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How a Rebrand and Paid Facebook Ad Yielded Over 340,000 Likes

In the beginning

Getting people to pay attention to you is hard on any platform. For the I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation (aka i[2]y Cancer Foundation), growing the social footprint didn’t have a clear path.

Back in 2009, well before Facebook Pages rose to the level of significance they have now, i[2]y had a very modest showing. The page URL wasfacebook.com/stupidcancer and the page title was i[2]y Cancer Foundation.Obviously, this configuration was problematic from the get-go.

In April 2010, Facebook converted Fan Pages into Like Pages and brands began ramping up their efforts to engage with Facebook users.

It wouldn’t be until 18 months later that we decided to rebrand I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation/i[2]y from its dual persona to a much more resonant and less syllabic “Stupid Cancer.”

This was an exciting change for us but posed a question. Should we continue on with the ~15,000 likes on the page as is or should we reboot?

With some serious luck, we were able to get in touch with someone at Facebook who changed the page name on our behalf. We felt like we had won the social media lottery.

The Catalyst

Once the name was changed, we hit the ground running. Through another instance of serendipity, Dr. Brad Love’s University of Texas Integrated Communications Campaigns class had chosen to do their class projects with Stupid Cancer as the focus. The class was fully aware that we had just rebranded and this was a blank canvas opportunity for them to come up with some really great work for us to utilize moving forward. We offered up a few verticals, including helping with our newly minted Facebook strategy, offline outreach, etc.

Honestly, we weren’t sure what to expect from the students. What they came back to us with at the end of the semester was nothing short of genius.

Like us to give cancer the bird.


Deployment

The ad was simple, yet effective. Their presentation was straight out of a Mad Men episode. As soon as they said it, we looked around and nodded our heads. The more we thought about it, the more we fell in love with it.

Being the nimble organization that we are, we put the ad into rotation right after the Skype call ended. We were thrilled when Facebook approved it. Not knowing much about advertising on Facebook, we set a $10 daily limit and watched to see what would happen.

We could have never predicted what would ensue. Not only did we have a more ‘likeable’ Facebook page, but now we had a killer ad. It was the perfect one-two punch we didn’t know we needed.

The Results

  • 4/28/2011–11,500
  • 5/20/12–22,000
  • 7/8/12–30,000
  • 9/30/12–40,000
  • 11/11/12–50,000
  • 1/8/13–60,000
  • 4/6/13–70,000
  • 6/2/13–80,000
  • 7/8/13–90,000
  • 8/12/13–100,000
  • 5/14/14–160,000
  • 7/7/14–200,000
  • 11/7/14–250,000
  • 10/9/15–310,748

Over the past 3.5 years, we’ve turned the ad on and off periodically. Once we began to gain traction with paid likes, the organic ones followed. We planned a ‘100,000 Like’ party for a Friday night and had to throttle it up when we stalled at 98k the day before.

To date, it’s the only real ad spend we’ve had. For the majority of the ad campaign, we’ve spent $.10 per like. This has equated to about $1,250 per quarter since Q2 2012.

We halted the ad this summer. There’s no telling if we’ll turn it back on anytime soon. We are typically motivated to do so by being close to the next 25/50/100k interval.

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