The Low Budget Facebook Boost Experiment Part I
As an entrepreneur I sometimes have no choice but to be extremely thrifty and frugal. There are really times when all I have in my pocket is a few pesos but somehow I knew that I had to push on. In our small semi-private resort here, one of my biggest expenses is the pool chemicals. We only have one pool but there are times when I can really feel the pinch of our operating costs. It's been a grueling training period where nature and people have been my first hand trainers.
I knew right from the start that I could not rely on the domestic market. I had to reach people who knew exactly what they needed and I needed to provide what they need. April is heavy travel season for many people and the distinct change is extremely noticeable even for an industry newbie like me. For one, I get more emails and inquiries via HelpX and AirBnb. Now, turning an inquiry into a booking and converting a booking into a sale is an altogether different matter.
Finding People Who Need Me
Having an online presence is one thing. Making people aware that you can offer something of value is another. Sure, I may have 4,500 followers on various social networks but most of those followers like the funny GIF animations I share. That isn't exactly material that has to do with business.
That said, an online presence with followers is a good start. The very least that you could hope for is that one of them has exactly your service or product in mind at the right time.
Marketing Against Giants
Competing with the big boys is something that sounds tearfully inspiring and uplifting. In real life, it’s just plain horrible. Consider my situation. My advertising budget is limited to an embarrassing 4 digit figures. That’s in Philippine pesos. The nearest resort to our place, which is located near the highway, a mall and a hotel has tarpaulin banners everywhere (well maybe except my forehead), has fixed signs in major thoroughfares in the city, has a billboard which could cost upwards of 6 digit figures monthly and more. I only have my online friends and the Facebook boost.
We already have an fb page up and running, have posted a few cute videos of our kids in the pool, some pictures of our helpX guests and more pictures of flowers. Every now and then we get 10 likes on a post and these are mainly from people who know us, mostly relatives and friends in real life.
If we’re going to want to have some money to buy our regular supply of pool chemicals or maybe even repair our roofing. We have to reach more than that.
Starting the FB Boost Experiment
I was thinking that I would need at least ten thousand pesos to make use of this Facebook boost function. It’s right there and all I needed was to click some more shiny buttons so I could reach more people. To my surprise, the smallest amount that I needed was 220 pesos. That’s about 4 packs of cigarettes that I have to sacrifice. I figured, ‘Hey, what the heck. Holy Week is coming and people are looking for places that are not too crowded.’ I’ve already spent quite a lot in water alone so why not go full blast and risk it all?
Within minutes of boosting my FB page post, about 800 more people saw the post. People I don’t know started liking it. From an egotistic perspective this is good. That’s 30 minutes ago and so far I like how things are working. Unless Facebook has a dedicated group of highly trained ninja monkeys in their payroll liking paid posts, this could actually lead to more business. Well, the green arrow pointing upwards says that the post reach was up by 13,485.7%
At this stage, it’s too early to tell whether this will translate to actual sales. That would be the subject of the second part of this experiment.
Creative Commons Image via Flickr
About Daniel Andrei Garcia
I'm a newly minted PRC licensed real estate broker legally authorized to practice real estate services here in the Philippines. I'm also a blogger and writer. Hope to hear and learn more from you!