ConsistencyWhen Martin’s Custom Butchering, a family-owned butcher shop in Wakarusa, Indiana, joined Facebook two years ago, audience growth was moderately steady. It wasn’t until the launch of their first paid ad promoting the business in October of 2014 that engagement really started to pick up. Following that initial boost, organic interactions started to climb, and from there the results are nothing short of impressive.

Martin’s Facebook page is a classic example of when the combination of strategically timed Facebook ads and engaging organic content results in serious amplification for a brand. Either one of these without the other can cause local business Facebook pages to stagnate, or become stale. Here, we explore how J2 Marketing built success for Martin’s via Facebook that has resulted not only in loyal customers, but significant incremental sales.

Success in growth and engagement comes from striking a delicate balance between paid ads and value-added content. At J2, we like to follow the Gary Vaynerchuk philosophy of “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,” which, briefly explained, means offering your audience significant value-added content (Jabs) more often, so that when you throw your Right Hook (the sales pitch) it lands successfully. Jabbing the Martin’s Facebook audience with content they could use, like information on different types of meats, recipes and grilling tips, and family meal planning advice built a level of trust between the audience and the store. Martin’s was positioning itself as the area’s meat experts, and it was working.

Occasional paid ads increased the Martin’s online audience by encouraging those who did not already like the page to visit and learn. Since the content on the page was useful, it was shareable. Shareable content leads to organic growth. So, ultimately, paid ads can spark the interest needed to share the content and create exponential organic growth.

Feeling a little dizzy? We told you that this type of growth means finding that sweet spot between your content types so that they can play off each other. It’s not easy, but those who are patient and persistent, and who let the process work, will see results.

The content jabs paid off when Martin’s threw its first power-packed Right Hook in February of 2015 with it’s Chicken Sale. At that time, $100 in paid ads promoting the Chicken Sale resulted in a reach of over 25k Facebook viewers, and resulted in nearly 800 direct clicks to the Martin’s website. When all was said and done, Martin’s did upwards of $20,000 in chicken sales that month. Six months later, the Chicken Sale came around again, and the same $100 in Facebook ads generated more than 1,000 direct responses and chicken sales more than doubled from the previous sale.

Martin’s just finished its third Chicken Sale. This time $125 in Facebook ads resulted in a reach of more than 55,000 Facebook users, and Martin’s did six figures in chicken sales. Sales were so high that Martin’s actually had to cut the sale off because they were running out of chicken. We should add that Martin’s advertised each of these sales exclusively on Facebook and in-store. No “traditional” media necessary.

Results like these cannot be achieved in a few weeks, or even in a few months. These results were the realization of two years of growing the Martin’s Facebook audience and delivering value-rich content and information. The online messaging was then matched by excellent in-store customer service to create an experience that has resulted in word of mouth for the store that has greatly expanded their business.

Patience and diligence are virtues, and they have paid off handsomely for Martin’s Custom Butchering.

Contact J2 Marketing to learn about how balancing value-added content and paid advertising on social media can payoff for your business. 

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Figure 1: Facebook page “Likes” over time

  1. First Page Paid Ad
  2. First Chicken Sale
  3. Second Chicken Sale
  4. Third Chicken Sale

Here it is easy to see that the four significant “Right Hooks” spark a steep increase in audience size, followed by steady increases.

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Figure 2: Facebook post reach over time

This chart illustrates that each time a post is boosted, not only does it increase reach simply through paid measures, but it also has a direct effect in organic reach.