilize Facebook tools You’ve spent years building out your brand’s website, so the very least you can do now is take a few minutes to add social components to connect your digital assets in a meaningful way.
5. Utilize Facebook toolsLike Buttons: The Like Button lets brands promote and share from thecompany website back to their Facebook profile with just one click. Page 28 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 28
5. Utilize Facebook toolsActivity Feed: The Activity Feed plug-in shows users what their friends aredoing on your site through likes and comments.Like Box: The Like Box enables users to like your Facebook Page and viewits stream directly from your website. Page 29 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i
6. Optimize your mobile & offline Growing your Facebook community shouldn’t be limited to only online channels. You can make the most of your offline investments by tying messaging and creative back to your Facebook community.
6. Optimize your mobile & offlineTelevision: Use your programming and commercials to incentivize or announceyour Facebook promotions. Below, TV spots for Panda Express, Oreo, Toyota &Golden Corral promote their respective Facebook communities (photos via Teachto Fish Digital). Page 31 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 31
6. Optimize your mobile & offlineEvents: Are you speaking somewhere, hosting a golf tournament or sponsoringa concert or a fundraiser? One great way to reach the masses is tell peopleabout your page and give them a reason to visit. A recent product promotion directly correlated to a 586% above average daily fan growth for one brand. Page 32 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 32
6. Optimize your mobile & offlinePoint of Sale: If you have the opportunity to be face-to-face or put yourproduct in fans’ hands, put a little reminder in their hands too, via stickers,signs, cards, magnets and prints. Some brands, like Heinz and Cold-Eeze, havealso promoted their Facebook communities on their product packaging. Page 33 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 33
6. Optimize your mobile & offlinePrint: Through QR Codes and promotions, the old print world is still in play, andcan drive to your digital properties. Print + mobile combine to drive fans for American Eagle Outfitters, Toyota and other brands. Page 34 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 34
6. Optimize your mobile & offlineFacebook Places, Events and Deals: It’s difficult to directly correlate fangrowth to mobile acquisition tactics. However, you would be remiss in excludingmobile from your fan acquisition strategy.Mobile elements add both reach and innovation to your existing tactics. Forinstance, Gap created an event to promote its Free Jeans Giveaway. Page 35 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 35
7. Activate through ‘Inside Pages’ Although Inside Pages (formerly Tabs) are more hidden in the new Facebook layout, they can still add significant value to your page. Create good content, drive consumers there, and then activate them to participate, share and advocate for you.
7. Activate through ‘Inside Pages’Inspire advocacy: Build a destinationfor participation. This can be a homefor your brand to inspire and showcaseyour fans’ love of your brand.Engagement and sharing are the goalshere. Ideate on how what you offer onyour inside page directly ties back toyour strategic goals.Smirnoff invites its fans to “Be the Face ofSmirnoff” and be featured on the brand’sFacebook page. Page 37 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 37
7. Activate through ‘Inside Pages’Value comes in the form of emotional connections or functionalactivity. Identify value exchange opportunities to encourage communalactivity. Oscar Mayer’s Good Mood Mission page connects fans to each others’ good deeds and incentivizes them to share the good feeling and “Good Mood.” Philly’s Cooking Creme tab incentivizes users to Like the page in order to unlock additional exclusive content Page 38 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i 38
Recap1. Content: Rich, engaging content inspires an emotional connection and taps into new Facebook features that help ignite optimal reach.2. Paid Media: No fan acquisition strategy is complete without a smart, focused paid media plan.3. Converse: A responsive messaging strategy demonstrates your brand’s commitment to its fans and capitalizes on your most influential advocates.4. Incentivize: Exciting, brand-appropriate incentives strategically reward engagement, participation and advocacy – not just a visit to the page.5. Facebook Tools: Analyze your digital architecture and find opportunities to utilize Facebook plug-ins and other social tools.6. Offline and Mobile: Connect your fans across your assets. Add more entry points to your page from all of your available media outlets (including Word of Mouth).7. Inside Pages: Combine your goals, your assets and your brand voice to create a new experience on Facebook that welcomes, engages, rewards and delivers a unique and exclusive experience for your fans. Page 39 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i
If you only remember three things…• Fan acquisition is vital to the health, perception and reach of your brand on Facebook. Ultimately, total fan numbers are only as important as the percentage of active users who engage with you.• Understand what it is that your fans and consumers perceive as valuable. Then give it to them.• The decisions that you make should not be selected at random. The most successful growth on Facebook comes as a result of blending a number of tactics together and tailoring them to meet your objectives. Page 40 | 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom – June 2011 | http://www.360i.com | Twitter: @360i
http://blog.360i.com twitter.com/360i facebook.com/360iagency 360i is an award-winning digital marketing agency that drives results for Fortune 500 marketers through insights, ideas and technologies. 360i helps its clients think differently about their online presence and evolve their strategies to take advantage of the new world of marketing communications – one where brands and consumers engage in interactive and multi-directional conversations. In 2011, 360i was named to Ad Age’s Agency A-List and to Fast Company’s list of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies.” Current clients include Oreo, jcpenney, Coca-Cola, Bravo, and Smirnoff, among others. For more information, please visit blog.360i.com or follow us on Twitter @360i.