The biggest thrill for a social media marketer is to compose a post that resonates with their target audience in a way that gets the content shared on Facebook. Organic sharing outperforms Facebook’s advertising algorithm by getting brand messages to the most receptive audience.
This August, I created a Facebook post for my client that received 5,404,650 organic impressions -- roughly the population of Finland. It was shared on Facebook almost 20,000 times, and private sharing is not included in this number. There is no magic formula to make every Facebook post go viral in this way. When it does happen, marketers like myself love to take a look back at the highlights and try to answer, “Why this particular post?”
Working With Barn Pros
I am lucky to work with Barn Pros, a company based in Washington State that offers pre-engineered barn kits. Their product line includes barns, barns with living quarters, barn homes, shops, garages, arenas and professional equestrian facilities. They have an attractive product, and while they are technically in the engineering and manufacturing space, over the past three years I have positioned their brand on social media as a high-end online retailer. Through consistent attention to Facebook, their social media community has grown to a following of over 166,000 fans who are very engaged with the product and lifestyle presented.
This client is unique in that I am fed User Generated Content (UGC) from the marketing manager. Almost all of the photos that I use on Facebook are solicited for marketing purposes from customers because Barn Pros does not build the structures, rather the customer orders a kit that is then delivered to their site to be constructed. This gives all of our posts an advantage since Facebook favors original photos over stock or brand photography. (Photo credit: The Customer! A happy customer taking delivery of a Barn Pros Sierra 36 kit in Kansas.)
Facebook Post Results
The good news on Facebook:
- 3,226,289 unique reach
- 536,458 total clicks
- 236,717 photo views
- 93,854 likes (12,000 on post, 81,000 on shares)
- 19,855 link clicks
- 19,680 shares
- 19,608 comments (3,800 on post, 15,700 on shares - a big thank you to Sprout Social for making it easier to monitor post comments and questions!)
- Post engagement increased 1,235%
- Page Likes increased 100%
More good news:
- Google analytics showed increased referral traffic by 6,166%
- Catalog requests jumped 482%
- 1 barn purchase can be directly attributed to this post as well as multiple leads
- Due to the popularity of this post, several articles were written about the Barn Apartment phenomenon, including this newspaper article that was written and then syndicated nationwide.
- The post spread from the US to barn lovers in Canada, Australia, UK, South Africa, Germany, Brazil, New Zealand and France. Barn Pros does ship internationally, although it is not their core business.
The Goldilocks Principle
In the children’s story, Goldilocks preferred the comfortable middle ground between two extremes. Part of the social media marketing plan for this client on Facebook includes a fair amount of customer education. To this end, we show a range of barn structures and their uses. There is a 24’ x 24’ barn or garage kit that starts at $24,591 and there are luxury barn models that start at well over $300,000. However, fans are most engaged when we show this particular model. It hits the sweet spot for price, style, quality and flexibility of use. It appeals to the broadest range of barn lovers.
Will I chase social media gold and only feature the Barn Pros Denali kit and its variations? Sadly, no. There are around 30 different kits to talk about with many customizable features, as well as an online barn and home supply store. But, I do take pride in the awesome results and engagement garnered on this particular post.
A barn kit is not an impulse buy. Potential customers use all available sources of information (including the Barn Pros Facebook Page) to make a purchase decision of this magnitude. The client approved a sensible Facebook marketing strategy that includes a mix of sales, educational, and feel-good posts. Not every post will be a home run, but the long tail benefit of building an informative Facebook page filled with a consistent look and messaging is worth it.
Find out how a thoughtful social media marketing strategy can boost your business. Connect with Thin Pig Media today!