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Situation:
Bas Rutten, retired MMA fighter and UFC champion, came to Wpromote in October of 2011 looking to generate more fans and gain exposure across all social media platforms. He wanted to be portrayed more as an actor and entertainer than a fighter, having been retired from competitive fighting for more than 10 years.

Challenges:
The biggest challenge in bringing an overall cohesiveness to Bas Rutten’s social media profiles was that there were six different Facebook accounts in reference to Bas Rutten, only one of which was actually managed by him. Because of the large variety of Bas Rutten profiles, his many fans were spread thin across all of the accounts versus one profile being connected with all of his fans.

Strategy:
To begin optimizing Bas Rutten’s social media campaign, Wpromote reached out to our contact at Facebook to merge all Bas Rutten accounts. Once this was achieved, his vanity URL, www.facebook.com/BasRutten, was established, which maintains consistent branding and enhances search results across the web, increasing exposure. Then a new badge was created utilizing maximum real estate and effectively branding the page. The badge also included more information about Bas Rutten. A Welcome tab, also known as a fan gate, was then created, which does not allow non-fans to interact with the page, incentivizing the fan to click “Like.” The Info tab was modified to include current information and links to his official website and other social media profiles. New tabs, such as the Gear Shop & Share, O2 Trainer, Body Action System, and YouTube were added. The Shop & Share tab made it possible for fans to directly shop for Bas Rutten’s official gear without leaving Facebook, creating revenue for the brand. Daily engagements were posted promoting products, videos, and public appearances, which increased impressions and fan interactions. All comments and posts by fans were responded to in a timely manner and encouraged further interaction.

In order to supplement organic growth on the Facebook Fan Page, Facebook advertisements began running in the second month of the campaign. These ads targeted the core demographic of potential fans that had not connected with Bas Rutten yet. The ads had an estimated reach of more than 6 million users.

While Bas Rutten was already very active on Twitter, Wpromote’s audit revealed opportunities to further optimize his profile. They began by implementing a new avatar and skin to maintain cohesive brand identity. Daily engagements were posted and all Tweets about Bas Rutten were monitored and addressed as necessary with friendly and informative responses.

Bas Rutten previously established a YouTube channel, however, Wpromote upgraded it to a branded channel, enabling it for better marketing capabilities. Branding the channel included the addition of a linkable banner which could take fans to his official website and store, his Facebook Fan Page, and his Twitter profile. By the end of December, more than twenty new videos had been added to the channel, several of which were included in Facebook and Twitter engagements that linked back to the YouTube channel.

Results:
Within the first three months of Wpromote managing Bas Rutten’s social media campaign, remarkable improvements were seen across the board. Merging all of the Bas Rutten Facebook profiles led to an astonishing 4,587% increase in fans. Over 1,900 fans were added in just one month of cost-efficient Facebook advertising. Due to the success of the Bas Rutten Facebook fan page, it is now recognized as the official source of Bas Rutten content and information.

Bas Rutten had a strong Twitter presence with a solid foundation before teaming up with Wpromote. However, through friendly interactions and timely responses to Twitter users, Bas Rutten had a 28% increase in followers.

Branding and optimizing Bas Rutten’s YouTube channel facilitated additional traffic to their website, Facebook, and Twitter. New videos were added to the channel and shared on their other social media profiles, which led to a significant 147% increase in views in December versus November.

About:
Bas Rutten is a retired mixed martial artist and kickboxer, who also has a black belt in Karate and Taekwondo. He was the UFC Heavyweight Champion in 1999, a three-time King of Pancrase world champion, and finished his fighting career undefeated in his last 22 fights. After retiring from fighting in 1999, Bas is now a well-recognized color commentator, accredited actor, television host, coach and entrepreneur. He is a children’s fitness advocate on the Cartoon Network and a participant in the networks highly publicized “anti-bullying” campaign. He also cohosts HDNet’s “Inside MMA” with Kenny Rice, and is the host of “Punk Payback” on Fuel TV.

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