Monday, November 22, 2010

Increase Facebook page engagement with one simple tip

Mike, Jodie and I were discussing our Shoes of Prey Facebook page with our friend and social media guru Ian Lyons over a few beers for Melbourne Cup when Ian suggested we try signing off our names on the Facebook page posts. Jodie takes care of our Facebook page now so the next day she started doing just that, and it's had a fantastic impact.

It seems obvious when we think about it now - people much prefer to speak with a real person they can identify with rather than an anonymous person. As soon as Jodie started signing off with her name, a couple of our best customers, who incidentally we'd recently added to our VIP club as they'd purchased more than 5 pairs of shoes, started asking Jodie specific questions about certain shoes and leathers on our Facebook page. Jodie promptly answered these on the page which encouraged more customers to ask similar questions. The net result has been a lot more customers conversations, a lot more comments and likes and an increase in sales.

Last Thursday a customer asked Jodie if she could post a picture of someone wearing a particular peep toe we have in our designer, because she wanted to see how it looked on a foot. Customers have been making requests like these ever since Jodie started signing off with her name, and we love that they do it. So Jodie and I went into the office the next morning and photographed Jodie in a pair of wedges that a customer had designed with that peep toe. The feedback was amazing. 67 likes, 21 comments and in the 4 days after the post we sold 13 pairs of wedges and quite a few other shoes with that peep toe design, higher numbers of those shoes than normal.

I love this form of marketing so much:
1. Our customers feel comfortable asking us questions like this because they know that Jodie will respond to them, they've seen Jodie in the videos on our site and they know she's responded to questions before.

2. We then post photos of our shoes to our Facebook page in a genuine, uncontrived way. We're not just posting shoes for the sake of trying to sell them, we're posting them because a customer has asked us too.

3. It shows that Jodie, and our business as a whole respond quickly to customer requests helping to build our brand.

4. This uncontrived form of marketing results in a measurable sales increase.

Here's another example of one of the many great conversations from the page since Jodie started adding in her name:

I'm sure this personal interaction is something that has helped Blair (the 16, now 17 year old video blogger we worked with) build the 500,000+ YouTube subscriber base she has. I love how at the 0:43 second mark of the video she did about us she tells people the reason for the band-aid on her finger, it's personal, genuine and people love it.

In other Facebook page news we've just crossed the 10,000 fan mark on our page so we now get to see impression data for our posts. You can see this information in the first of the screen shots above. Note that the data is incorrect on this post because the feature was only just enabled on our page.

Anyone else have any other tips for adding personality to a Facebook page? Has anyone else come across a Facebook page strategy that's had a real impact on how fans use the page?


  1. LOVE IT!

    I don't care what the medium is, customers, clients and everyone that we interact with as a business wants to feel valued and important, and you are doing your bit to achieve that. It's also amazing because it's so consistent with your branding. Each pair of shoes is personal and individual, so your communications should match that.

    What I like the most though, is that so many businesses are complaining that FB provides them with volume, but that a fan on FB doesn't provide a business with a realistic community or forum with which to really engage and interact. What you are demonstrating is that the tool is indifferent, but that your way of working with that tool is the differentiator in that interaction with your customers.

    Awesome insight.

  2. I ran a competition earlier this year where customers submitted a photo of themselves wearing Oye Modern jewellery. They loved it and people who didn't participate loved observing the entries coming in. We had two winners, a staff pic and "most Facebook likes". Maybe you can encourage people to submit photos of their shoes to share with everyone.

  3. Hi Michael, I'm sure you have already thought of this but do you think this points to the fact that if you were able to create a designer that showed real pictures rather than drawings, you might be able to further increase your conversion rate? I'm guessing there are significant technical hurdles to doing this?


  4. Thanks Dom and great suggestion Jeni, we'll have a look at doing something similar, that's a great use of the medium.

    Saf, totally agree that this highlights that photo realistic images in the designer would be fantastic. It's something we want to do, but it's technically very difficult to do, while keeping the designer fast and simple to use. Hopefully we'll get there at some point next year.

  5. This could help me with one of my tasks at work. I have created a fan page for a "Lost and Found Return to Owner" program. Having pictures of items that can be protected might - mp3 players, camers, phones, ipads etc. Also signing off might take away the corporate angle.

  6. As you know, I work at Nett magazine, but I also edit a digital title called Burlesque Magazine which has a Facebook fanship of 12,000+ I regularly post news stories from other non-competing news sources and ask fans for their opinion. I think fans particularly appreciate this, as we’re discussing burlesque as an industry, as opposed to just talking about the magazine, which also lends ourselves to being seen as an authority. So in Shoes of Prey’s case, perhaps you could once in awhile direct fans to fashion blogs that you’re interested in, or post images of celebrities in sexy shoes (with a link directing them to Shoes of Prey, where they can re-create something similar at a much more affordable price). I definitely see why you'd want to direct fans to your site, but there's definitely value in opening up the discussion to shoes and fashion in general every once in awhile, too.

    Just my two cents!

  7. Oh, and also, asking fans questions is a good idea, too. eg. What's your favourite pair of shoes?

    You could also post images of celebrities in ridiculous shoes and ask for people's opinions. For example, this image of Lady Gaga in Alexander McQueen:

  8. Hi Nick - it sounds like that could work nicely for you.

    Jo-Anne - great ideas, thanks so much. Those aren't angles we've really tried to date so we might give that a go, thanks!

  9. Oh and also, girls love looking at pretty pictures and commenting on Facebook. You guys could create photo galleries of Shoes of Prey products, like the pre-designed shoes, or you could have 'trend' galleries, like photos of different examples of the kinds of nude patent leather shoes customers could create using your tools.

  10. More great ideas, thanks Jo-Anne! We're actually putting some trend boards together now for our website, we should definitely post them to Facebook too, that's great! Thanks again.

  11. I've always done this on my company page and it's always worked great for us too.