How to generate over 3,000 ‘Likes’ in less than 5 months, for a completely new business!

I know it sounds like an infomercial but here is a real-world case study, with ‘me’ as the subject matter.

www.CustomCigarBandRings.com (Custom Cigar Band Rings) started out as somewhat of a hobby for me. As a cigar smoker, I always carefully peel the bands off the cigars and onto my fingers while smoking. This prompted the idea to find a way to turn paper cigar bands into actual rings. Working with a local jeweler, we were able to refine a process that made it possible; and now we can turn almost any cigar band into a beautiful custom ring.

With little to no budget to advertise (sound familiar?) I started a custom Landing Page, and a Facebook Fan page.

The first thing I did was to start posting pictures of the rings we created as samples on the Facebook pages of other cigar companies. One such post garnered over 400 “Likes” and just like that, a business was born! In less than one month, I had 1,000 Fans on the CCBR page and the momentum has not let up.

Our page strategy is heavily based around cigar lifestyle pictures, with occasional pictures of our latest rings. We post about once per day, but sometimes as much as four times per day. Engagement on each post is amazing, with many posts getting over 100 likes each.  We also ‘Like’ as many other cigar associated Facebook Fan pages as possible, and make sure to ‘like’ their posts and comment /share when appropriate.  In addition, we advertise on Facebook to the tune of $2.00/day using PPC, and adding all of the keywords/interests that revolve around cigars. The ads perform extremely well, with a lifetime .22% click through rate!

Our off page strategy includes a blog that I set up on Blogger.com, with a bi-weekly post, typically centered around cigar reviews. I also feature other cigar stores in the area, and mention as many local cigar personalities as possible. I use several blog posting services to get it out there and repost the link on my FB and Twitter pages. It has already started to show a dramatic increase in traffic with each post.

The Twitter account we opened is now over 200 followers. We use this primarily to interact with the movers and shakers of the actual cigar industry, and it turns into more of a b2b networking channel, than anything else. The value of this audience for a product like mine is invaluable and has turned into some of our most lucrative sales.

Speaking of sales, this is my favorite part of this post since most people say ‘Social Media is not about ROI’.  Well, our landing page has received 2,424 visits with 215 requests for quotes, that’s a conversion rate of…get this…8.87%! Our closing ratio is about 25%, not to shabby for a strategy that’s not about ROI.  Not to mention, that’s 215 names to my email database, that I now email once per month to keep them engaged with special offers. All of this and I still haven’t integrated YouTube or Google+ to the mix.

I realize certain businesses lend themselves better to social media than others. Vanity items like my rings strike the ‘all about me’ chord often associated with social media, and so, managed correctly can do very well. However, I’m confident that what I’ve done here with this, many other businesses, in different categories can also do, with the right strategy and consistency. If you would like to see how we can help you get real results by integrating a proper social media strategy, please contact me for a free consultation.