I learned a lot form this experiment. So much in fact that I’m going to need to break the results up into to two parts. I should have Part 3 of this series late next week.
Here’s the skinny of how I did it and what I learned along the way…
In a nutshell I was able to get such large number in such a short amount of time with a combination of paid advertising, viral traffic, and mailing list traffic.
First, the paid advertising…
I have been experimenting with Facebook advertising for some time now. However, prior to this point I had mostly been sending people from my Facebook ad to a squeeze page. This worked okay. The conversion rate wasn’t amazing, but I did make sales and in time (over subsequent promotions) it looks like I should profit nicely from the traffic I generated.
With that said, I was paying between $0.59 – $1.09 per click. That might work when you are driving people directly into your sales funnel but I knew I wouldn’t get the ROI I needed to make that work if I was just only driving people to a Facebook page.
So I did some tinkering…
Now, despite the fact that Facebook will tell you that this is NOT how their ad pricing works, what I found was that if I sent people directly to my fan page I got a better price than if I sent them to an external URL. Immediately after making the change I was able to bring my prices down by about 10%. That was better, but it still wasn’t good enough.
Then, somewhat by accident, I stumbled upon an approach that brought the price down significantly. I’ll spare you the long explanation and just tell you what I did…
Contrary to all of my past experience with PPC (pay per click) advertising, I found that when I customized the ad and tried to get clever with my headline and and ad copy, the performance of the ad did not improve all that dramatically.
Instead, after experimenting with a good 30 ads or so I finally just threw one up using what are more or less the Facebook ad default settings. In other words, I didn’t change the headline (I left it as my page title), I barely changed the copy, and I didn’t alter the destination tab. Much to my surprise the click through rate skyrocketed and my price plummeted. I was able to get clicks for as low as $0.16. This was something I could work with.
Here’s a copy of the ad I used:
I did enough experimenting to conclude that Facebook did seem to favor internal URLs over external ones (which only makes sense) but it also seems that the very simple “like” call to action and graphic, coupled with the fact that you can see how many of your friends “like” the ad/page caused the click through rate to really shoot up, which was the key to the low price.
My highest click through rate on the best of my ads prior was about.08%. With this new simplified ad I was seeing a click through rate as high as .3% That’s a huge difference and it’s the key to getting cheap clicks.
The ad being little more than one big call to action, my “like” conversion rate became an overwhelming 90% (approximately). That’s HUGE, and that was when my count started to really take off.
Then came my mailing list…
With some impressive numbers in place I emailed my subscribers (that’s most of you who are reading this) and told everyone what I was up to and asked everyone to like my Facebook page.
If you still haven’t done it then seriously, what are you waiting for… Click like on the MMM Facebook page. Here’s the link
Needless to say, that gave me another big boost. I mention this because surprisingly it’s not something everyone does. By making it a point to include an email in your autoresponder series that is dedicated to converting people into Facebook fans you will get infinitely better results then simply waiting for your fans to come find you. If you’re new here, you’re autoresponder series is something I cover in MMM 2.0.
I’ll talk more about this later but there is a lot of value in connecting with your fans in more than one medium. While email is by far the best way to get people to take action (in my experience), social media is a great way to reinforce the impact of the emails you send out to your list.
Finally, things went viral…
One of the best things about Facebook is the fact that when someone leaves a comment on, or likes you page, all of their friends see that activity on their wall. This acts as an endorsement of you and/or your page. And the most valuable traffic is traffic that comes from the endorsement of a trusted source.
Over the course of this experiment I received 51 Likes, 129 comments, and another 12 “shares” and 52 FB comments on the blog. That represents an enormous amount of value and I saw a lot of traffic as a result.
To stimulate that activity I left several posts that encouraged people to get involved in the discussion. I held contests, and I straight-up asked people to leave a comment or help me get the word out. Thanks by the way to everyone who contributed. I’ll be announcing the results of the contest soon. This not only promotes viral activity, but it also strengthens the relationship between the page owner and the user. I can genuinely say that I feel like I know many of you just from your comments and the various interactions we’ve had on Facebook and the blog. It’s good for business, it’s good for the user, and it just makes for a more human experience.
The Perfect Storm…
These three elements (advertising, mailing list and viral) led to a perfect storm of activity that produced over 3300 new Facebook connections, 105 new subscribers, and most importantly…
…$840.69 in new revenue.
Now truth be told I spent $875.68 on the advertising, which technically puts the cost of the 3300 new subscribers at $35. And if that’s all there was to it I would need to conclude that the experiment was a bust. But in business you don’t just look at the cost of each lead. You look at the LIFETIME VALUE of each lead. And when I look at my current projections, this Facebook experiment becomes quite profitable. How profitable I can’t say for sure as there are still some unknown variables with Facebook, however it should be well into the hundreds, probably thousands of dollars. With subsequent product releases and promotions, a little common sense reveals the kind of profit potential that exists over the lifetime of 3300 new Facebook fans.
Still… there were some things that I didn’t like about the results. And many of you bring up good points about Facebook being just another potential Myspace. Furthermore, while I will profit from this experiment, I did not see the kind of response that I anticipated and the sales did not come from the places I suspected they would.
In my course Music Marketing Manifesto I teach people the importance of building a mailing list, and stress email marketing over social media and other forms of promotional activity. This Facebook experiment only reinforced that belief. But with that said, I did find that if used right, Facebook can really strengthen the relationship with your list. However, were Facebook my sole hub for the relationship I have with my readers, I think the experiment would have been a complete loss.
This is very important for you as musician. I will explain why in part 3 some time next week.
Phew, that was a long one. If you’re still here, do me a favor and help share the love
Leave me a comment below or click one of the share buttons. I want to hear your thoughts, questions and experiences. How has Facebook been working for you. Selling any albums as a result? If not, why do you think that is?