You Like Me, But Will You Commit To Me?

Organizations are increasingly committing resources to develop and maintain a presence on Facebook to attract and grow their audience.  Whether for-profit or non-profit, they’re springing up fast and furious.

One recent addition is the Facebook page for the Storming of Thunder Ridge, the charitable road cycling event we’re marketing.

Facebook is an important part of our strategy to promote the event because we seek to minimize marketing expenses to ensure that funds raised go to benefit the cause.

To that end, we’re asking regional bicycle shops and cycling clubs to add the ride to their event calendar, email the details to their customer lists and promote it on their Facebook pages.  The key is to make it both simple and easy to spread the word virally.

So Far So Good

As I reported in my last post, we have 33 registered riders and 73 “likes” on Facebook. Most of this occurred before the launch of the event website and first promotional outreach to shops and clubs.

Today, we’re running a single-day contest to boost the number of Facebook fans. If we can garner more than 100 likes, we’ll randomly draw a name to win a copy of a movie about cycling that was shot locally and features part of the event route in the film.

Almost immediately, our Facebook page likes jumped to 88. 100, here we come!

Here’s the problem, though… we still have 33 registered riders.

Getting Into Focus

The goal of our marketing is to get riders to register for the event, not get a bunch of people to like our Facebook page.

We believe, however, that there’s a direct correlation between the audience that likes the event on Facebook and that which will register. I mean, why would someone become a fan of a cycling event if she doesn’t have an interest in potentially participating?

Following this rationale, we hypothesize that if we build a Facebook audience, we will likely convert a high percentage of those followers eventually into registered riders.

For a correlation, consider a product company that gives away a free sample or an enterprise technology provider that invites potential customers to a webinar. These are “safe” ways to engage prospective buyers without scaring them away by asking outright for the sale. Rather, these are steps in the buying process designed to forge a relationship and drive action to culminate – if successful – in a future sale.

The Dreaded C-Word

So, if we add more Facebook fans by running a promotional contest, will they also commit to the event? Or did they like us simply for a chance to win a prize?

Stay tuned…

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Are you using Facebook to engage prospective buyers? If so, how are you using it to build your audience and how have you successfully converted fans into buyers?

(Image: devu)

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