Case Study: Running a branded Facebook Page on small to no budget (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of a guest blog post from Kevin Lippy who has successfully run a branded Facebook Page aimed at Backpackers travelling through Australia. He has used the great analogy of the Big Lebowski to show the lesson learnt from this.

5. “I don't roll on Shabbos!” – Walter Sobchak
Actually, with your company’s name at stake and by giving our fans free reign to post links, pictures and videos on our wall, you kind of have to roll (or at least check on it) always. Yes even Saturdays. Also, we knew that by opening ourselves up in this way, meant it was inevitable that other third parties would use the page to promote themselves. Like ‘El Duderino’ himself, we have taken the pacifist approach, and have decided to do absolutely nothing about this (so far), because:
a. While their content hasn’t been cool, so far it has been harmless
b. They have never been our direct competitors
c. It would be hypocritical - as we had seeded info on other pages

6. “This is what happens….” – Walter Sobchak. - (censorship on purpose)

7. “Hell, I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon, with nail polish. Those…. amateurs!” – Walter Sobchak
In order to meet our objectives we had to generate interest. We went about this by opening up to other people in the industry by grouping together a prize that included 15 Nights accommodation, a 2000km bus pass, a Skydive and a Surf Camp. Being inclusive, also made our Page sexier as all of a sudden we had hip content to post like skydives, surf safaris and nightclubs. To enter we couldn’t have made it simpler. All someone had to do was:
1. Become our fan
2. Write on our wall “The best thing about backpacking Oz is…”

We promoted the Page in 3 main ways:
1. A Launch party - we co-hosted a night at a Backpacker Bar and had a door prize draw for anyone who became a fan on the night.
2. We created some signage and asked Hostel managers to promote it.
3. We created in Facebook ads. These are the shizzle! One of my core objectives is to get to my customers before they have even left their country! Please tell me another way I could do this for the price I have with Facebook ads?

8. “Where’s the F***ing money Lebowski?” – The Dude
Laugh if you will… but I believe that I have evidence that this campaign has been monetized in some ways.

Exhibit A:

This was a question, posted on a spin off ‘group’ created by one of our fans, with the purpose of asking other fans whether they were going to be staying at one of our Hostels this New Years Eve. From this I see two good news stories:
1. A random fan created a Facebook “group”, unprompted by us, positively talking about our brand.
2. By the time I had even seen this, Carolyn’s question had been answered by another fan, the situation had been resolved, and as a consequence she was able to book with us (= revenue $). This had all occurred on the Group’s wall!

My all time favourite part of Facebook pages is “Interactions.”
I find it strangely exciting to know that exactly 39% of my Fans are Females between the ages 18-24. More importantly, I can monitor the amount of page views, fans, user-generated content uploaded, fan interactions and even how many photos have been looked at.

We launched just over 3 weeks ago (oh yeah... make sure you get a vanity URL… you just need 100 fans). After all is said and done we are a bed… not a band, and are not something that many people already have an existing emotional connection to. I am stoked with the amount of fans we have, and even more with how they have interacted with the page. I am still deciding whether it is something that should be evaluated within the context of a brief campaign, or something that will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.


Lippy said...

posts like "What is the craziest / funniest thing that has ever happend to you in a hostel?" will inevitably lead to comments about Dildo's.

Jules, and other commenters... When promoting a brand on social networks is their a line that should not be crossed... even in an an out there indusry like backpacking?? Or should you stop at nothing in the pursuit of keeping your page as interesting as possible?

Grace Gordon said...

Awesome article! This is by far one of the better ones i have read about building branded facebook pages. I have already implemented some of your handy tips from Part 1 into some of the pages i work on!


Julian Cole said...

Hey Lippy,

It is hard one, I think common sense comes into it a little bit. If you were not comfortable to be standing in a room of your customers and running the competition in front of all of them, then it is probably not a good idea. Also think that your direct boss is in that room as well. If you think he would say appalled by your actions, then it is probably not worth running.

I think we are at an interesting time where we are learning from our mistakes, I am still learning everyday about Facebook Pages and it is only when you are I am out there doing it and experimenting is when I figure out what works and what doesn't.

Simon T Small said...

Hey jules & lippy, cool case study in how to grow facebook fans, only thing missing is the value to the business, website visitors, leads generated, brand mentions increased and sales?

Lippy, being interesting is key and being on/near brand is important, but we will need to move away from the core brand propositions from time to time as there's only so much that fits under a brand umbrella.