Deeper Dive On A Facebook Marketing Case Study

In last month’s article about how great community management is beginning to emerge in smaller organizations, I used an example from Seagull Outfitters, courtesy of Marty Weintraub at aimClear. For this post, I went back to Weintraub for some additional information.

Seagull Outfitters is a regionally dominant Minnesota Canoe Area Boundary Waters outfitter. Located at the end of the rugged Gunflint Trail, Seagull Outfitters spend their days facilitating wilderness marine excursions.

Prior to the campaign that I’m going to discuss, Seagull’s Facebook page was pretty typical.

facebook-banner

There were lots of zoomed out pictures, stuff that only their immediate community (Liked already) would care about. There were about 600 Likes. Engagement was good, on a small scale.

little-pics

Like most small businesses, Seagull would post updates that generally reached a few more users than those that Liked their company page… just a few. All in all, it looked like a Facebook page but didn’t really accomplish much. Sound familiar?

Starting With The Website

Seagull’s website, like many small-medium business (SMB) sites, is perfectly fine as a customer resource but is dated technically.

seagull-website

However, the owners are serious about their online presence. “They track goals in Google Analytics and know with certainty that the Seagull site works to generate customers. They can say, To come to the Seagull website means that visitors will become customers,” Weintraub told me. “Also, existing customers use the site as a resource, over and over and over again.”

“That probably means that if we get the right people from social media to the website,” we have a win. Weintraub added, “It is reasonable to think that driving psychographic traffic from social to the Seagull Outfitters site is a worthy KPI. After all, it’s one of the definitive resources for enthusiasts in the region.”

Clearly, then, the main objective here is to become introduced to new people that fit the target profile, and bring them to the website. The tactics to get there were:

  1. Facebook-only content for inexpensive branding
  2. Clever repackaging of seagulloutfitters.com goal pages on the Facebook wall
  3. Facebook-only content with bit.ly links.

Let The Branding Begin!

To start the Facebook advertising campaign, they began with a post in which they used a classic image of a minnow bucket. They cranked the contrast and brightness, zoomed in, placed the Seagull Logo and uploaded it to the page. It was big, about 500 x 500 pixels. The caption of the image on the upload is “1-Leave Office…” and then a bit.ly link to content on the company’s website!

The bit.ly link was part of the caption. This is a smart tactic because, when amplified, the price of the paid organic ad unit is very inexpensive because it’s not an overtly external-facing link.

bait-bucket-bitly

Weintraub described the results:

The paid organic amplification results were awesome. Seagull targeted hardcore fishing interests, by Facebook partner categories that filtered Facebook users who have a lot of money.

Look at the actions and what was achieved for $64. Tons of views of the branded minnow bucket.  There were a lot of page post likes and page likes as well.  While engagement for engagement’s sake is SO 2011, it matters in this case because of the extreme psychographic focus.  In other words, the likes are from fantastically qualified potential customers. They’re building a very relevant new community.

Also, you’ll see that there are link clicks. The bit.ly link drove a good amount of traffic to the homepage of seagulloutfitters.com. Awesome.  New users are in the system now. that is the definition of branding.  This is a great example of in-FB only branding that also drives traffic to the SMBs website.

results

Next: Repackaging Web Content For Facebook

Next, Seagull took site content that looked like this:

content-like-this

…and repackaged it on their Facebook page.

The image on the left (below) is how Facebook pulls in the page data on Seagull Outfitters site by default. The image on the right is a very clever page post.  The image has been replaced with a zoomed-in and treated derivative of the original. Every text field has been edited, driven by an understanding of how that page post will be spun into page post ads.  The repackaging is really neat, framed by the “Mind Bending” statement and irresistible question, “Best Small Mouth Bass Fishing in America?”

ad-examples

The results are noteworthy. This paid organic ad, targeted to Facebook users who are well-off fishing fanatics, drove inexpensive traffic to the fishing page. Remember that getting interested users to these pages often results in gaining customers.

more-results

Next, Seagull repackaged content on seagulloutfitters.com that looked like this:

content-like-this1

Again, the repackaging goes from left to right. On the left (below) is what OpenGraph pulled in by default. As Weintraub said, “It’s useless because the Seagull site is not set up properly. They don’t know how to use OpenGraph and they don’t need to care — standard Facebook page management tools provide everything needed now to rock the wall post.”

The right (below) is the masterfully repackaged wall post, every field edited.  They even purchased a stock photo.

more-ad-examples

The paid organic amplification was to a different psychographic targeting set of enthusiast interests. The results were impressive, with an array of link clicks, likes and page likes.

results3

So, What Did This SMB Accomplish?

Let’s zoom out and study the results after dialing in one week of paid organic amplification of clever FB page posts designed to maximize Seagull’s available web assets.

First, the Facebook reach is a hockey stick up the right. It’s fun to note that this reach is targeted to highly focused psychographic audience. The strategy is to use social media for quantifiable branding and external site traffic.

results4

Here’s another look at the reach lift. Take note of the metrics that “Talking about it” can be further sliced by. “Reach can be purchased, talking about it can’t,” Weintraub concludes. “When talking about it and external facing traffic scales at the same pace as reach, then you know that everything is firing on all cylinders.

results5

Many thanks to Marty Weintraub and Seagull Outfitters for sharing the tactics and results from their campaign.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook: Advertising | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Marketing Column | Social Media Marketing: Advertising

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About The Author: is the author of the DragonSearch Online Marketing Manual and Social Marketology (McGraw Hill 2012) and the ceo/co-founder of DragonSearch. He is a regular speaker for Google at their Get Your Business Online seminars. Dragon frequently speaks about the convergence of social media, process, information architecture, and sociology.



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  • Bob Nunn

    Interesting piece Ric but would really like to what it all did for business at the end of the day if you can. Thanks anyhow.

  • venkatg

    I would like to know the cost per ‘like’ as well as whats the % conversion of these to a purchase decision. I also notices that the paid amplification of reach did not result in corresponding ‘Likes’ to the page. I know the campaign was necessary but, I wonder if this was sufficient for the collective effort they invested in.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Bob, The short answer: more canoe and cabin rentals.

    Socially amplified traffic to the site performs similarly to
    organic sources. Suggesting this as a resource: http://ow.ly/oHfOw.
    Suffice to say that most good things that happen with organic traffic content, happen
    more with paid-organic amplification.”

  • Marty Weintraub

    Ventag,
    The traffic to the site costs between $.16 and $.78. The likes were free. The traffic performed similarly to organic search content traffic.

 

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