Why 25% of my sales come from Facebook marketing

Voltaire Diamonds’ founder Seamus Fahy reveals how clever use of Facebook’s business services has boosted his company’s revenues

“About 25% of our sales come from Facebook,” says Seamus Fahy, founder of Dublin-based jewellery company Voltaire Diamonds, which specialises in engagement rings. “In that respect it’s our second most important channel.”

“It’s interesting the primary channel is not search but another form of social media in the shape of wedding oriented forums. YouTube and search engines are also important sources of new customers.”

Rather than selling through a shop, the company keeps costs (and ultimately prices) down by arranging face-to-face meetings with potential customers at its offices in Dublin and London, where it targets young Irish couples based in England. Without a shop to showcase its product, Voltaire’s marketing is focused online, and Facebook is a key point of contact.

Mix paid-for and free services

Voltaire currently has around 25,000 ‘fans’ liking its Facebook page and Fahy uses paid and unpaid promotional tactics to get his message across. Since combining the approaches in the past two years, Fahy says he’s noted significantly higher distribution and reach in terms of direct enquiries.

Create a content strategy

A key tactic is the regular posting of high resolution images of rings, augmented by videos and always accompanied by a call to action. “We always ask people what they think,” he says. “This increases engagement. I’ve developed the content strategy by trial and error, experimenting to see what works.” Having fine-tuned the approach, Fahy estimates that the company spends around 30 minutes a day posting and responding and adds a new piece of content around four times a week.

Target your key customer segment

By providing high quality content, Fahy has increased the reach messaging. “Very often people will see an image and click like – so it goes viral.” But it’s his approach to Facebook’s paid-for services that have enabled him to target his ideal customer. Ads have enabled him to build his followers in what he sees as the key demographic of 26-34 year-old women, the age when people tend to get engaged, he says. He says the demographic accounts for around 95% of his hits.

“I tried Google, but people weren’t clicking on the sponsored links and we’re high as an organic result on search pages anyway. I also tried LinkedIn, but didn’t see the value as I couldn’t target the right demographic. A lot of people say on Facebook when they’re getting engaged and change their status. When I pay for a Sponsored Story ad, for €100 we get 60 new fans, plus 60 that look at it, but don’t click ‘like’.”

Value the browsers too

It’s not lost on Fahy that even those users entering the bottom of the marketing funnel may have future value to Voltaire having discovered the brand. And when he entered a product partnership with haute couture milliner Philip Treacy to develop a unique range of engagment rings, a video was distributed using Promoted Posts to tell users about it. The posts reached 160,000 for a cost of €300, says Fahy.

Thus, by using a mix of paid and unpaid Facebook tools and services Fahy has successfully used the social network to reach a very specific audience at the time of their lives when they are most receptive to his message.

Seamus Fahy is the founder of Dublin and London-based Voltaire Diamonds

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