Sunday, November 10, 2013

Increasing CTR on Facebook

Increasing CTR on Facebook

The level of holistic thought we put into Borentra might make people think we're insane. We work incredibly hard on building up the technology just right so that there are no barriers to borrowing, renting, trading things nearby. Incidentally, we also find that it is important that while we are small, we can take tons of risks with our marketing, sales, and engineering.

In this blogpost, I'd like to give a run down on how we're solely focused on growing on top of Facebook's 1.3+ billion monthly active users, as well as, the technical design side of how to increase Facebook CTR on desktop, mobile, and tablets. It is important to note that since Facebook's growth strategy for the next few years is focused on mobile that our strategies continue to evolve alongside.

Epic Growth On Mobile Across The Globe

Connecting The World

In Facebook's Q3 results, they state that they currently have 1.3 billion monthly active users -- and they will continue to acquire users for next year's target of 2.2 billion.

Evolutions In Click-Through-Rates (CTR)

Testing out new News Feed photos

As Facebook continues to innovate and push businesses into being able to reach a wider audience, we constantly see the News Feed constantly go through quick evolutions. As such, the new sizes for photos on news feed articles are

  • Square: 320px x 320px
  • Vertical: 320px x 398px
  • Horizontal: 398px x 320px

These dimensions are typically consistent across desktop, mobile, and tablets. With your news feed stories having images that are optimized for these sizes, you'll generally find that your CTRs will increase over time. Beautiful photos that really amplify the context of the story or your brand make it so that you can reach a wider audience. Furthermore, one would think that since photos are becoming the de-facto way of increasing CTRs, one would think, "why not just put text on my images?". Great question; however, we've recently seen that Facebook has implemented background processes to detect if you are uploading photos with too much text. It is really interesting to be a part of a living, breathing system of 1.3+ billion monthly active users -- marketing has to be on the ball with every single marketing strategy just to stay on top. I could be reading this blogpost a few months from now and say to myself, "Yeah, I remember how back in the day that worked really well".

As you can see, we're always thinking outside the box -- we believe that's part of being built on top of Facebook, which is a living-breathing-ever-changing eco-system -- this will require constant evolution in our marketing tactics. Stay tuned for more as we continue to blog about our experiences!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Finding Potential Customers on Facebook

Facebook - Connect the World

Typically, when asking other marketers about their Facebook user acquisition tactics, they typically say a few things

  • "Facebook isn't great because boosting your posts costs a ton of money with no return on shares/likes"
  • "Twitter is a better place for user acquisition after you build up a huge following"
  • "Building up your SEO on your blog improves your brand and helps with acquiring users as they will be able to find you easily"

As the clever cat I am, I decided to take on this challenge. Was it even possible to do efficient user acquisitions on Facebook? is it true that when some of your users say "I only use Google" or "I don't trust Facebook" that you should focus on supporting different OAuth providers?

After a bit of experimentation, we've found out the following:

  • If your friends are using the product, they will be willing to signup via Facebook as they don't want to miss out on what their friends are sharing
  • Facebook has over 1.3 billion monthly active users now, 2.2 billion supposedly by next year
  • Facebook has real people, a low percentage of fake accounts/spam/robots as opposed to Twitter with a high percentage of fake accounts. Ultimately, people pay for your product, not automation scripts/robots/fake accounts

You can still achieve amazing growth and acquire users on Facebook.

What are we currently doing to achieve our growth?

In my last blogpost, we were using multi-vertical marketing over Facebook Open Groups and leveraging the Social Graph Queries "Open Groups about Snowboarding" with sprinkles of location-specific queries (Open Groups of People living in Germany about Snowboarding) to target countries or regions that have a high product adoption rate. These regions include Australia, United Kingdom, United States, Germany, and Philippines.

We're currently using the same tactic but changing our Social Graph Queries to include more verticals like Fashion, Video Games, Magic The Gathering, Pokemon, and more.

In addition to Facebook groups, we also use Facebook's new trending widget to find users talking about specific things like Snowboarding or Hiking. You can view this by going here: You'll end up seeing an endless stream of public posts where people are discussing the topic. We've managed to get a ton of traction this way too as it is context-specific and it's super easy to start conversations with people.

Trends on Facebook

Hashtag URL

Just to tie it all up, we've been able to achieve 120%+ user growth month over month on Facebook alone for the past 3 months -- we intend to keep going up because the more we start using different features on Facebook like Closed Groups, Hashtagging, and Trending Status Updates, the more we find opportunities to reach out to potential users. Additionally, as we push towards 2,000+ users, we're finding that when people borrow a book or a tent, they most certainly refer 1-2 friends on to the platform. This may not seem like a lot over one night; however, over a year, this is massive growth.