Archive for August, 2009

Using Facebook Ads to Get More Fans

We’ve been running Facebook Ads on and off for over six months now – with varying degrees of success. Overall they can be divided into two types of advertisement:

1) Ads that take people your website 2) Ads to get more fans on your Facebook fan page.

For us the latter has been the most successful. I currently running some Facebook ads to get more fans and am satisfied with the value and results we are getting.

Here’s a few tips and information if you have a Facebook Fan Page and you are thinking of advertising for more fans.

  • Make the ads compeling and give it an incentive for people to click. From trial and error I have found that mentioning your special offers and giveaways work wonders. Here’s our latest ad:

Fb as fan

  •  Select the correct demographic for the ad – this should reflect the breakdown of your customer base.
  • If you mention in the ad that you have offers and giveaways then make sure you have them viewable on the fan page at the time you are running the ad.
  • Decide how much you are prepared to pay for a new fan and see if you are hitting this over time. For example I decided that I can pay 50 US cent for a new fan. You can easily see if you are getting this by looking at the stats. When you are running  an ad to get more fans you will see Cost per Action well as Cost per Click. (when a person clicks on the ad and go to your page, they don’t all click again on the “Become a Fan” button). Cost per Action is the metric you need to keep an eye on. In the following table our Cost per Action for the lifetime of the ad works out at around 45 US cents. That’s 45 cents we are paying for each new fan – good value I think.

FB stats

In case your wondering why I belive that getting more fans on your Facebook page is a good thing for your business. It’s not just a numbers game, collecting fans for the sake of it. Your Facebook fans fall into 2 possible camps. They could be existing customers who are happy to engage with your brand and share this engagement with their Facebook friends. Or they could be Facebook users who have not yet purchased from you. In this case, I believe that there is a much higher chance of them turning into customers if they are fans on your Facebook page.

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It’s Back to School Time … soon

When I was of school going age many moons ago, I used to hate the Back to School posters appearing in the shops way before the end of the Summer holidays. But with less than 2 weeks before the schools go back, I think its safe now to publicise our own Back to School range of waterproof coats. 


Shown above are two of the coats in the PuddleDucks Raincoat range:

Jake is wearing the Waterproof Fleece Lined Coat on the left and Shayla is wearing the Rose Petal Raincoat on the right.

You can see the complete range of our raincoats on the PuddleDucks website here.

Enjoy the rest of the holidays!

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Weekend Fun – The Duck Song

At PuddleDucks we love Ducks and we love the Duck Song.

Have a watch – it’s very silly but soooo catchy.

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Summer Sunflower

It was a gorgeous sunny Summer’s day here in Carrigaline today. To celebrate we publish this photo of Jake and a giant sunflower that he grew from seed. Happy Summer everyone!


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Online Shopping within Facebook

Here’s an interesting new development in the world of Facebook and Online Shopping: 

It’s now possible to shop and checkout completely within a Facebook page. US online flower seller recently launched an application which enables customers to buy items directly from within their Facebook fan page. This is what it looks like:


 It will be interesting to see if this is the first of many such e-commerce sites that will have fully functional stores within Facebook. Watch this, or rather that space.

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A Winner and some new Gifts

Firstly, congrats to Jean Long from Dublin, the winner of a €50 PuddleDucks voucher in the draw made among all the customers who entered reviews on the website in June and July. Well done Jean! Your €50 voucher is on its way. We’ll have another draw for any new reviews entered from now up to the end of September. You can enter your own review here.Girls 2 square

Secondly, we have added a new category on the website for ready made gifts we call “Gifts to Go”. You can purchase a selection of PuddleDucks gear, lovingly wrapped with a lovely card included and sent to a lucky child of your choice. Easy peasy!

Check out our Gifts to Go here.

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Online Shopping not included in retail sales statistics

The retail sales figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for the last few months do not make happy reading, In the latest statistics, the volume of retail sales decreased by 15.4% in May 2009 compared to a year earlier.

But whenever I hear the doom-laden news of such retail statistics I think “hey – what about online sales?”. At PuddleDucks, our sales are increasing year-on-year and I know the same is the case with other Irish online retailers with many more retailers coming on stream all the time. I also understand that in times of recession many shoppers are moving online in search of lower prices, greater choice and added convenience.


I have enquired with the CSO and they have confirmed that the official retail sales figures in Ireland do not include online sales. So all the news of dropping retail sales is only covering shopping centre stores and high street stores but not online shopping sales. It’s as if online doesn’t exist.

But look at these statistics and forecasts from the UK:

  • Online sales are 17% of all retail sales [2]
  • Online shopping will grow by 137% from £8.9billion at the end of 2008 to £21.3billion by the end of 2011 [1]
  • Predicted that 30%-50% of all retail sales will be online within 5 years [2]

So in Ireland if a consumer moves spending from a high street shop to buy online, that sale disappears from the official sales statistics. In effect, it looks like that the online sales are not taking place at all.  I understand that in the current downturn overall spending sentiment is falling but not counting online sales is making the effect seem worse.

Online shopping is a real shopping and has a huge future. There should be official Irish statistics available for it.


[1] PayPal Report

[2] Internet Retailing Report

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