skip to main content

Snowcial Recap: Webtrend’s Data Driven Formula for Facebook ROI

divider image for this post

“Last week I was lucky enough to be able to make it to Snowcial in Lake Tahoe. This week I’ll recap some of the key takeaways from the conference. It’s only a glimpse but hopefully it provides some helpful info if you couldn’t make it.” 

Snowcial. Is it a party or a conference? I had been asking myself that question since I first heard about the event in 2010. After attending last week I can say, without hesitation that first and foremost, Snowcial is a conference. However, for those that like to party, you won’t be disappointed. If you aren’t into that scene, don’t let that aspect dissuade you from missing out on some amazing social media and marketing insights. There were some great discussions which took place regarding how sometimes you have to buy youtube views just so you don’t stay behind, the role of digital marketing when it comes to social media and how it’s economic value is increased over the decade, as it’s now helping people meet their daily requirement of money to live a healthy life.

I really will only be able to share a small fraction of what was discussed. I have five pages of notes from the speakers alone, not to mention dozens of side discussions and other bits of insight. Today, I’ll start with Webtrends.

An Answer to Facebook ROI?
There were a lot of unique perspectives shared last week, but this one may have intrigued me the most. Monetizing your brand’s presence on Facebook continues to be an area of debate, but Webtrends, thanks to a lot of testing and data, seems to have an answer. The premise was based on a few pieces of data, including some interesting click-through stats. For Facebook ads:

  • The CTR is .05% for people that ARE NOT fans of the page running the ad
  • The CTR is .35% for people that ARE fans of the page running the ad

Once they’ve clicked, their research showed that:

“If you keep people on Facebook and send them to a Facebook tab (rather than your website), they are twice as likely to stay.”

To me, that is a huge takeaway from this presentation. The rest leaves us with options, but using a tab with those resorts is a pretty powerful stat. So, here is the full approach they outline:

  1. Instead of using your wall posts for promotions, pay for Facebook ads that are shown only to your fans to keep engagement content (wall posts) separate from promotional content (Facebook ads)
  2. Instead of sending fans offsite, build custom Facebook tabs to house the offer and/or the transaction
  3. Use analytics and testing to refine the process.

The Nutshell
I’m always trying to take some larger concept and breaking it down to one core idea or question. As I look over what Webtrends proposed, I see everything merging at this central statement or claim:

“You will make more money by paying for Facebook ads that target your fans than mixing promotional messages into the content you post on your page’s wall.”

The difference between their approach and other approaches is mainly found in the way you get fans to that landing page. The thing is, I’m having a hard time seeing this as a “one or the other” situation.

Take Groupon, for example. It would be foolish to say that people are turned off when they get offers from Groupon simply because that is what they expect. Facebook fans, for many resorts, are no different. They have been lured in by headlines such as “like us for awesome deals” or “click like to know about lift ticket discounts”. If that is the case, the worry of sharing offers is not that your fans aren’t expecting them, it’s that doing so might hurt your EdgeRank.

Possible Solutions
EdgeRank is based primarily upon interaction with your content, and, as I heard someone say at Snowcial, “who is going to interact with an offer?” As is, not many people, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

What I’d try is a combination “offer (+ possible occasional reminder of why they liked you) + request for feedback.” Something like this:

“Want to enjoy our new snow? Use the ‘PowChow’ tab on the left to claim a $40 lift ticket valid any day this week!

As you know, our Facebook welcome page says we’ll try to share the best deals with our fans. If you like this one, let us know by clicking ‘like’, if you don’t, drop us a comment and let us know what you’re hoping for.”

It’s clear that the Webtrends model can be successful, even if it takes a few iterations to get it right as they mentioned. However, with no data from them on using a page’s wall for promotions and possible ways to avoid shooting your EdgeRank in the foot, I wouldn’t give up on that quite yet.

Be smart with the way you share offers, encourage interaction around them, and watch your analytics carefully. If you aren’t using analytics to track your Facebook offers, I’d fix that sooner rather than later.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

Get the weekly digest.

New stories, ideas, and jobs delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.