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Zedong (Mao), Nepalese Democracy and Earned & Paid Reach on Facebook

posted Jul 5, 2014, 12:04 PM by Harry Hawk   [ updated Jul 16, 2014, 7:46 AM ]
A play about Mao in Nepal allowed the exploration of Facebook promotion in a less developed environment demonstrating that quality posts and awareness matter - even with a language gap.

Big Picture:

Facebook provides access to a global community. I like to take posts that are organically successful on Facebook and boost them with careful targeting. I recently have been promoting a play about Mao Zedong in Nepal; my total promotional budget was $65.
Chinese American Actor Robert Lin portrayal of Mao Zedong in the play "A Night with Mao" staged in July 2014 at the Theatre Village, Uttardhoka Marg, Lazimpat, Kathmandu
(Photo Credit: Kanishka Dasgupta)
I co-manage a small fan page for The Mao Project; a pet project of Chinese American Actor Robert Lin -- You may know him as the Asian Dad in Jack Black's School of Rock or his critically acclaimed role as Mao in Martin Scorsese's Dalai Lama epic Kundun.
An image of the play, "A Night with Mao" showing Actor Robert Lin portraying Chinese leader Mao Zedong at Theatre Village, Uttardhoka Marg, Lazimpat, Kathmandu July 2014
Why Mao?
Why mount a play about Mao in Nepal? The end of the Monarchy in Nepal and the rise of democracy has seen the ascendency of Maoist parties in Nepal. Lin's play (he wrote it, is the main actor and producer) avoids politics and is focused on a historically accurate and human portrait of Mao unknown to many Nepalese . The play ran in a small theater in Kathmandu in early July 2014.
The official poster for "A Night with Mao" written by Chinese American Robert Lin staged in July 2014 in the Theatre Village, Uttardhoka Marg, Lazimpat, Kathmandu
Start with the best:
Working largely with posts that were already resonating with the 1,200 person community, I boosted posts and created some new ones (based on the DNA of the best posts on the page). What follows are the details of the results.

A video about The Mao Project

Part One:
The bulk of the campaign ran in the last few days of June and in the first few days of July (2014). The first half of the effort reached 500k impressions, 130,000 people reached (Freq 4.13) with 2,133 people "taking action" -- The over all impressions is the total number of opportunities to be seen and the 130,000 people are the potential audience. Those taking action (2,133) certainly are the proven cohort that saw the posts.. although I believe the actual number of people reached must be at least slightly higher.
A table showing facebook results metrics from a $25 paid effort focused on the country of Nepal. Reach          130,959, Frequency          4.128949, Impressions          540,723, Clicks          2503, Unique Clicks          2277 (for full details msg @hhawk )
(Mid-point results for Facebook media buy,
Hawk Digital Marketing)
Details: Full Promotion:
Details of a promoted effort on Facebook for "A Night With Mao" a play written and directed by Robert Lin, performed in Kathmandu Nepal in July 2014. Highlights include $65 spent, 1.3 Million Impressions, 220k unique people research, and a 2% CTR.
Overview: There are a few things worth noting within the results posted above. Our cost was just under $65. 4,580 unique people interacted with our campaign. The total number of impressions was 1.3 Mil, reaching a total of 220k people with a frequency of 6.2. Advertising is priced by cost per thousand (CPM); the impressions CPM was 4.4 cents, and the cost for reaching each unique person on a CPM basis was 27.5 cents. Overall the click through rate for the unique vistors was 2.08% which is inline with typical direct response media. While we didn't optimize the effort to gain page likes, the number of page likes during the campaign increased by 204; roughly a 20% increase.
Chinese-American Actor Robert Lin (cis male) plays Madam Mao (cis female) the 4th wife of Chairman Mao, in the play "A Night with Mao" staged in Kathmandu, July 2014
Robert Lin as Madam Mao
Social Reach: Facebook defines social reach as the number of unique people who see a paid promotion that includes social data. By social data Facebook means they see information that friend x likes page y (i.e., Harry Hawk likes The Mao Project). Our promotion had a social reach of 8,401 and of those unique individuals there were 475 clicks. A social click is defined by Facebook as, "...the number of clicks your ad receives when it's shown with social information." Over all, that means our posts promoted with social data had an effective click through of 5.65% better than the unique click through rate of 2.08% -- however, assuming our 8,401 unique individuals saw our posts the average frequency (6.3), that implies an actual "per impression" CTR of .9% which is still higher than the average CTR of .39%.
A large blown up poster for "A Night with Mao" hanging outside of Theater Village, Kathmandu Nepal July 2014

The full impact of the effort are harder to tabulate but i'm sure that awareness in Nepal about the play and Robert's role was increased. There were several articles about the play in the local papers including this review in English; the goal for this effort was to boost awareness of both the play and the reviews. We had hoped to reach 300k unique people, but ultimately reached only 220k. We were trying to encourage commentary on The Mao Project fan page but we only received 7; this maybe a result of language barriers, awkward feelings about posting in English, or even a fear that the play would be considered political. The lack of posts might indicate a wise lack of interest, but with 1,000's of clicks and several hundred page likes, that seems remote. Finally, all of this should be understood in the context that the page and the play are both in English not Nepali.

I can be reached @hhawk on Twitter. A summary of this post can be found on LinkedIN.
Writen by: Harry Hawk

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