Using Facebook Pages to Drive More Sales: The Case Study of Blue1, Finnish Airline

Campaign Goal and Strategy

This case study describes a campaign that was ran by Blue1, the Finnish airline of the SAS Group, and their agency Virta Mediacommunity during August – October in 2011. The objective of the campaign was to increase airline ticket sales by using special offers with a discounted ticket price for certain destinations, and distributing them via digital and social advertising channels. The campaign involved messages picturing an attractive experience to the customer – e.g. “Have a lobster for dinner tonight – in Nice!” – which were coupled with a discount on airline tickets to that particular destination for a limited time period.

Media Formats

The message was delivered using three main channels:

  • Display ads, driving customers to Blue1 website;
  • Facebook ads, driving customers to Blue1 website;
  • Blue1 own Facebook Page, posting updates driving customers to Blue1 website.

The results of the performance of Facebook Pages in the campaign were measured and analyzed using Campalyst.

Results

Average Click Through Rate on the links posted to Facebook Page was 0.45%. First differences emerged when comparing the click through rates (CTRs) for the three channels. Posts on Facebook Pages received an average CTR of 0.45%, which is vastly higher than CTR performance of other channels used in the campaign. Facebook Ads delivered only 0.016% click through rate, which is 28 times lower than the CTR for Facebook Pages. Display ads had 0.05% CTR, which, although higher than industry standard, was still nine times lower than the CTR for Facebook Pages.

Average Conversion Rate for the traffic coming from the Facebook Page was 0.82%. While the high Facebook Page click through rates could be expected, another interesting finding of the campaign was that the conversion rates for Facebook Pages were several times higher than other channels as well. Facebook Pages outperformed Facebook Ads by 6.3 times, which had average conversion rate of 0.13%. Facebook Pages also outperformed display ads 1.6 times, implying that customers coming to the website via Facebook Pages were converting more often than the customers attracted with display ads.

Average purchase by the brand’s fan was 30% than a purchase by other customers. Finally, the campaign showed that visitors from Facebook Pages were not only clicking and converting more often, they were also spending more. Average transaction for traffic coming from Facebook Pages was 30% higher than for all other sources of traffic, suggesting that the Facebook Pages drive higher value customers to the brand’s website.

Conclusion

These results provided several interesting insights for Blue1 and Virta Mediacommunity. First of all, knowing the ROI of Facebook Pages as a channel makes it easier to decide on further investment into developing the community on the Facebook Page. Secondly, the campaign suggested that it could be advantageous to use Facebook Ads to acquire new fans and expand the community on the Facebook Page, instead of directing them to the website. Finally, it may be interesting to further test the performance of display ads versus Facebook Pages in order to understand which of those delivers the highest ROI.