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Social Media Marketing for Business



April 3, 2013

Facebook Contest Traffic Formula: 10 Impressions to 49,953,075 Impressions (w/ no $ ad spend)

April 3, 2013 | By | 5 Comments">5 Comments

Look at your calendar for the next seven days.

Facebook is a bottomless time suck for many. If you already realize this, congratulations, you’re ahead of the pack.

The real problems come when you start trying to get strategic about driving traffic, leads, and sales using Facebook.

You don’t have money to spend a fortune on Facebook ads. Traffic “tactics” you’ve heard other places just aren’t working for you.

If you’re wanting to learn how to turn 10 impressions into 49m with no ad spend, click “Read More”…

Many people think the only way to get traffic on Facebook is to spend money on Facebook ads. Well, Facebook may not appreciate that I’m sharing this with you but understanding virality is truly the key to driving qualified traffic that you can then convert to leads and sales.

Virality is what enables a smart brand to turn ten impressions into forty nine million. This sounds to good to be true so why doesn’t everyone do it? Because its hard. Reading this article will increase your chances that you do it right.

If you’re not a math wiz, buckle up. This gets technical but I have attached visuals so that everyone who didn’t take BC Calculus in high school can still follow along and get smarter.

1. The Formula

The viral coefficient formula is k=i x conversion% where:

(k) is the viral coefficient

(i) is the # of invites sent

(conversion%) is the # of invites that are accepted

2. The Contest

With this equation in mind, lets take a look at a Facebook contest that leverages virality to drive free traffic. Keep in mind that this is installed as a custom Facebook app to the brands, in this case Joy of Mom, fan page.

Facebook Contest Traffic Formula

This design has many key elements to a good landing page design. Critical elements include a strong incentive to take action. In this case, that incentive is 10 inspirational stories. The second critical element is a very clear, step by step, ask of any particular viewer of this contest. Notice the steps that make it dead simple for the viewer to take action.

3. How the contest relates to the formula:

The two key things to optimize around are:

i = the average # of friends a facebook user has

conversion % = the average % of facebook friends that accept or click the shared contest

In the example above, an “(i) invite” is created through a user clicking share on the contest and then exposing that content to their friends. The average Facebook user has 229 friends (source: Creativo).

invites sent

In the examples above, the “conversion %”  is defined by how many of this users Facebook friends actually click through the story that gets posted to the contest entrants timeline.

Facebook Contest Traffic Formula

The art of creating a contest that generates traffic by itself lies in maximizing this formula. You won’t have to spend money on ads, or use any other expensive or uncomfortable traffic generating techniques if you can master this.

4. The funnel that makes it go viral

1. Lets say that you can only drive 10 views to this contest page (Impressions(0) = 10; impressions at time 0 is equal to 10).

2. If only 1 of those 10 actually click the share button (a 10% conversion rate from an impression to a share in this case isn’t bad)

3. That one share generates 229 exposures to the friends of the person who shared it. I am being very literal here for the sake of clarity.

4. Of the 229 exposures, 45 unique clicks are generated.  45/229 is about 20%, this is what we consider an “accepted invite”. This means, in our equation i = 40%)

5. You already know that 10 views on the contest page generates 1 click. This means with 45 views, 4 of them click share.

This then circulates back to step 3 and completes the viral loop. The way you know you have a viral contest is if your viral coefficient, K, is greater than 1.

In our case, K = 229 x (20%x10%) = 4.58. This means we have a winner. You can see below how the above steps progress as they go from the first cycle to the 15th.

Facebook Contest Traffic Formula

This summarizes what many characterize as marketing gold. Some call it growth hacking. Regardless of syntax, this is how you build a self sustaining FB contest that doesn’t require  ad spend. You are simply responsible for driving just 10 impressions.

Call your mom, coworkers, email list, twitter following, gmail contacts or others to get the initial first 10 impressions.

It’s your turn!

Tell us what your favorite Facebook contest strategy is in the comments below!



Nathan Latka has supported the growth of over 100,000 small businesses using social media and data driven campaigns — all without a college degree.