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Using Facebook Ads to get more Fans

We’ve experimented with Facebook Advertising campaigns a number of times over the past six months with mixed results. I’ve posted about them twice before:

1. Facebook Ads and How they Compare to Google Adwords – 31st October 2008 – blog post here

2. Latest Facebook Ads Campaign – 10th February 2009 – blog post here

The conclusion from those campaigns was that the demographic targeting was great, the number of clicks and traffic we got was good but conversions to sales were poor. The reason is that it takes a lot to persuade a Facebook user to change from Facebook engagement mode to buying mode.

This time I used a Facebook ad to direct users to our Facebook Fan page with the purpose of getting new visitors to signup as fans.  It was run to coincide with a voucher giveaway which was running on the Facebook page – to be drawn from all fans on March 31st.

Here’s what the ad looked like:

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And here’s the stats: I started the ad campaign on March 26th:

March 26th – 13 clicks – 5 New Fans

March 27th 13 clicks – 5 New Fans

March 28th – 13 clicks – 1 New Fan

March 29th – 12 clicks – 1 New Fan

March 30th – 12 clicks – 3 New Fans

March 31st – 11 clicks – 10 New Fans.

Overall: 74 clicks, 25 new fans, Total cost $15.05

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Of course not all new fans over this period can be attributed to the Facebook Ad. It’s a failing in the Facebook page insights (analytics) that they don’t show the source of the new fans i.e. whether they came from the ad, from the PuddleDucks site or from any other referrals. We did get a great referral from Damien Mulley’s blog on the 31st March which would have resulted in a number of the new fans for that day.

So overall I think it was worthwhile spend of $15. I might do it again to sign-up more fans the next time we are running a prize draw on our Facebook page.

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Facebook Page Prize Draw Winner

The winner of the March draw for the €50 PuddleDucks voucher made among our Facebook Fans is Nuala Carolan. Congrats Nuala!

Nuala is fan number 17 on the list of fans from our Facebook page.

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The number 17 was picked by our two dogs, Pepper and Rory last evening at PuddleDucks HQ – ably assited by Jake (nearly 8). It was a little chaotic but we got there in the end!

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Facebook Prize Draw

A quick reminder of a prize draw for a €50 PuddleDucks voucher on our Facebook page. The draw takes place on April 1st among all the fans. And remember if you’re a fan you’re entitled to free postage on all orders (within Ireland).

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 I am thinking of an interesting and unusual method to make the draw. If you have any ideas please leave a comment.

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Makeover for our Facebook page

Facebook have recently implemented a new look to Fan pages. The main change is that the fan page now looks more like your personal facebook page. Most of the page is now taken up with the Wall tab.

Here’s what the PuddleDucks Fan page now looks like:

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Overall it’s an improvement on the old style page but I also have a few reservations.

Like:

In  the old style page it was difficult to engage directly with fans on new content or offers. Now fans will see the new fan page status updates (including photos and videos) appear directly on the news feed on their personal page. This will really improve engagement and is a major change for the good.

You can slso configure the page so that fans and non-fans see different landing pages.  I have set it up so that fans land on the Wall (careful!) while non-fans land on the Info tab.

Don’t like:

For us, the ability of fans to add photos to our page is important. In the past, fans have added photos to the page of their kids wearing the PuddleDucks gear. In the new layout the fan photos are lost in the Photos box and it is not visible at all unless the Photos box is clicked.

The Information box is also not very useful. The only information visible on the full page display is that we were founded in 2005 – not the most important piece of information about PuddleDucks that I’d like people to see.

Summary:

I have a lot more experimenting to do to improve the look and feel and the user experience. I must find out more about Facebook applications as they can also be integrated into the pages.

Finally a reminder of the benfits of joining as a fan of PuddleDucks on Facebook. At the moment we have a draw for a €50 PuddleDucks voucher – the draw takes place at the end of March among all the fans. And our fans are entitled to free postage on all orders. Come join us as a fan here.

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Latest Facebook Ad Campaign Results

We did another campaign on Facebook for our January Sale. It was run over a period of 7 days. The ad looked like this.

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The landing page for the ad was our home page and after the 7 days the stats looked like this:

Impressions: 116,744

Clicks 170

Click Through Rate %: 0.15

Cost Per Click: $0.16

Total Cost: $26.78

Looking at Google Analytics I see that we received one conversion from the campaign. The bounce rate was also quite high at 44.27%.

Conclusion:

The cost per sale of $26.78 was high – much higher than the cost per sale for our Google Adwords. As we found in our previous campaigns, Facebook Ads are not great for conversion to sales as users are not in a shopping mode at the time. They are good for getting traffic to your site and for brand awareness.

I’m going to try another experiment with Facebook Ads again soon. For the next campaign I’ll attempt to get signup to our newsletter and maybe incentivise by offering entry in a prize draw. I expect that the conversions for signups will be higher than conversions for sales. It will make an interesting experiment anyway and I will publish my results here.

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And the winner is …

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We did a draw for a €50 voucher over on our Facebook fan page. The winner of the voucher this time is Oonagh Brien. Well done Oonagh.

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Prize Draw on our Facebook page

We now have 40 fans signed up to our Facebook fan page. I’m using the page to update folks about offers, news and new stuff on the site. I like it so far and I plan to use it more in the future to get some discussions going and offer some special products to fans.

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To encourage more people to join we are running a prize draw at the end of January for a €50 gift coupon to use on the PuddleDucks site. We are also currently offering free shipping within Ireland to all our Facebook fans. All you have to do is to go over to the page and join.

I am going to do some reaserch on how other business use their Facebook fan and group pages, see what works for them and what does not work and I’ll post my findings here.

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Special Offer for Facebook Fans

I’ve just added a Special Offer for anyone who’s joined us as a fan on the PuddleDucks Facebook page: Free Shipping on any orders placed before Christmas.

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To avail of the offer:

1. Make sure you have joined as a fan on the PuddleDucks Facebook page

2. Just write “Facebook Fan” in the Customer Comments on your online order and we’ll refund your shipping charge.

Cheers!

— Aedan

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Facebook Ads and how they compare to Google Adwords

Since reading some posts a few months back on Damien’s Blog and the eWrite blog about Facebook Ads, we have recently tried them out for PuddleDucks. We were lucky enough to get the free $100 of advertising from the Visa Network Application. So I set up our Facebook ad on the 2nd October and off we went. I set the daily budget to $5.00 Here’s the ad we ran:

Setting Up:

It’s quick and easy to get going. I love the way you can select your demographic of the Facebook users you want to see the ad.  As most of our customers are mothers of kids, I tried to get this selection when setting up the ad. Unfortunately Facebook doesn’t store any information on whether the member has kids or not. This is a pity. So I had to do my best to get as close to our ideal selection as possible. I did this by selecting women over 27 and under 50 – either married or in a relationship. It’s the best I could do – I hope this isn’t sexist or anything!! The only problem with this is I could never see the ad actually appear on a Facebook page as I don’t meet these criteria! 

Amount of Clicks:

We were getting between 8 and 12 clicks per day with an average of about 10. The click through rate was very low – it varied between 0.07% and 0.14%. For instance yesterday I got 12 clicks out of 9,019 impressions which is a CTR of 0.13%. By comparison, our Click through Rate for one of our Google Adwords campaigns was 2.45% for the last week. This difference is understandable – by its very nature the CTR for Facebook Ads will be a lot lower than for Google Adwords.

Cost:

I set the budget to $5.00 (€3.87) per day. And I originally set the cost per click to $0.60. After a few weeks I reduced the cost per click to $0.40 and then the number of clicks I got per day increased slightly. On most days we were only charged between $3 and $4.

Pages Viewed and Bounce Rate (data analysed from Google Analytics):

[For those unfamiliar, bounce rate is a measure of whether a visitor directed to a website moves from the initial landing page (usually the home page) or whether they “bounce out” of the website immediately back to the source webpage.] 

Facebook Ads compare quite favourably with Google Adwords. Visitors from Facebook Ads viewed an average of 3.72 pages and the Bounce Rate was 33%. The comparable figures for Google Adwords in the sample period was 5 pages per visitor and a 29.5% Bounce Rate. I am quite happy with Facebooks results here considering that visitors from Google Adwords are expressly looking for a product while the visitors from Facebook are clicking the ad they happen to notice while they were going about their normal Facebook activities.

Conversion to Sales:

For us, Facebook does not fare very well in getting many sale conversions directly from the Facebook Ad click. Our conversion rate was less than 1% whereas we are getting over 5% conversion to sales from Adwords. (according to Gloogle Analytics)

Conclusion:

I enjoyed trying out Facebook Ads for PuddleDucks. We got good traffic but the conversions to actual sales were quite poor. The future benefit of the Facebook Ad traffic is not tangible but I think it can show positive benefits for brand awareness and hopefully some of these visitors will come back, independently of Facebook and purchase at some time in the future. Now that we have used up our free $100 advertising I think I’ll pause it for a while and think of other ways we can use the Facebook Ads in the future. Maybe promote specific products (with clicks to specific landing pages), maybe do something for the Christmas market and maybe bring visitors to our Facebook fan page rather than the website home page. I’ll continue with Google Adwords as it always brings satisfactory sales. In the meantime I’d be interested in hearing of anyone else’s experience of using Facebook Ads to generate sales.

— Aedan

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The PuddleDucks Facebook Fan Page

We’ve set up a Facebook fan page for PuddleDucks here. I’m not a big Facebook user but having a fan page looks looks like an interesting way of keeping in touch with customers. If a few people add themselves as fans then we can keep them up to date with new products, special offers and other news. Maybe people can join in a discussion, add photos or videos or maybe add reviews. Let’s see how it goes anyway – if you think it’s worthwhile and use Facebook, we’d really appreciate it if you would join as a fan.

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