ethanbeute

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Tag: Jason Fried

Results from Free Facebook Ads

If you read magazines like Wired or Inc. (yes, both still appear in print on actual paper), you may have noticed offers from Google and Facebook on those little pull-out/fall-out cards that are annoyingly tucked, glued or stapled into just about every magazine.

The offers are basically identical and provide a unique code to cash in for $75 in Google Adwords or $50 in Facebook Ads.  It’s a smart way for each company to invite prospects into their easy and cost-effective ad systems.  It’s free money for me and wholly trackable sampling for them.

While reading the recent issue of Inc. featuring a cover story from Jason Fried about how to get good at making money (note: I really enjoy his ongoing involvement with Inc.), I decided to take Facebook up on their offer.  I used the $50 ad credit to prop up a community page I made for my neighborhood, Ivywild Neighborhood – Colorado Springs.

Ivywild, Ad, Facebook, Facebook Ad, Neighborhood, Colorado, Sign, Advertisement

My set-it-and-forget-it Facebook ad for "Ivywild Neighborhood - Colorado Springs"

My approach was smart from the start, but lazy through the finish (I never A/B tested or adjusted any copy or imagery).  I set up the ad to target people who:

Why Bristol?  They’ve got the biggest Facebook fanbase – by far – of any neighborhood business (about 3,500).  Along with The Blue Star and J Gregory Salon, Bristol is also right across the street from the sign that marks, declares and names the neighborhood.  I used this familiar sign as the primary image in the ad; it’s also the primary profile picture of the community page.

The ad clicked through to the Info section of the Ivywild community page, which defines the purpose of the page, the informal boundaries of the neigbhorhood and a touch of history.  I favored this over the wall, because the page has limited user interaction at this point; it isn’t as “alive” as I’d like it to be.

I set it up as a cost per click campaign with a budget of $5 per day.  I let it run past the 10 free days and ended up paying $15 out of pocket.

Campaign results (rounded):

  • 180,000 impressions with a click through rate of 0.06%
  • 50,000 “social impressions” with a click through rate of 0.094%
  • Total clicks of 110 / Total “social clicks” of 48
  • Total CPC of $0.59 / Total CPM of $0.35
  • 97 fans before the campaign, 163 at the conclusion of the campaign
  • 60% conversion rate (66 fans from 110 clicks)
  • Cost per conversion of about $1

Facebook’s social metrics refer to impressions that include the names of people to whom you’re connected who already like the page.  As seen in the results above, the social piece is pretty powerful.  Though they accounted for 28% of the impressions, they accounted for 44% of the clicks.

This free, simple effort grew the page 68%.  It was fun, easy and interesting.

I recommend you pull the offer out of a magazine on a newsstand today … unless they’re only running it with paid subscribers (all the better for tracking and measuring), in which case I won’t advocate you pulling the offer from a magazine in someone’s mail box.

Here’s a simple something I wrote back in May 2010 about why I created the page.

Gary Vaynerchuk on Being a Good Human

Reading “Crush It!” set me on a short course of watching some of Gary Vaynerchuk‘s live presentations and interviews.  This one, from RailsConf 2010, was one of the more comprehensive in terms of conveying who he is, what he’s about and what he’s currently thinking and doing (though it’s from June).

I posted it to my Facebook page, but it got no likes or comments.  I get it – you had no idea what it was about and didn’t want to bite off an hour of the mystery behind door number 2.  So, I decided here to provide multiple in-points to encourage some viewing.  Find your topic and jump in wherever you’d like.

A few notes off the top: Ruby on Rails is a web app framework developed by 37signals.  This gives the conference its name; it’s a Ruby developers conference.  Vaynerchuck refers to “freed” and “DHH” a few times.  These are the leaders of 37signals, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.  (Read my short review of their book Rework here).

Though he’s speaking to a group of developers, it’s a talk – plus a great Q&A session – about marketing, branding, social media and general business.  The guy really loves life and loves people, so it transcends these topics regularly.  In this way, it moves toward life, philosophy and being a good human.

Here are your in-points:

2:00    Family emigration from Belarus to US

3:35    Entrepreneurial start (lemonade stands and baseball cards)

4:40    Doing awesome – 13 year old with six grand under his bed

5:40    Goonies reference

7:10    Collecting wine = collecting baseball cards

7:50    Brand damage from being part of co-op/franchise

11:45  Finding happiness in community

12:30  Getting repped by CAA

13:15  New book: “The Thank You Economy”

14:50  Building long-term, real relationships, beating competitors on culture (Zappos/Amazon)

16:40  Consulting with big companies, trying to help them get in on conversations

17:40  If one person follows you, you should be ridiculously thankful

18:10  Riff: “If I get a hundred more followers, I’ll donate $100 to Haiti”

19:30  Shout out to his great, great grandchild (writing your legacy right now)

22:00  Becoming self-aware, showing people who you are

22:45  Huge Twitter fail

23:50  Work your face off, be thankful, have gratitude

25:40  Gatekeepers controlled the game forever, now lost the keys, we can go direct to consumers

26:50  Freemium debate, app culture opens the door to begin charging

28:30  Q&A starts

31:20  Why it’s difficult to impossible right now for big companies participating sincerely in online conversations

34:15  Killing on cost effectiveness of traditional media – outdoor, print, TV, “Don’t even get me started on fucking Nielsen”

37:00  Why our elders are more properly positioned to be successful in 2012 and beyond

39:30  Rework and Crush It book deal customer, nice story of community support – results in a hug at 41:10

42:15  “It was very tea and rock climbing in 2006”

42:40  Why he’s going to jail soon

44:00  Who’s trying harder than him (hint: no one)

44:50  Quoting Jay-Z

45:30  Customer complaints as a gift – results in kiss at 45:50

47:10  Why the corporate game is built not to do this

49:00  Why you need to taste things

49:30  Rocky 4 winter training reference

50:30  Why he loves old people and what matters to them

51:30  Revisiting freemium debate

53:40  Why he’s backing off speaking

55:40  Overlooking the good in favor of the bad

56:40  The “shark and hippo thing”

1:00:20  Why he showed someone his tax returns at Starbucks

1:02:10  “I’m bullish on human beings”

Here is the video, compliments of O’Reilly Media by way of YouTube:


Rework by 37signals: Setting Conventional Wisdom Ablaze

16 employees in 8 different cities on 2 different continents serving more than 5 million customers, including some of the world’s biggest brands.  How do 37signals do it?  They’re really eager to tell you.

Before I take on their book, I’ll give you a sense of the company, which exists almost completely online.  They design web-based software to that helps you run your small group or business.  The table below, including the names and images of each offering, is as stylish and clear as the book.  This product/service line was developed for their own use; they run their company on their own applications.

37 signals, basecamp, campfire, highrise, backpack, software, online, SaaS

The software offerings of 37signals.

Back to “really eager to tell you” … from the 37signals perspective, teaching is marketing.  That’s a perspective about which I want to learn more.  Of course, they’re really eager to teach me.

In addition to countless interviews, speeches and presentations – many of which are available online (here or here) – founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, along with several other members of the crew, put together a couple books.  I’ve read only one of them; this is my review.

Rework is their go at a “general business” book.  In it, 37signals explain how they do what they do – how they built and how they run their business.  I won’t belabor it in detail, since there’s already several tons of love and press about this publication.

In short, they set ablaze conventional wisdom about how business “needs to” or “should” be done.  Instead, common sense is put on its proper pedestal.  Meetings waste time.  Interruptions slay productivity.  Resumes are ridiculous.  Press releases are spam.  More features do not a better product make.  And on …

Though the hardcover contains 270+ pages, the layout and style make for a very quick read and begs for a re-read.  There are loads of wonderful illustrations accompanying each “verse,” which vary in length from three or four paragraphs to a page or two.  Each verse is one of maybe a half dozen pieces that make up a chapter.

It makes sense that Seth Godin’s endorsement stripes the top of the cover.  Rework is a collection of short essays as efficient as Godin’s blog posts.  An idea is introduced, supported by an example or two, then wrapped up.  The lessons are communicated so cleanly that they seem overwhelmingly obvious.  The writing is so straightforward and clear that these essays read in sequence as a series of punches.

As a sample, here’s the lead from the “Speed Changes Everything” verse from the “Damage Control” chapter:

‘Your call is very important to us.  We appreciate your patience.  The average hold time right now is sixteen minutes.’  Give me a fucking break.

As you might expect of a book that torches conventional wisdom about hiring, PR and marketing, growth, culture, management, venture capital and so much more, Rework is irreverent and refreshing.

Needless to say, I recommend the book highly – especially for those with an entrepreneurial bent.  Really, though, it’s a must-read for anyone interested in the structure and running of an organization.  For no other reason, you should read it for the gentle, but meaningful open-hand slap to the face it’ll give you about what’s happening in your day-to-day worklife.

I may write a couple follow-up posts about how the book functions as marketing and manifesto for the 37signals community and about the other companies 37signals name checks as illustrations of their points.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this interview of Jason Fried from O’Reilly Media:

Also, here’s a link to the 37signals “about us” page with company history, executive team profiles, statement of beliefs and more.

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