Earlier in the week I talked about how implementing an idea immediately after conception leads to great results. One of the ideas that I put into place as fast as I could was creating a facebook page for my niche site Viking Smash Brewing.
The reason I went about making a facebook page was that I was trying to get proof of concept. I wondered whether homebrewing equipment, and making mead in particular, was a good niche to target for a website. One avenue of testing is creating a facebook page and seeing what kind of traffic you can get. This is a very low cost way to test interest in a certain topic.
Set up all the basics of your page by going to the side of your facebook account to the pages section and hitting create page.
After you click on create page, you’ll be prompted to choose what type of page you want. I can’t remember what type of page I initially used for the Viking Smash page, and I’m not really sure it matters that much. Just try and pick the closest one that applies to the site you are building.
For instance, I built a page for the beer store I worked at called Flourtown Beverage. For that, I used “Local Business or Place”. For a niche site though, you could justify using any of them, so just pick one.
Once you get the fields filled out and have the page up and running, it’s time to dive in on the design. There’s a couple things that I would recommend here.
- Have an eye catching cover photo
- Have a profile photo that is associated with your brand
- Concise about section describing what your site is. Think of this like a slightly larger site tagline.
Ideally you should change some of these things with officially branded logos, but since this was all testing and proof of concept, I went with some generic stuff associated with mead and vikings. My cover photo is of Thor giving a toast in a mead hall with the avengers and my profile photo is a little viking guy.
At this point you want to form a base of content for people to see when they come to your page. You don’t want true fans showing up to a blank page. What I did was I spent an hour scheduling posts until I had about 50 posts.
I did every kind of post possible during this testing phase in order to get a feel for what would get the most engagement. Not surprisingly, posts with meme type pictures attached did the best. Keep this in mind for later.
The way I found that meme pictures performed the best was that I looked at my page’s insights. This is kinda like your google analytics for your facebook page. Unfortunately facebook doesn’t provide you with insights right away. You are required to have something like 100 fans first. The way I got around this was that I just invited enough of my friends to the page until I reached the mark. You may not want to do that for a myriad of reasons though. If that’s the case, just post everything and move to the next section.
Starting and Ad Campaign
There’s a million different things you could play around with when it comes to facebook ads. It lets you do sponsored posts, ads on the side of the page, timeline ads, etc. The main advice I would give when you’re starting out is to just play around with it.
One of the great things about facebook ads is that you can set extremely low budgets. This is key because when I was first starting out I didn’t want to spend that much just to test an idea. Interestingly enough, this turned out to be a good thing.
My ad was created specifically for page likes. This means the ad showed up in the lower right hand corner of someone’s screen and had a button to like the page right on the ad. This is pretty much the simplest form of ad. There’s other stuff you can do like send people right to a specific post or direct linking to an outside website, but I started with this.
Here’s the ad I initially went with:
For some reason, the picture on the ad isn’t showing up there, but it was a picture of that little viking guy. Since creating this ad a few years ago, they changed slightly the way the ads look, so that may be why it’s not showing up.
You can see here that it’s a very simple ad that just describes what the page is in one line. I wanted to make it as simple as possible because I wanted to see if there was a genuine interest in this topic. I also didn’t want people clicking on the link just because it was flashy.
This ad performed very well and about a minute after putting it up, my notifications was blowing up with people liking my page. The first day I got around 300 likes to my page which slowly tapered off each day for the next week until I got around 50 a day. I placed my budget at $5 dollars a day and just let it ride.
However I wasn’t content with this as I wanted to see how different ads would perform. I tried a few other ads with different pictures and different copy, and they performed alright. None did as good as the original though. Always test different ideas and different ads to get the best performing one, then put more money into it.
A great feature of facebook ads is that you can target people who like specific groups already. For instance, when I set up my ad, I was able to brainstorm and come up with a list of things people who liked home brewing would be interested in. That list was:
- Gluten-free beer (because mead is gluten free)
- Honey (main ingredient of mead)
As you can see, this list isn’t even that extensive, but it worked pretty well to get a very targeted group of people who would be most likely to like my page and more importantly be interested in my website.
At this point I shut off the ad after building up something like 2800 fans and just let it grow with the scheduled content. I went about making my actual website in order to start linking articles and getting traffic to my site.
Once you get to this point on your facebook page, it’s a good time to post links and interact with fans directly. From here, continue scheduling posts that get good engagement, put up links from your site with attached pictures, and get feedback on the site directly.
I’ve found that a lot of people out there won’t actually interact with your site, but they will on the facebook page because it’s much easier for them. It’s a good way to talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to about your niche.
One of the best things to do to start growing your page to really big numbers is to start holding contests and givaways. I haven’t done this as of yet, but I know it’s a successful tactic based on my conversations with people who run e-commerce stores. The idea here is that you put up some prize as a giveaway, and in order to enter the contest, people either have to sign up on your various social networks or share your information. This is done by using 3rd party software like Rafflecopter.
If you have any ideas for new sites, this is a great way to get some information about whether it will work or not without breaking the budget. You can also set up a facebook page in a couple minutes as opposed to the amount of time it takes to set up a full site.
Come up with a list of ideas for sites you had ideas of building and get testing.
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