Posted by: sClarke | 07/03/2009

Ten Ways Guerilla Marketers Can Utilize Facebook

Facebook has over 200 million users with half of those users logging on daily.  Over two-thirds of Facebook users are out of college and the fastest growing age group is over 35.  On average, each user has about 120 friends and globally over five billion minutes are spent of Facebook each day.  Enough statistics, but this information could be very valuable to marketers.  Especially because Facebook is the third most used social media used by marketers.

facebook_1Facebook for Guerilla Marketers:

Guerilla marketers go to very high extremes just to get the word out about a product/service/brand.  Facebook offers a variety of ways to do that and best of all, it’s free.

1. Profile Pages

This is the starting point, all general information about a product/service/brand can be presented here in the most outright way.  Company history, most successful brand extensions, product information, etc. can all be laid out on the profile page.

“Not only is your profile the page that you have the most control over, it’s the place where you can most deeply and authentically express your passion for the brand, company, or product you want to promote. Your profile page is an opportunity to craft a credible real-world story around the reasons your products or services are so valuable. Take advantage of Personal Info, Work Info, Photos, and applications to tell bits and pieces of your narrative as it relates to your brand. If you’re not buying your own stuff, why should anyone else?” — Justin Smith, insidefacebook.com

Profile pages can generate a high volume of traffic  Facebook users habitually browse profile pages of friends or anyone who seems interesting.  This is how they find and seek out more information on someone or something in the easiest way possible.   Marketers can take advantage of profile pages because they can invite partners and associates to view the profile and in that way can generate a great deal of traffic to the page.

2. Facebook Groups

Groups are the easiest way to build a community around a product/service/brand/company.  Groups provide a centralized location for customers, partners, and friends.  They can all interact in conversations about the product/brand because Facebook groups come with boards for posting discussion topics, photos, videos, and links. News and updates can be easily sent to your group members as often as you like and the messages arrive in the members’ Facebook Inbox.

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Groups are a very simple way of utilizing viral marketing.  Group members can invite their friends to join the group and those invitees can invite others and so on.  The group name also appears on the group members’ profiles which also means that if they chose not to send invites to others to join then those who view the group members’ profile pages can click on the group and opt to join.

3. Facebook Pages

In November 2007, Pages were launched as a way for businesses of many types to easily establish a brand presence on Facebook. Pages are a lot like groups, with some important differences:

  • Pages are more customizable than groups.  They can add HTML, Flash, or even Facebook applications to the Pages to extend their functionality and the depth of experience users can have with a brand.
  • Pages get more prominent “Bumper Stickers” real estate than groups on the profile pages of the fans.
  • There is no limitation to the number of fans in the group that can be messaged.
  • “Fans” who join the group aren’t able to invite their friends to be fans of the Page.  Fans must either “Share” the Page with  friends, or  friends must observe that they “are a fan” of the Page either via their profile page or News Feed.
  • Facebook has taken an active role in cracking down on Pages not created by authorized agents.

Again, another easy way for viral marketing to run its course.

4. Facebook Events

Events can be created by anyone for anything.  It can be as simple as a happy hour at someone’s apartment to a benefit for a pretigious organization.  It’s set up like a group page, photos and comments can be posted on the event’s wall.  Invitees can RSVP and can even invite others to attend, if the adminstrator allows guests to invite others.  Facebook makes it very simple to keep track of who’s coming and who isn’t as well as any questions or concerns the guests may have.

5. Facebook Notes and Photos

Two applications that allow you to share blog posts and pictures with your friends are Notes and Photos.  These can be used to post content about the brand, but be careful to always do it authentically – don’t be spammy.  Credibility can be lost if all photos are company logos.  Photos and Notes also provide the feature to “tag” friends that are in the photo or which ever friends should be included in the Note.  Once a friend is tagged, he or she will receive a notification of that tag.  Also, tagging can be used bring attention to the Note or Photo.

6. Facebook Messages

Messages are like email but much simpler.  Messages can be sent to anyone on Facebook, users do not have to be friends to send and/or receive a message.  Facebook is very involved in spam prevention.  If a Facebook account is used to message users you have no connection with in high volume, Facebook’s automated systems will shut down the account.

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7. Facebook Marketplace

Marketplace is Facebook’s classifieds listing service. You can post a for-sale ad or wanted ad in any of your networks for free. However, if you want to post your ad in multiple networks, you have to pay $1 per network per listing.  Like with messages, spamming up the Marketplace will get your account deleted and your ads removed. It’s most likely not worth your time to try to evade their systems.

Marketplace is not a highly used application.  My Marketplace ads have only yielded a few leads.  Marketplace responses are tied to real Facebook accounts. When you receive a response to your Marketplace listing, you can see the respondent’s profile page even if they’re not your friend.

8. Facebook Share/Posted Items

Facebook Share is an application that allows the promotion any Group, Event, Photo, Link, or Application that a user has come across by giving it real estate in your “Posted Items” list on your profile page or by sending it directly to  friends’ Inbox.

By posting it on the profile page, some clicks can be directed to the shared item. However, while this is an effective promotional tactic, it’s not as targeted as sending it directly to friends’ Inboxes, which are more likely to convert into valuable clicks.

9. Facebook Networks

Facebook Networks are like group pages for everyone who’s a member of an Educational, Work, or Geographical network. While no Facebook members “own” any pieces of network pages, network pages offer:

– Other ways to learn about events, photos, or any other posted items.

– Discussions and walls users can contribute their posts to.

10. Mini Feed and News Feed

“The wind that blows your marketing seeds is Facebook’s News Feed. ” — Justin Smith, insidefacebook.com

While you’re not able to publish directly to the feeds, Facebook’s Mini Feed and News Feed archive your users’ engagement with your brand and syndicate it to their friends, networks, and beyond, amplifying the reach of your campaign by orders of magnitude. When a Facebook user does anything, it gets posted to the News and Mini Feed, unless the user has disabled certain features from posting.  It’s possible that one Mini Feed item generated by a Facebook user could be seen in hundreds of their friends’ News Feeds.

Happy Fourth of July all!

Shannon

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