How To Get A 1,200% ROI On Facebook

Here's how some companies are getting a 1,200 percent return on investment in Facebook marketing.

A number of clients (AXE deodorant, Hard Rock Hotel, Tetra Pak, Catalyst Exhibits and more) have engaged the social agency JB Chicago to promote on Facebook their products and services.

They create giveaways or fun engagement pieces to get people to convert and share. For example:

  • AXE: Tweet Me, I’m Irish Twitter campaign around St. Patrick’s Day (slideshare presentation)
  • Tetra Pak and the World Wildlife Fund: Twick or Treat campaign (slideshare presentation)
  • Hard Rock Hotel: Win bottle service contest

JB Chicago Chief Executive Officer Steve Gaither spoke with us about these Twitter and Facebook campaigns and their results.

Social Distribution and Viral Strategy

The JB Chicago social media marketing process is:

  1. Seed: Put the message in the hands of influencers
  2. Convert: Homepage or Facebook landing tab — order now or learn more
  3. Sneeze: Make it easy for them to share the message with their friends

I’ve noticed a couple things people miss in social media are distribution and easy ways to increase pass along.

  • Distribution: If you don’t have a network, can’t seed to influencers and don’t have an ad budget, you have no distribution. No one will hear about your campaign in the first place.
  • Viral Pass Along: If you don’t make pass along easy, it can’t go viral. Is your technology making sharing easy?

Facebook Posting Strategy

On Facebook, they alternate between seeding engagement-focused posts with conversion-oriented posts.

Additionally, they use Twitter and email strategies, which we won’t detail here… this is AllFACEBOOK, after all.

Facebook Advertising Strategy

They use both fan-growth and direct-to-signup ads. One focuses on getting the like (or fan) and another sends a user directly to the conversion point.

JB Chicago uses a custom proprietary conversion tracking system called TrackleBox to check on their social media conversion results.

Conversion Rates

Gaither reports that Facebook and Twitter conversion rates are consistent across a number of their campaigns. The typical ranges are:

  • Paid Twitter: one to three percent
  • Manual/organic Twitter: eight to nine percent
  • Facebook organic: 20 to 30 percent
  • Facebook ads: 18 to 20 percent

It’s interesting to see that kind of data on Twitter versus Facebook conversion rates — and Facebook looks much stronger than Twitter.

Do you find that surprising? Not me; it’s easier on Facebook to group likely prospects, whereas with Twitter the network predominates, and mere Twitter connections are not a sufficient predictor of similar purchasing behaviors.


What I really like about JB Chicago’s approach is the multi-channel strategy, multiple approaches within channels and rigorous conversion tracking. Here are some other takeaways reported by Gaither:

  • You can use any incentive, even unrelated ones and achieve conversions.
  • You don’t have to go for the hard sell.
  • You don’t have to hit them over the head with a call to action.
  • Promotion to existing members begets new members.
  • Friends see customers in their news feeds.
  • Once you have 15,000 Facebook fans, you can run friend-of-friend ads, which are the best from a conversion perspective.
  • The campaign didn’t have a diminishing return but instead an aggregated return with a huge spike near the end of the campaign (due to the sense of urgency).

Brian Carter is a social media consultant and author of two forthcoming books about Facebook marketing.