5 things I’ve learned doing Facebook marketing campaigns

5 things I’ve learned doing Facebook marketing campaignsFor the past couple of years, I’ve worked on several Facebook marketing campaigns for brands like Gevalia, Country Time Lemonade, The Peanuts (Countdown to The Great Pumpkin), and Organic Beauty Now. Here are a few tidbits I’ve picked up along the way:

  1. People love freebies. This is not news. Unless you’re a big-name brand, top celeb or a natural social networking guru, people will not  flock to you unless you give them treats. Said treats can be in the form of cash money, products, or just superb content, but it has to be of value. It has to be worth their time. We’re all fragmented and another amusing opportunity for something “free” is just a click away. Don’t get clicked away. Give good stuff.
  2. Your freebies don’t have to break the bank. We got perfectly decent mileage from giving away a lot of lower-value gift cards as opposed to $500 worth of merchandise at Organic Beauty Now. For The Peanuts, we made excellent use of existing content to get fans engaged in a new way. Get creative.
  3. Make your Facebook friends love you. Don’t be afraid to ask for your Facebook friends’ participation. We tested a campaign where we asked Organic Beauty Now Facebook friends to name the number one non-organic beauty product they wanted to switch to an organic version. Called The Big Organic Beauty Switch, it included a giveaway of five gift certificates to winners among the list of those who posted a comment about their wishlist switcheroo. First week, it seemed like a dud and we nearly pulled it, but then it grew, and grew, and grew. By the second week, we had the best level of interaction we’d ever had, 200 new Facebook likes, a huge opportunity to interact with them (as we gave personal recommendations to everyone, not just winners) and a lot of free consumer research. We’ve gotten similar results with campaigns that require our Facebook friends to dig into our website and name products they want to win. All of it is designed to deepen the interaction between your Facebook friends and your brand. It works.
  4. Your Facebook friends will stab you in the back, in public. We had a customer service issue come to light on Facebook. Our CEO spent over an hour on the phone with the upset party, making everything right, smoothing her ruffled feathers, and ending the call with what seemed like a very satisfied customer. This same party went back to our Facebook page and flamed the heck out of us again. Why? Who knows. We did our best. The moral of the story is this: practice excellent customer service, and when, not if, mistakes happen, solve them, then watch the web for ongoing embers even when you think the flames have died. You cannot let your guard down. It’s just too easy for people to rethink and post something you don’t want out there, whether they’re a “friend” or not.
  5. Be a celebrity. That’s my motto as Andy Warhol’s vision of everyone’s 15 minutes of fame comes to rampaging life now that we all have a worldwide podium. No, you don’t have to be Oprah or a Kim Kardashian (heaven forbid). I’m talking about being a persona in your own way, in your own market. We like bright, shiny, engaging people who we can follow with our hearts, minds and dollars. If you’re not the guy or gal in your company, find someone who is. That kooky guy who makes everyone laugh at the water cooler. A dedicated team of customer service people who are super enthusiastic. Or a hired spokesperson that you make a real part of your company, not just a talking head. Whatever it takes, be a person of note and people will follow you. Celebrities don’t become celebrities by staying on the margins and keeping quiet. Get out there, get known, and watch how it changes your business.