Campaign Name: The 25K Like-a-thon
Advertiser/Brand: Logos Bible Software
Logos Bible Software has been in the e-book business for 20 years. We offer nearly 13,000 books and research tools to pastors, students, and the general public interested in studying the Bible on any level. Our books are different than other e-books in that they're tagged, hyperlinked, and indexed so users can search their entire library with ease for anything and everything related to their topic of study. Further, our users' digital libraries can be access via PC, Mac, smartphones, tablets, and the Internet, with all their notes and work kept in sync via cloud technology.
When Facebook users "Like" products on a brand's website, it does wonders for short-term visibility and brand awareness. When someone Likes a web page, the story that potentially shows up in all their friends news feeds contains a social endorsement, a brand and product name, and a link back to the brand's webiste.
But as search engines continue tapping into the social graph, Facebook Likes on a company's website can do wonders for long-term brand visibility and traffic as well. As reported by Mashable recently, "Facebook Likes now affect search rankings. An article that might have normally surfaced on the second or third page of search results may appear on the first page if friends have liked it." (emphasis added)
We saw the coming impact of Likes on search engine ranking well before Bing's recent announcement. So when we reached 25,000 Facebook fans, we decided to create an event that would get our fans to "Like" hundreds of our products thousands of times.
Just before we reached 25,000 fans, Facebook changed the way web page Likes work, giving the Likes a lot of real estate on people's profile pages and in their newsfeeds. We needed to come up with a plan that would overcome the fans' perceived "cost" for Liking.
Few people want their Facebook profiles to look like this:
To overcome this hurdle and encourage our fans to spread the word about our products via Facebook, we monetized the Like with the 25K Like-a-thon.
The rules were simple:
- Hit the Like button on as many product pages as you want.
- We will mark down some of the most-liked products an additional 10% off the current sale price for every 1,000 Likes our fans rack up together as a social community. The resulting discounts would only be available to our Facebook fans.
By incorporating into the promotion a benefit for mass participation, we incentivized fans to spread the word as much as possible. To that end, we included a "share" button, so fans could easily share the news with their friends.
In order to get even more long-term exposure, we hid the details behind a "reveal" tab, so only current Facebook fans could see the promotion. This was done so that people who heard about the sale but wanted to take part had to become Facebook fans. But by becoming a fan, they were ultimately opting to get more of our marketing messages even after the Like-a-thon was over.
Execution and Use of Media
We announced via a Facebook update the 25K Like-a-thon and linked to one of our fan tabs with the details. (Note: For the sake of demonstrating to MIXX Awards judges what this looked like, we created a tab on a hidden Facebook page to emulate what we initially posted on our fan tab.)
We reminded people about the promotion throughout the week via status updates and tweets, and when the time for Liking was over, we announced the sales on a fan tab. (See a tab re-creation made just for the purpose of MIXX judging.) In this announcement, we included more Like buttons that were tied back to our product page urls. We put the buttons right next to the sale prices in order to get even more Likes from excited fans.
Results and ROI
From an immediate-revenue standpoint
From the stand point of immediate financial cost versus immediate financial profit, the creative and implementation costs behind the Like-a-thon totaled roughly $1,000 whereas the Like-a-thon turned about $200,000 direct profit over the 19-day event. More simply, we made 200 times more money in direct, immediate profit than we spent on the promotion!
Our weekly revenue via Facebook traffic doubled when comparing the weeks immediately before the Like-a-thon to the weeks immediately after the Like-a-thon. This gain is due primarily to a 31% increase in fans during the Like-a-thon.
From a brand awareness and visibility standpoint
In a typical 19-day timeframe, Logos.com visitors hit the Like Button 251 times.
During the 19-day Like-a-thon, site visitors hit "like" 14,556 times, for an increase of 5,800%!
When measuring short-term exposure within Facebook, product Likes in a typical 19-day timeframe are seen an average of 164,896 times. But during the Like-a-thon, product likes were seen nearly 800,000 times! That's a 485% gain.
Not only did we gain in terms of visibility within Facebook, we also drove a lot of new traffic to our website. In a typical 19 days, people who see product Likes in their newsfeed click through to Logos.com just .12% of the time. But during the Like-a-thon, they clicked through to Logos.com and browsed our products 6.7% of the time! In other words, visits to Logos.com via a "Like story" were up 5,583%!
Due to all this short-term visibility and brand awareness within Facebook, our total fan count rose 31% from 25,000 to about 33,000 fans! That's 31% more fans who have opted to seeing the marketing messages we push out on Facebook multiple times per week. The result (also stated above): our revenue via Facebook doubled when comparing the month before the Like-a-thon to the month after the Like-a-thon.
As far as search engine ranking and long-term visibility, the impact of the Like-a-thon still largely remains to be seen. Google, Yahoo!, and Bing continue to leverage social media engagement in new and creative ways all the time. One thing is for sure, though: We now have nearly 15,000 more Likes than we would have had otherwise!
While the impact is still unfolding, here's one example of immediate benefit. When searching for the very generic, common term "Bible" at Bing.com, Like-a-thon creator Stephen Smith sees search results far more favorable to Logos Bible Software now than he would have before the Like-a-thon.
In conclusion, the 25 Like-a-thon proved to be a remarkably successful campaign. To date, we've found record of no other brand successfully offering enough benefit to fans to warrant this much engagement with the Like button. The immediate exposure and excitement we received via Facebook far exceeded our expectations, as did the revenue. And given our foresight into where social search is headed, the long-term value of this campaign remains to be seen. It's safe to say, however, that the value can only dramatically increase!