Live from #SMX Social: Free Facebook Tactics to Drive Traffic & Conversions

By Janet Driscoll Miller | Dec 5, 2011
More Articles by Janet

We kicked off the first SMX Social with a great panel of Arnie Kuenn, President of Vertical Measures, Drew Conrad, Social Media Marketing Specialist at Zagg, and Kevin Scholl, the Social Media Manager at Red Roof Inn, discussing “Free Facebook Tactics to Drive Traffic & Conversions”.

Kevin Scholl

Kevin kicked things off with sharing tactics that Red Roof Inn uses. Since it was founded in 1973, much has changed for Red Roof Inn, including how they communicate and how they engage with guests. They’re focusing much of their time on Facebook right now.

Early on, they saw that there was a lot of content around people travelling with their pets, using photos and other media. To segment this better and to ensure that this user content didn’t block other important content from the Red Roof FB page, they created another page for the pet lovers called “Red Roof Loves Pets”.

Kevin’s first tactic: Talk is cheap. Most of their energy is spent coming up with content and monitoring, not investing in tools or technology. They are monitoring Facebook 24/7 and try to get to comments within an hour. They pay attention to what people are talking about, their feedback and more to have a meaningful conversation.

Tactic 2: Customer Created Content. Brand advocates can be the best member of your social team — they work for FREE! They leave their page open to allow others to post to it. He showed examples of other brands, including Dunkin Donuts and Skittles, that use customer content on their Facebook pages. A quick look at Red Roof’s FB page shows that they are currently running a 12 days of Christmas photo submission effort.

Tactic 3: Content is King. Once you set up a Facebook page, you have to create content to engage with visitors. Kevin emphasized that he’d rather have 10,000 engaged members than 100,000 disinterested members. One thing that Red Roof does is to use content that shows you care. He shared an example from Veteran’s Day and how they partnered with the Disabled American Veterans and made a donation and each promoted the partnership. It garnished about 2,000 new likes for Red Roof.

Tactic 4:  What do you think? Red Roof uses Facebook as a springboard for customer feedback.

Tactic 5: Be different. You don’t have just show content that is relevant to your brand or products.

Tactic 6:  Be sure to respond!

Tactic 7: Partner. Partnering shows your community that you care and it expands your audience.

Tactic 8: Like Red Roof Inn on Facebook.

Drew Conrad

Drew Conrad from Zagg spoke next and started by talking about their blog. Of the bulk of content the blog creates, they’ll take several per week and post them to the Facebook page. If they see something is doing well on Twitter (using it as a barometer), they will share that blog post on Facebook as well.

ZAGG has three main social media goals:

  1. Get the user from Facebook to (they have to be very ROI focused)
  2. Convert the potential customer.
  3. Collect an email address.
Drew shared an amazing graph on how, as their Facebook fans grew, revenue grew accordingly. To measure how these tie together, ZAGG uses a custom URL shortener to understand how much revenue social media brings in. One way they have created revenue from Facebook is by sharing incentives and short term coupon codes that are only good for an hour, they’ve used giveaways, and they incentivize the share with giveaways.
Last year they used a “12 weeks of Christmas” giveaway. To sign up, you had to provide an email, and to get additional entries, you had to “share” the contest with others. You could also tweet it for one more entry and “like” ZAGG on Facebook for “early winner notification”. The result? They had upwards of 9,000 shares in one day, 38,000 shares in one week and a 452% growth in Facebook fans over the course of the campaign.
Drew gave a three part social media campaign model: give a reason to share, make it easy to share, and make it measurable.
Arnie Kuenn
The last speaker was Arnie Kuenn from Vertical Measures. Arnie approached Facebook from the agency perspective. He quoted some great studies from Buddy Media as well.
Arnie first emphasized developing your Facebook strategy. Why are you creating the content you’re creating? Who is your audience? Who are you? What will you measure? What is different a year from now?
How often should you post? You have to be careful of spamming users — it’s the number one complaint from Facebook users. The most popular pages post once per day or less, and posting 1-4 times per week produces a 71% higher engagement rate. Focus on quality, not quantity on Facebook. Only 50% of your posts should be about YOUR content. Businesses that have other content receive a higher engagement rate.
Some strategies for effective posts:
  • Keep the post length to 80 characters or less — it gets a 27% higher engagement rate.
  • Engagement rates are 3x higher for FULL URLs as opposed to shortened URLs.
  • Fans follow instructions. Ask them to like a post, comment or tell you something.
  • Ask questions at the end of a post — it leads to a 2x higher engagement rate.
  • Fill in the blank posts received 9x more comments than other posts.
Avoid complicated wall posts. The highest level of engagement is for status only — not a link or photo attached.
How can you come up with content ideas? Start with keyword research — it should be your foundation. What keyword phrases do your customers use? Check out analytics to help you know. Use other tools to get ideas for content, like:
  • Google AdWords keyword tool
Then do some online market research. Take a look at trending topics and jump on that opportunity. Question and answer sites also can be a great resource for some topics to create content around. What are people curious about? Also check voting sites, like Digg and StumbleUpon. Finally, check out Google’s Discussions in Search.

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  • Arnie Kuenn

    Thanks for covering the session Janet. Good to spend some time chatting with you too. Hope to see you soon.