20 Dec Building your fanbase and targeting outreach
Facebook is a great platform for yarn retailers, manufacturers and yarn companies to reach out to their audience. I’m often asked, “what’s the best way to build the fanbase quickly?” so I thought I’d take the time to give my feedback on this question.
Although the total number of fans is certainly an important metric, it’s NOT the end-all, be-all. Some of my clients have highly evangelistic fans that do more to tout the brand than having masses of low-quality fans that never translate to sales and have little net benefit for your company.
The key here, is to build your fanbase by targeting your outreach in an effort to attract and engage those fans that will have the most influential effect on your brand. Otherwise referred to as the mavens, the connectors, the influencers, these are the people most likely to blog about your product, post projects in Ravelry.com and tell all their friends on Knitty.com how much they love your new yarn, knitting needles, knitting book etc…. OK, so how do you attract them??
Giveaways, Promos & Contests:
We’ve had a lot of success lately with targeting giveaways, promos and contests on client fanpages. In one such case study, we did a series of regular Friday afternoon offerings for Manos del Uruguay that resulted in a huge jump in fans and followers of their social media accounts. I know we’re discussing Facebook but when we carried this giveaway over to Twitter, the brand-new account leaped from 7 followers to over 200 in just under a month’s time.
Here is a sampling of giveaways, promos and contests that have had stellar success rates for our clients:
- Participation in a naming contest– we’ve done contests for both patterns and yarn colors. Our color-naming contest for one client cost us only one skein of yarn, but brought in invaluable feedback from fans for owner to work with. And SUCH creative submissions— that one was fun and the fans really appreciated hearing their voices heard and suggestions considered. I’m confident we created a lot of customer loyalty– and again, just for the cost of a skein of yarn.
- Giveaways to introduce new yarns— gaining traction on a new yarn can be slow-going sometimes. Giving away mini skeins or even full skeins allows your most loyal fans the opportunity to touch and feel the yarns, or even swatch on or complete a small project. We encouraged users to upload finished projects which resulted in more social media fodder to discuss on Twitter and Ravelry. This was a win-win and gave the client a nice jump-start in the introduction process.
- Giveaways once you hit a certain number– Although I think this sometimes brings in a lot of fans that may not be as targeted… I have seen numbers surge overnight with the offer to do a giveaway once a target number is reached. In one particular example, we were at 385 fans and offered $100 gift certificate once the fanbase reached 500. I thought it would take a week or so, and we hit the mark in just under 48 hours. Knitters are voracious for a giveaway like this, that’s for sure…
- Limited Promotions–For one client with a large following, we offered limited promotions to our most active Facebook fan users. In this case, we scanned through a month of activity and created a limited-time offer on a needle sale which was extended only to that select group of fans. Our hope was that this small group of influential users would replicate the offer to their network creating a viral effect. We were also confident that an offer recommended by a trusted, well-connected influencer would be redeemed at a higher rate than if it came directly from the company. Sales were very healthy for this particular campaign.
Hope this gives you some ideas for increasing your Facebook fan page numbers….I know I should be saying “Like” numbers, but that phrase still feels so strange to say it that way! I’d love to hear what’s worked for you too! What other tactics have you used successfully in your yarn or knitting business that you’d like to share? Email me at admin@ (domain) to share!
Happy Holiday’s and hope Santa brings you stockings full of knitting joy! Leanne