It was last year that I met a Facebook marketing specialist, Mike Watkins at a marketing event. I was impressed by his story about how he had taken the SUPRE’s fashion brand’s Facebook page from zero to 40,000 fans shortly after Facebook released the “Page” option to add to its “Profiles” and “Groups” membership options. I met him again recently for a video interview that I will be publishing in the next few days, in the meantime I would like to share his story.
Facebook “pages” have only been around for 2 years and in that time we have seen major global brands embrace Facebook for engaging and interacting with their customers with some major brands Facebook pages fan subscribers now approaching 40 million and providing another way to communicate that goes beyond traditional media and email.
So what were the key elements to acquiring the 40,000 fans and what strategies did he use to continue to engage and nurture the Facebook fans for SUPRE’s fashion brand?
The biggest challenge to business is to display the “Value” that using Facebook will bring and Supre needed to be convinced of the benefits rather than just playing with the latest social media shiny toy.
Initially the major challenge was to convince management at Supre of its value and why they should be implementing a Facebook marketing strategy, so the question of “Why” use Facebook needed to be answered.
Stage 1. Why Use Facebook?
1. Facebook pages are a more effective and intimate direct marketing channel
2. It is instant and up to date whereas printed and traditional media is usually out of date quite often before it hits the street
3. It is a real time research tool (SUPRE receive hundreds of individual answers within 2-3 hours of the questions being asked)
4. You create a long-term relationship between the consumers and the brand that creates a digital asset with longevity
5. You create a highly leveraged channel that distributes your brand and message by “World of Mouth” as updates to the Facebook “Page” ripple and spread through friends updates and news feeds. This is an incredibly fast and effective organic brand distribution vehicle.
Stage 2. How Do You Start?
a. Define and Understand Your Target market
Understand who you are talking to. So first you need to have an in depth understanding of who your target customer is, so you will need to research the following: Consumer psychology papers, Magazines, Movies, Music, Books and even the celebrities they idolize.
In essence you need to understand and “Grok” (to share the same reality or way of thinking) how your market thinks and acts.
b. Get the “Tone” right
Your brand needs to be perceived as a member of the target market to be trusted. Talk like them and act like them in communication and content
c. Identify the engagement fundamentals
Canvas the entire spectrum for a 2 week trial of content that your research revealed that would receive engagement from your target users and remove content that doesn’t engage. (try everything once)
d. Treat it as a long term investment
Ensure the client knows it is going to take time and persistence and give them some concept of what to expect in 18 months
e. Keep it Real, Relevant and Relaxed (3 R’s)
The latest competition on SUPRE’s Facebook page
Stage 3. Making It Happen
Step 1. Seeded the Facebook page with Facebook display advertisements to build fans
Step 2: Defined the regular updates for the Facebook page
Then keep activity running to a pre-determined schedule.
There are 4 major types of updates:
1. Conversation – is designed to stimulate conversation with the fan base by asking thought provoking questions that encourages short succinct answers from fans
2. Pictures – upload images that the client wanted to expose consumers to for SUPRE professionally taken images of models wearong clients clothing
3. Link – Deep linked updates that that drives traffic away from Facebook to the clients other online properties such as website, online store, blog or YouTube channel
4. Product – spotlight a new product that the client is releasing or will release. You can test new designs and get feedback on possible new items
Step 3: Determine Update Frequency
Do this so that you are not spamming fans
Step 4: Update System for the week
Map out what products are going out that week then implement those updates into the system that were designed to drive and a lot of engagement. Get approval from the client (Rinse and repeat every week) “The update system acts as the backbone to the entire page strategy”
Stage 4: Monitor, Measure & Report
Report weekly or daily depending on activity and client requirements including
- Monitoring demographic analysis provided by Facebook Insights
- Measure growth rate (this can be done through two sources insidefacebook.com and allfacebook.com and you can view both daily and weekly rates)
Example of a report
Key Findings From The Supre Facebook Campaign
- Facebook pages has “saved” SUPRÉ real $’s through realtime market research
- Facebook pages has “made” SUPRÉ real $’s through reatime market research
- Facebook pages has made SUPRÉ real $’s through “product and brand exposure”
- Old school market research is dead
- Engagement = Organic Brand Distribution
- A brand can influence social change
Nearly 2 years on and now with a Fan count of over 300,000 SUPRÉ’s Facebook strategy can be called an overwhelming success because Mike was initially able to show value to senior management at SUPRÉ.
For more in depth information read the 9 page whitepaper.
Image by Andrea Omizzolo