Facebook Marketing – Sneaky, Subversive, Effective!

August 18th, 2009 by Will Scott


The tactics of Local Facebook Marketing just got a whole lot easier to understand. Sarah Smith gave up the goods in her presentation at the Local Search Summit. It turns out there are some very subversive ways to use current Facebook technologies. Marketing on Facebook just got a lot easier.

Local Search Summit 09

Local Search Summit 09

Don Campbell gives a great overview of the ideas presented in our “Using Facebook and Twitter to Drive Local Leads” session. And, I’m looking forward to Aaron Irizarry posting the rest of the video

… But in the mean time, I’m going to share some ideas based on the Facebook marketing presented by Sarah Smith.

I’m so excited by these ideas that we’re going to be implementing some of them THIS WEEK with clients.

But look, I’m even more excited by what YOU are going to do with them. Please comment and let us know what you think the opportunities are.

Ok, ok – so the list:

  • Kinda mundane but still very helpful: Sarah indicates there is now radius based targeting for ads (e.g.: 15 miles around city X)
  • Real-time Search with greater search granularity.
  • Target just your fans or people coming to an event with Facebook Ads (this is definitely cool, and I can see some good applications but not mind-blowing).
  • Birthday Targeting! Holy cow! This is huge. I have a whole program already laid out for this one.
  • 1 to 1 communication with Event attendees/maybes. The pain point here is less obvious – you’ll get it when I ‘splain it.

Killer Facebook Marketing Opportunities:

Birthday Targeting:

Facebook Marketing - Happy Birthday to You! Cake Picture

Happy Birthday to You!

So, Birthday Targeting – my goodness, how subversive can you get?! Imagine yourself cruising along in Facebook and Blammo

“happy birthday Bob, click here to register for your birthday gift – good all month”.

Notice, we plan to message “good all month” (or “all week”, or “for the next 10 days”). There is still a serious call to action but clearly it’s an obtainable goal.

The challenge of the Birthday message in Facebook marketing is that if you make it a “today only” deal you may miss those who sign in after work hours or who are otherwise unable to commit today. Maybe they’ve got a party to go to :D.

You can see how this would be a killer tactic for a local business. Let’s say you have a non-impulse product. You could make an offer of a $25.00 commodity gift card (Wal-mart, The Gap) or $100.00 gift certificate for your service. Even if you’re not perfectly targeted you have the opportunity to start a dialog with a local buyer who knows someone who is.

Event Focused Permission Marketing:

Facebook event invitations are becoming much more prevalent. And, it turns out given this new feature, they’re a sneaky marketing opportunity.

Ant Party

Ant Party

One of the problems we’ve had with “Fan Pages” vs. Facebook Groups is that there is no way to push communication to your fans. You can post something which will show up in their feed but  you can’t get into their inbox without a more personal connection.

So, Sarah says that all you’ve got to do is get someone to respond “Yes” to your invitation (or “Maybe”, I think – hopefully Sarah will clarify) and you can then message them up until the event.

But wait, there’s more: You, the group owner don’t necessarily have to initiate the “Event” invitation. Meaning that you can easily convert the Fan to a Friend with much less restriction on continued messaging.

I’m not going to tell you how we’re going to put this one into use ;) but I’ll tell you once we’re done.

As you can see, these two opportunities, “Birthday Ads” and “Event Focused Permission Marketing”, enable much greater attention getting behavior on Facebook. Marketing through these channels can get you past the banner blindness of the usual ads and may even get you into the Inbox.

With the rate of adoption of Facebook and Twitter we’ll take any opportunity, the more sneaky and subversive the better, to build community and then hopefully move that community offline to buy something.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how to best leverage these new Facebook marketing opportunities and any of the others Sarah detailed at Local Search Summit.

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