Over the past year, there has been much argument and commentary over Facebook’s value as a sales driver. Social media marketing is great for online PR, brand building and even customer service. But can you use Facebook to increase your company’s sales?
Tough Mudder, a challenging obstacle course company, used Facebook to increase their sales by 24 times over a period of two years. Twenty-four times! They hold racing events in cities around the world and used Facebook as their primary marketing channel during this time.
Two years ago, Tough Mudder had approximately 200,000 Facebook fans. Today, their Facebook community is over 2.9 million members strong, with hundreds of thousands also following their geographically targeted spinoff Pages.
Better yet, they’ve been able to achieve measurable increases in sales and saw a 5-10 times return on their investment in Facebook marketing. How did they do it?
Once their page was launched in 2010, Tough Mudder immediately took advantage of Facebook’s free Events app. Fans of the brand could easily see upcoming events in different locations and share the information within their own social networks.
To attract new fans and generate registrations for their races, Tough Mudder began using Facebook Ads. Their advertising strategy was to use specific targeting, zeroing in on cities, age groups and interests to reach the people most likely to participate in their events.
They created a “Hall of Fame” series of image posts on their Facebook Page, to increase engagement and encourage fan interaction. Sometimes, their images had caption contests, where users were encouraged to make their own captions for race-related pictures. Tough Mudder also posed questions and fill-in-the-blank updates to fans, in order to kick off conversations and get people talking about their brand.
In addition, they created a custom Facebook tab that contained a quiz for participants, to see if they were ready for the treacherous 12-mile course.
Tough Mudder’s strategy revolved around interesting, engaging content that was highly relevant to their audience. They invested their time in creative written content, high quality images and Facebook Ads to expose this content to a greater audience. The first event they promoted with Facebook Ads attracted more than 5,000 participants, with $8000 in ad spend.
In order to succeed on this scale, it was important for Tough Mudder to invest their time and budget in the creation – then promotion – of the highest quality content.
How are you using content to connect with your fans on Facebook? Share your tips in the comments!
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Great success story, Connie! I love the Tough Mudder brand - and remember learning of the race from Facebook. And some great ideas as well about engagement. While the launch of Tough Mudder was pretty recent (2010) I wonder if the same advertising budget would return a simliar result of 5,000 participants if launched today. What do you think?