Nothing creates warm-fuzzy feelings quite like cookies. That’s why Howdy Honda in Austin, TX recently used LoyaltyTrac, their service rewards program, to conduct an email campaign centered around the holidays and cookies.
Colorful, cheerful emails were sent to all of Howdy Honda’s service reward members, encouraging them to submit their favorite holiday cookie recipe to be included in a downloadable cookbook that the dealership would create and distribute in its December email. Members were encouraged (but not required) to post their recipes on Howdy Honda’s Facebook wall. Every member who sent in a recipe received a bonus 10,000 service rewards points redeemable towards any service of choice.
The email campaign achieved an open rate of nearly 20%, far surpassing the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMS) average of 12-14% for opt-in lists. More than 50 members clicked through to the dealer’s Facebook page, resulting in many cookie recipes being posted on their Facebook wall. The campaign’s focus was to engage service rewards members using social media, but a nice added bonus was that the campaign also generated service appointments that averaged $250 per RO in customer pay work.
Other LoyaltyTrac auto dealerships have achieved similar results with various non-solicit campaigns. Emailing seasonal recipes to service rewards members as a “thank you” or vehicle safety tips and do-it-yourself guidelines are other examples of how you can gain appreciation from your customers.
Howdy Honda’s cookie campaign is just one example of how customized campaigns work to build customer loyalty. LoyaltyTrac is a rewards-based loyalty and retention platform that may be points-based, activity-based or incentive-based, and extends the experience of a dealer’s loyalty program into Facebook and Twitter by making customers’ actions in social media both trackable and rewardable.
However, before you design your own campaign, LoyaltyTrac makes the following recommendation: service managers should assign every recipe to one employee so they can bring in the various treats. After all, you wouldn’t want to hand out recipes that you haven’t personally tried, would you? We didn’t think so!
Happy Holidays and enjoy the treats, customer goodwill and extra revenue!
Successful marketing of any type involves a combination of many different variables. Perhaps the two single-most important elements of good marketing are:
1. Getting the Right Message to the Right Audience at the Right Time
2. Optimizing Future Marketing Efforts with Effective Result Analysis
The two final webinars during week 3 of Facebook Marketing Bootcamp emphasize how social media marketing is no different – particularly in these two ways – from the standard marketing formats that have been used for decades. Experts from the Facebook marketing team explain the benefits of using the platform’s different technology options for better targeting and reach with segmentation and social plugins and better optimization using Page Insights:
Maximizing Efforts with Insights & Optimization:
As marketers, we know that creating a campaign is both an art and a science. The art aspect involves finding the right image combined with title and copy optimization where the science lies in proper targeting, employing the right call to action and performance analysis.
Bootcamp provides specific tips on how to achieve this blend of art and science with three steps suggested for optimizing your Facebook campaigns:
1. Craft Your Ad Creative:
Questions drive engagement in title or body
Keep the body copy short and clear
Encourage users to act immediately
Give clear calls to action using high-impact verbs to drive urgency
Discounts & Free Offers:
Everyone likes a good deal – highlight these details in your ad text
Promote Facebook offers and deals outside of your page
If possible, use words like these: free, discount, promotional, trial, complimentary
Space & Logos:
Use an image that speaks to the audience demographic
Avoid the use of logos unless your logo is well recognized
Make the most of the full space available
Simple, uncluttered images work best
2. Segment & Structure Your Campaigns Clearly
Create multiple ads by using different creative within the same campaign in order to identify which creative elements you should use (Bootcamp recommends a maximum of 3 to 4 ads per campaign).
Use a unique URL for each campaign in order to measure which demographic delivers the best performance.
Identify which creative elements are the most successful with each audience and pause the ads with the lowest performance. This ensures that your most effective ads are getting the most views.
Analyze your reporting and reallocate your daily budgets according to your best performing audiences and ads.
Monitor successful ads based on your key metrics; for example, cost-per-click, click-through-rate, cost-per-acquisition, social reach (Facebook defines “social reach” as the number of people who have seen your ad associated with their friends’ name).
3. Evaluate Your Campaign Performance with Reports & Page Insights
Insights is Facebook’s reporting and analysis tool, used by businesses and developers to evaluate their success with the Facebook platform. Facebook has the following to say about their Insights tool: “By understanding and analyzing trends within user growth and demographics, consumption of content and creation of content, Page owners and Platform developers are better equipped to improve their business with Facebook” (Insights).
Insights will help you understand the performance of your Page, including a new public number for “People talking about this;” learn which content resonates with your audience; and optimize how you publish to your audience.
For example, when looking at the Responder Demographics Report, you may see one particular audience segment that responded at a higher rate than any other segment. You can use this information to further target that audience and better understand the market that is most responsive to your campaigns.
Make Your Technology Social:
Marketing is about pushing information out to your target audience and social media platforms have an unprecedented ability to reach deeper and further into your desired market. Facebook has built several tools that can help businesses make their technology “social,” and these are broken into two categories:
Social Plugins allow users to share their favorite products and content with their friends directly from your website. Using Plugins (e.g. Like Buttons, Comments, Like Box) helps you expand your social reach beyond your Facebook Page.
Each of these tools can help you spread word about your business through many different distribution channels and engagement platforms, but they won’t necessarily be right for every business. Before launching projects with either tool, determine whether the platform would be right for your business.
As you focus your social media marketing efforts on getting the right message to the right audience at the right time and spend the necessary time to evaluate results and optimize future campaigns, you will see your social reach grow and be able to harness the power of marketing through social media platforms.
What Page Insights have worked best for you?
How have you implemented Plugins and Apps in your business?
Many businesses have yet to grasp how powerful social media can be when it comes to building relationships with current customers and reaching out to potential customers. Week 2 of Facebook Marketing Bootcamp – a series of 6 online webinars designed to help B2C and B2B businesses get the most out of their Pages – emphasizes that “Facebook has the global scale of television, the precision of direct marketing and ability to harness the power of trusted connections between friends.” By using the tools provided through platforms like Facebook, businesses are empowered to effectively build their customer base and drive both brand awareness and sales.
Through two webinars hosted during week 2 of Bootcamp, Facebook marketing experts discussed the benefits of using both Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories to reach out to their market customers. Here are some highlights from week 2:
Types of Facebook Ads
Unlike routine posts to your Page’s wall which are only ever seen by your fans, with Ads you have the ability to reach those you are not immediately connected to. There are 5 main types of Ads that businesses can employ in their Facebook marketing efforts. Each one has different purposes, all of which will help drive traffic to your Page:
1. Standard Ad - connect your corporate website to an Ad
2. Application Ad - app developers, connect your app to an Ad
3. Like Ad - share your business’ Page through an Ad
4. Event Ad - advertise events to your target market
5. Page Post Ad – change any previous post on your business Page’s wall into an Ad (e.g. status updates, links, photos)
Creating Great Ads
Not surprisingly, when we create an ad on Facebook we should apply the same best practices we would use for ad creation in any other medium:
Target Effectively – Due to the nature of Facebook and the content users are encouraged to share, you have the ability to reach your target audience in ways that may not be possible through other databases. Facebook allows you to target by demographic and geographic (e.g. gender, age, relationship status, language, broad and precise location), by workplace and education and by likes and interests (e.g. favorite books and music, hobbies, political views).
Design an Engaging Ad – Getting the creative right in any ad involves a marriage between clear, succinct copy and relevant, evocative imagery. Nowhere is this more important than the fast-pasted, high-volume environment of the social media world. To engage those who will see the ad, use questions, offers and promotions and be authentic and action oriented.
Set the Right Budget & Bid – Just as with any other marketing effort, you need to set the right budget for your Facebook Ads. This will probably take a bit of practice and fine-tuning. Facebook’s Ad FAQ explains that “every ad is bid on a cost per click (CPC) or cost per thousand impressions (CPM) basis. Each time a user views a page that displays Facebook ads, an auction takes place to determine which eligible ad(s) will be shown on that impression.” And with a smaller budget threshold, your ad will be included in less sidebar impressions reaching less Facebook users.
Analyze & Optimize – One of the most vital parts of any marketing effort is reviewing the results and using that data to improve the efficacy of any future campaigns. Facebook suggests creating multiple versions of your Ads; use multiple headers, images and body text and mix-and-match the different elements and evaluate what features work best. Then apply your evaluations to every future Ad. And don’t be afraid to switch it up, just to keep your target fans interested and engaged.
Sponsored Stories: Let Your Customers Do the Talking
As mentioned in my review of Bootcamp’s first week of webinars, it’s much better for someone else to say something nice about you than for you to say something nice about yourself. Customers referred through friends and family generate higher profit margins than other categories of customers.
Sponsored Stories take word-of-mouth marketing to the social media arena to great effect. Here’s an example of how Sponsored Stories work:
Step 1: John engages with your page, place, app or domain.
Step 2: A story is generated on John’s friends’ News Feed. Each of his friends has the opportunity to see John’s interaction, but not all of them will. This depends on their individual News Feed filters, the number of their friends and the quantity of posts already flowing through their Feed.
Step 3: You turn John’s engagement into a Sponsored Story. Like an Ad, this interaction will now be pinned to the sidebar of Facebook pages his friends’ view. Unlike an Ad, however, the Sponsored Story will show John’s friends that he “liked” or somehow interacted with your page, place, app or domain.
This is word-of-mouth marketing in action amplified at what Facebook refers to as an “unprecedented scale.”
Within the Facebook world, there are three key market segments that we as marketers need to focus on:
1. Fans of your Page
2. Friends of fans
3. All other Facebook Users
Your current fans will most effectively be targeted through engaging wall posts. Both Ads and Sponsored Stories are excellent tools to reach out to potential fans, but consider the power of word-of-mouth and its impact on friends of fans through Sponsored Stories. When compared to Facebook Users outside your own network, friends of fans showed a lift of:
1.6 times in brand recall
2 times in message awareness
4 times in purchase intent
Facebook calls word-of-mouth marketing the Holy Grail for marketers. It is the single most powerful tool in your marketing arsenal, when you use it effectively, and Facebook has made it easy to wield.
Share some examples of Facebook Ads or Sponsored Stories that worked for you!
Since the launch of Facebook Pages four years ago, businesses have been seeking to harness the full potential of social media marketing. They have turned to many different marketing and social media experts for their expertise and insights, but these businesses have never had the opportunity to pick the brains of the most experienced Facebook experts out there: Facebook itself.
Just last week, Facebook Marketing Solutions launched its first ever Bootcamp, a series of 6 online webinars designed to help B2C and B2B businesses get the most out of their Pages. Facebook Marketing Bootcamp is developed and hosted by members of the Facebook corporate marketing team, allowing businesses the opportunity to learn directly from the source which social media marketing practices work best… and those that don’t. Each half hour webinar consists of a roughly 10-minute presentation by a member of the Facebook staff, followed by a 20-minute live question-and-answer session with the webinar hosts.
Here are some of the highlights from week 1:
Why Facebook for Business?
The purpose of social media platforms, like Facebook, is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. What does this do for businesses? It broadens your reach, allowing you to connect to the friends of those already following your Page through word-of-mouth marketing like we’ve never seen it before.
Facts for Thought:
800 Million Users on Facebook
2 billion Facebook posts/day
500 million log in every day
250 million photos uploaded daily
Word-of-mouth marketing is twice as likely to cause engagement and 4 times as likely to cause purchase than any other marketing method. Through social media, conversations and content-sharing are happening at a rate like never before. As social media marketers, it is our job to spark conversations, to encourage sharing, to engage our customers in a way that we’ve never been able to before. We know who our brand advocates are; we need to target our engagements to these customers and get them talking. After all, it’s much better for someone else to say something nice about you than for you to say something nice about yourself!
Connect to People with Your Facebook Page
Facebook Marketing Solutions recommends that we use Facebook to connect to our customers in 5 key ways:
1. Build Out Your Facebook Page. Add profile information, like videos and photos of your products and employees. Flesh out any business details available on your Page’s “Info” tab. Then invite your friends to “like” your page.
2. Connect the Virtual to the Physical. Share any in-store updates and promotions on your Page. Add your Facebook site URL to any print collateral (e.g. business cards, posters, mailers).
3. Engage Your Fans. Ask your fans questions. Share news about your industry and business. Host contests with prizes. Stay current with your posts, and most importantly, respond. Social media is about a two-way conversation. Don’t ignore or delete negative responses; take advantage of these opportunities to show how you positively resolve bad customer experiences!
4. Acquire New Fans. Use Facebook ads to promote your business to friends of your fans. Add “like” boxes to your corporate sites and blogs. Tell your non-Facebook contacts about your business Page using Facebook’s “Import Contacts” feature.
5. Drive In-Store Traffic. Post daily deals and discount codes. Use “whispering codes” on your Page, and when your fans visit your business with the right codes, reward them for their loyalty.
Are you attending the Facebook Marketing Bootcamp? How are you applying what you learned in your business?