The Facebook marketing tactics that Sarah Palin should have used
Published: 25th February 2011 Written by:
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.
- Most importantly your website