We met up with the experienced Facebook marketer Ida Hällkvist to discuss her work with Sweden’s largest design and home decorating site Royal Design. But we got so much more. We left the interview with a lot of knowledge about how businesses succeed in social media.
Before Ida started working with Royal Design the fan page had around 500 “likes.” When the campaign ended just four weeks later the page had 7,500 “likes.”
And these were not your typical, inactive Facebook fans.
“This is a type of company that works well on Facebook. It’s a brand with a strong image customers want to identify with,” Ida explains
“The fans at Royal Design are fascinating. They like the offers posted on the wall, express they think the company is great and some fans have even written poems about the products. If you naturally have this type of fans, you can be very happy.”
The campaign was quite simple, which the best ones usually are.
Royal Design ran a contest where fans could win products from their store (and right now Royal Design sells over 3,000 items from world-class designers from Scandinavia and Europe.)
Alongside attracting more fans through the competition – both with traditional market-place ads and sponsored stories – Ida also put up ads to drive traffic to Royal Design’s web site. And when the message was “Now we have a 70% warehouse clearance sale” the customers were pouring in.
The entire campaign was a success, both from a sales and branding perspective, but how do you achieve that?
Google and Facebook are not the same: Remember that people are on Facebook of other reasons than getting information from companies. They want to speak with their friends.
The image makes the difference: It’s the image that draws your eyes to the ad more than the copy. If the image doesn’t work and gets attention, the rest doesn’t matter.
Make max bids: Go with the max bid suggested. It’s tough to get impressions, especially among younger people where there are most users, if you don’t bid high.
Communicate with your audience: In the future, content and communication will become increasingly important.
Be the first to understand Facebook changes: When Facebook releases a new way to advertise, make sure you understand it early. If you’re ahead of most people, you can cut your advertising costs.
One thing Ida comes back to throughout the discussion is the importance of having a social-media plan and not just set up a Facebook page because you’re supposed to nowadays.
“When you look at some companies’ websites you often see they have added “like buttons” with no strategy behind. They’re just there,” Ida says.
“Ok, I can like on Facebook but do I like you or a certain product? Why should I like it?”
“It’s extremely important for companies to think this through. It doesn’t matter if you have 100 different places on your website where you have Facebook like buttons, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or whatever when there’s no reason for visitors to use these channels,” she adds.
But what do you do when you get an extra 7,000 fans on your Facebook page? How do you keep them interested?
“That is a very good question and what we are discussing right now. You need an overall strategy that not only revolves around marketing,” Ida answers.
“You have to make your web page, outside of Facebook, more social. When someone has made a purchase or some other action on the page, make it easy to share this on Facebook. Then it’s all about content. Send out a lot of information. If you run a business that sends out newsletters, for instance, and people like them, slowly move these to Facebook where you’re able to reach more people.”
You should also consider running sponsored stories instead of regular market-place add. Or even better, like Ida did in the Royal Design campaign, run them side by side to see what works best.
According to Ida, the real benefit with a sponsored story is that you can highlight what people are doing, what they like and what they’re discussing.
“You can catch people’s actions by making sponsored stories. If you don’t, everything they do will disappear down the news feed very quickly. With a sponsored story, the ad is shown on the right-hand side of friends’ feeds. And people are herd animals. There’s nobody we trust more than a friend.”
Ida tells us she’s been using Qwaya for quite some time now and has followed the development of the tool. With the latest updates, the tool has become really easy to use.
“What may have been confusing in the past is now very clear,” she says.
The pros of Qwaya according to Ida are the drag-and-drop functionality, possibility to work with templates to go back to tweak ads plus the fact that all your work is saved. It’s not like in Facebook’s own interface where you have to upload everything over and over again even if you want to make just a minor change.
Another thing Qwaya helps you get around is the quick ad optimization Facebook uses. If you have several ads in a campaign, Facebook quickly chooses to go only with the first ones that receive clicks.
“I think Facebook optimizes too fast – it can be already after the first or second click. It feels a bit random,” Ida explains.
The trick to bypass this problem in Qwaya is to create a campaign with, say, five ads and put four of them on pause. Then switch to the next ad after perhaps one day so all ads get a fair amount of impressions.
When you’ve run through all ads you’ll see which one works best.
“If I want to run an A-B test, which I think is important to reach good results, it’s very quick and easy to do with the tool. And then you can follow up and optimize the ads,” Ida says.
Towards end the interview we discussed the keys to succeeding with online marketing and what the future will look like. Ida says that the best and most powerful advertising strategy is to be up-to-date with what Facebook is doing.
“Adapt to Facebook’s changes early. Like now, be the first to implement domain stories. Learn what it is and use it. When you’re early, the cost-per-click can be significantly lower. When I started with page posts, for instance, they were a lot cheaper than regular market-place ads.”
What we really take with us from this interview is the importance to understand what Facebook is and to understand the users’ intent. The social activity is extremely important.
“You have to realize that this is not a regular display network, you have to combine your ads with social events of some kind. Something needs to happen,”
Ida says as she heads back to her work station.