How to get 6 million page views on Facebook. In one day
- October 19, 2015
We're not sure ourselves. But we're going to try it anyway. Today, you can peep behind the scenes of our frantic preparations for one crazy marketing event.
A bit of context first, though.
On Friday, January 31, 2014 our website teahousetransport.com saw about 17 times more traffic than usual.
The same day, the announcement post on our Facebook profile was seen by 300,000 users – with a measly 54 euros (!) spent on sponsored ads.
That day, Teahouse simply LOST ITS MIND.
Nothing fancy, eh? And you see... in the end it worked damn well.
This bloody Friday brought a generous event '1 package for 1 pound.' Yes, for a single pound you could send a package anywhere in the world.
It was a massacre.
We posted an hour by hour analysis a while back.
Making waves: pros and cons
Last year's crazy stunt had a number of positive and some negative aspects.
Let's start with the negatives:
- Our server was really, really not prepared. Even our attempts to cut the event short were in vain, the web server had to crash, overloaded, on its own. Umm.
- In the end, the CEO had to cough up a bit more money than he cared to part with – altogether a whopping 7,000 pounds. Umm hmm.
- Right after the server crash, Teahouse received a score of pretty ugly comments against it and its 'fraudulent' campaign. But that's to be expected.
And now for the positives:
- People who managed to send their package on time flooded us with thanks and comments.
- Many of them then defended Teahouse unasked on a multitude of social networks.
- The company gained quite a few new customers from various countries overnight.
- Thanks to the viral nature of the whole affair, the advertising budget was next to nothing.
- By even trying something like this, Teahouse gained the reputation as a playful company full of surprises.
- Till this day, just a mention of the event helps us when contacting business partners, customers and new colleagues.
- '1 package for a pound' was noticed by CEOs of other international companies, which are helping Teahouse in its rocketing growth (+ 126 % YoY), which doesn't seem to be slowing down.
- It was all a bit wild, in the end it took just two weeks of intense effort for a two-person team.
The goal was to make a wave.
And it worked out.
Here we go again!
Here we are a year and a half later… and another similar stunt is in the works.
You can smell it in the wind.
The enthusiastic main staff of this grand offensive consists of:
- General Jaroslav Šedivý – CEO of Teahouse and expert on rapid one-time spending
- Colonel David Lörincz – CMO of Teahouse and expert on Facebook advertising
- Major Otto Bohuš – CTO of Teahouse and expert on killer copies everybody wants to read
A rather less enthusiastic officer corps include:
- Captain Jiří Bršťák – CFO, who hates the 'package for a pound' phrase
- Warrant officer Václav Škrabánek – CRO, who is already sweating
A bit of a gentleman's club, huh?
We are considering to hire professional twins for our team to act as press representatives for our main video.
They are well known experts on combating split attention:
Aren't they gorgeous? And they own huge... tracts of land.
Anyway, we can assure you that they look far better than the entire general staff together.
Things you gotta watch out for
If, god forbid, you are thinking of trying your hand at a similar event... make sure to really think it through and plan well.
You'll encounter more hitches and problems than you may anticipate. For example:
- What to do to prevent server crashes when the mobs come knocking?
- Is your staff aware what to test and when so that it really works?
- Who'll do the translation for all the 17 website language versions?
- When do you need to provide the promo video? Who'll make it?
- Do you have plans prepared for various crisis scenarios? Are you prepared to act?
- How do you create, run and optimize 500 ads on Facebook at one time?
- Are your representatives ready to handle the flood of orders while maintaining quality?
- Do you have backup plans for closing the floodgates when standard procedures fail?
- Can you keep the start date a secret? Could someone take advantage of it? And what then?
- Will your developer be able to put up, prepare and test everything in time?
- What places is the promo info going to appear in at the H Hour? How do you ensure that they all appear at the same time in the hundreds of places (webpages, magazines, radio, Facebook, YouTube…)?
- And then only 739 urgent issues await resolution. More or less.
That's a lot of ifs.
None of us is resting on their laurels.
If you join such a project as, for example, a copywriter, then you have to maintain your tone of voice and meaningful continuity for all text outputs…
… all this while also tinkering and fully developing each text to properly captureall target distribution channels.
That's text for the main Facebook post, direct e-mail, text pop-ups for the homepage, other web text, text of the follow-up Facebook posts on D day, texts for associated friendly FB pages, copies of banner ads, small ads, PR pieces for choice news websites…
That's a lot of work.
Expectations are quite high
The objective of the 'Package for a pound' push – after a heated debate – is a carpet-bombing run on the present major online fortress that houses all our customers…
Plain and simple: We want to make a mega wave on Facebook.
All eyes are on this.
We need our collaborators in the field to spread the word to their allies by reposting and sharing this information themselves. And we can't stop there. Send it to the friends of your friends, the relatives of relatives. Send it along the grapevine. Share the virus with the world! EVERYWHERE!
Our stockpile of marketing weapons and PR WMDs has steadily grown since January 2014:
- The Teahouse email mailing list has grown from 5 000 addresses to 35 000.
- From 7 000 pounds to cover the costs of free packages to… much, much more.
- From 54 euro for Facebook advertising up to, you guessed it, much, much more!
- We welcome a new member, David Lörincz – master wizard in targeted FB ads.
- We are expanding on the synergy of Facebook dark posts – in 17 languages.
- We're preparing a more massive sharing of our post on other FB groups.
- We're testing a new 'rocket' function of Facebook: Accelerated delivery.This time, apart from Facebook we will use also Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
- Especially on YouTube, we're going all in with short-term promotion.
- The promotion will be shared at the opportune moment by influential bloggers and online personalities across Europe.
- We're making a press release for the first time in the history of Teahouse Transport.
- In play are also mentions from select radio DJs at European radio stations.
- We'll also involve Teahouse business partners and their companies.
- But there's more! But hush hush, it's a secret for now.
So... What do you think?
How many people are going to see the all important Facebook post in the 24 hours from the launch? Half a million? A million? Two or maybe four million?
Or are we just crazy when, after a glass of wine, we think it's going to get 6,000,000 views?
Go ahead, make a prediction too – in the comments below.
The person closest to the actual number will win a bottle of genuine home-distilled apricot brandy (meruňkovice) from our copywriter:
The label is misleading. In fact, it's 49 % alcohol by volume.
Check out our internal predictions
Jaroslav Šedivý: “I say it'll be 7 million. And I'm quite nervous. Anybody would be. Here's hoping nothing **** out… like a bankruptcy. The adrenaline's worth it, though. The total number of distribution channels I'm preparing with David, will be much higher than is known today.”
David Lörincz: „How many? At least 5 megs. But it's in the hands of god – Mark Zuckerberg. What if he doesn't like blondes? What if he's colluding with our competitors? What if he just deletes our post and it all goes to ****?“
Otto Bohuš: „I just pray it reaches the six million views. The general promised me a new doomsday device if it does.“
Maybe we're way over. And maybe not. Who really knows.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
Anyway, we don't do it all because we are self-centered lunatics... but to achieve the desired marketing effect.
You know how it is with those ads.
Either you give a big bundle to some hotshot agency that goes and puts up two billboards by the highway – or you put the money directly into your customer's pocket.
Go on, guess what will they remember more.
And what the outcome really is.
Wanna know when it all starts?
Of course you do. That's not a problem.
Drop us an e-mail at email@example.com asking nicely for it – and we'll let you know as soon as the madness starts.
Your readers and fans will love you for sharing such a juicy piece of information (= sending a package across the world for a song).
It's not even going to cost you a penny.
We may even pay you.
However, that is only if you have an exceptional distribution channel with great reach, that would allow the wave of 'Package for a pound' cover even more ground on the European internet.
In that case:
- Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Describe the nature of your channel (blog, website, Facebook page/group…).
- Give us an estimate of the reward you expect for advertising our event on your channel.
- If it looks like a win-win collaboration, we will reply to you – and make early arrangements before the event.
Now, we have to go and complete all the necessary text for the campaign – so that it can get translated into all 17 languages.
Bye! Ahoj! Dovi! Tschüss! Salut ! Na razie! ¡Adiós! Tchau! Ciao! Чао! Бувай! Пока! Güle güle! Ha det! Doei! Iki! Pa!
November 5, 2015 – event update
Want to know how our October 29th went?
The event lasted slightly under 7 hours and Teahouse got 900 “package for a pound” orders, thus being a total of 834 600 CZK out of pocket. It was costly.
Our website received 55 % new visitors – and of the total number of orders, new customers made up whopping 31 %.
Thus nearly 1 in 3 new customers connected Teahouse with the “package for a pound” event.
We have got off to a great start with these new customers and we're going to be focusing on them.
Regarding Facebook, we unfortunately made two mistakes: not allowing the video display on mobile phones and a too narrow targeting of our campaign.
So instead of the planned millions – as I boasted in an article – the post's reach was only 425,000.
It's a pity. It sucks. (Though it may leave others gleefully grinning.)
It didn't help that Facebook somewhat inexplicably left the previous day’s date with the post, the day when it was being prepared (October 28th). Usually, it automatically puts the correct date when the post is published on the site.
Seeing October 28th instead of 29th with such a time-sensitive event is probably not the call to action it was supposed to be.
But what can you do, we'll get it right next time. Lesson for a million crowns – when you count all the expenses. Sounds crazy?
Crazy event, crazy company, crazy marketing. At least we're not boring.
We have plans already in motion. You'll hear of Teahouse again, we are certain of that.
P.S. When we played with the campaign settings after it was done, we came up with a simple tactic to make our ads reach 15-22 million views for the same money invested in Facebook. We'll use this secret weapon in one of our upcoming ad campaigns.
The bottle of genuine home-distilled apricot brandy (meruňkovice) goes to Romana Dočkalová. Cheers!