The Facebook marketing tactics that Sarah Palin should have used

Published: 25th February 2011 Written by:

Facebook Etiquette To the amusement of many in online marketing this week, Sarah Palin has been caught out commenting and supporting her own posts and content on Facebook with a second, fake account. Needless to say, this is somewhat discrediting. Therefore, I write this post, partly for her so that she may learn and move on to greatness she is destined for. Ahem. I attended the annual Search Engine Strategies meeting this week and was lucky enough to catch Liana “Li” Evans’ (@storyspinner)session Killer Facebook Marketing Tactics. She talked about how Facebook is not a search engine and rather a connectivity platform. She showed us an example of a search she did for a hotel called “The Mint”. For obvious reasons Facebook does not show the correct, or in this case; desired result. She explained that the search engine is not like Google. The algorithm isn’t there; the key to finding what you are searching for is that hopefully your search is related and/or connected to someone you know and/or an event that you are connected to. These connections help the search serve you the so-called desired listing. Without such connections, it becomes highly inefficient. Going back to Facebook and the potential, Li explained that it is key for you as a business to evaluate if this is the right channel. With that in mind, she ran through the steps to follow to squeeze extra value out of Facebook. This is mostly her but with some minor embellishments and examples by me: Is your audience present and engaging?: Find out if your audience is engaging in the platform. For example, a medical clinic may not get a lot of attention on Facebook as people don’t want to talk about their medical conditions socially. Mediarun’s tip: You can use Facebook ads to understand the reach, i.e. how many people “like” football in the UK. “Stickiness” is the key to engagement: To get people hooked, create “stickiness”. In many cases games work really well. Games can appeal to specific demographics and create a customer base around the game really quickly. The obvious advantage is reach; a much bigger audience than Twitter can be targeted with a successfully thought-through game. This assumption is based on the fact that only 20% of all Twitter accounts are active regularly. With that in mind, a good Facebook game example is Farmville, which has ~ 50 million active users. The success of this application has enabled Zynga to create a huge customer base and also create a lot of engagement around it. Another technique can be the use of contests, e.g. the SES conference page on Facebook encourages everyone to participate by sharing a strategy tip for people to try out. The person supplying the best tip is selected to be featured on the fan page with their company logo. As an additional incentive the winner gets a book from one of the board members of SES. Li told us that there was very little to no engagement prior to the technique being rolled out. So what are the outcomes of the above? These come in a wide variety of options: the results could be engagement on your fan page, promoting further the page across the engager’s contacts. This activity could also help fill rooms at an event or in a hotel, for instance. By simply offering last minute discounts on their Facebook pages, an hotelier can get his rooms booked on those occasions where previous bookings were cancelled. It can provide real time feedback on your content– i.e. likes or fans. An example of a successful piece of content or in this case applications  is the Trip Advisor Facebook app, which is one of the most widely used app with 487, 583 active users worldwide. The reason behind their success, Li explained, is that it adds value to groups. In order to keep that up, it is essential to ensure the sort of individuals that are engaging are they the right demographic, are they really tied to the subject matter? Other distractions that can work to your advantage: Use geo locations when sharing events and pictures, use of logos helps with brand visibility. Use badges and placement of “cool” logos on your demographics profiles, always with caution and moderation as you don’t want to appear to be spamming. For example the lonely planet travel blog award. Quizzes – what is relevant to your demographic? Make it fun and engaging – quizzes can be a great way to get the community to discuss and share on your fan page. Another technique covered by Li is the use of tags. Tagging can force brand visibility- i.e. by tagging a high profile user on a relevant picture. The example she shows us is the NFL fan page where after the Superbowl a picture of Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Green Bay Packers are featured. Had the NFL tagged Aaron Rodgers in the picture, the reference of the NFL fan page would have appeared on his fan page, giving further visibility to over 86,000 fans of Aaron himself. The last point covered by Li was Facebook ads: Why not target your audience via ads? Let’s face it; it’s not Google PPC, but:
  • Avg users login 3x a day.
  • They view an average of 12 pages a day.
  • You therefore need to show ads more frequently whilst preventing ad burnout/ blindness.
In order to avoid ad burnout you will need to use many ad versions, use bright colours and images (if applicable). If you are using Facebook ads then optimise your landing pages. It’s all well and good to have a good ad, but the user must land somewhere where they can get something out of it as per the ad. For example: “buy”, “enquire”, “like”, whatever engagement type are you looking for. With all of that said, don’t be fooled! Facebook marketing does require time, effort, coordination and budget. Make sure that you have not just created a Facebook fan page and that you push and connect it with your efforts via:
  • Email
  • Twitter
  • Most importantly your website
Last but not least, set goals and KPI’s to ensure you are delivering results based on your objectives and don’t forget to innovate – contests can only entice users for so long… Let us know if  you use Facebook to promote your business, if you think the above is useful or better still if you have any other tactics you would like to share.

4 Responses to “The Facebook marketing tactics that Sarah Palin should have used”

  1. Wesley Says:

    I went to that fake account then felt bad once I realized why she set it up. Most of that stuff was for her kid. She gave herself one “Amen” which I thought was funny. I would do it and so would you.
    Don’t give her a hard time. She’s a mom and I think just wanted to communicate with her family like a normal person.

  2. Ugo Smith Says:

    HI Wesley,

    thanks for your comment, whislt I can appreciate your point of view the use of a fake account regardless of the purpose is not really best practice nor ideal for a public figure like a politician. If her only purpose was to have a personal conversation with her daughter she could have done so in different ways, I am not here to judge and I dont mean to give her a hard time but to highlight that there are many ways for public figures and brands alike to promote themselves in Facebook without ending up spamming which is what was perceived as have been doing by promoting her own post.

  3. Facebook ads: Real-time ad serving | By Mediarun | Response Marketing Blog - Search Engine Marketing by Mediarun Says:

    [...] back to Facebook, the purpose of this new feature is to expand on the Facebook marketing tactics available to advertisers as well as giving the same functionality that you are exposed to on Google [...]

  4. Facebook ads: Real-time ad serving | Best Free Review Says:

    [...] back to Facebook, the purpose of this new feature is to expand on the Facebook marketing tactics available to advertisers as well as giving the same functionality that you are exposed to on Google [...]

Leave a Reply

  • Get In Touch

    Call +44 (0)20 7229 8827

  • Recent Posts

  • Subscribe via Email

    Enter your email address:

  • Archives

  • Blog categories

  • Follow Mediarun at: