Archive for the ‘Social Games’ Category

The Practical Marketing Applications of Facebook (Part 4 of 4)

By Sam Mallikarjunan, Chief Executive Officer of Mallikarjunan Media Group

Part 3

Facebook Profiles for Brands

There are some cases in which profiles are very appropriate for brands, such as personal or celebrity brands. My profile, for example, is much more useful for me than a page would be, since it chronicles my personal life and allows for deeper levels of engagement with my friends. Also, profiles provide the unique ability to invite users to events, organize them into convenient lists, tag them in posts and photos, and interact on a far deeper level by commenting on their posts, links, walls, etc.

However, we must be mindful of the fact that many consumers still resent the intrusion of marketers into social media. Many of them find it bothersome enough that we have paid ads and pages. The fact that we’d intrude into their lives with profiles of our own may offend some.

Also, there’s an issue of scale when choosing between pages and profiles. It’s not Facebook’s intent that profiles be used for marketing businesses; therefore, they reserve the right to prevent you from making additional friend requests, which can severely limit the potential reach of your Facebook marketing efforts. So while Facebook profiles have some engagement features that may be more useful than pages, you must balance the advantages of pages and decide which is better for your company or brand.

Are you a personal brand, or do you want a deeper level of engagement with a smaller number of people? If so, consider a profile!

Facebook Apps

I remember when Facebook first opened themselves up for third-party application development. For a while, I checked every day to see what was new and what was the latest and greatest. Now, with countless apps being added every day, it’s almost impossible to keep up with them all.

Facebook apps provide a fascinating opportunity for marketers. If you can create an application that is useful to your consumers, whether they’re already your customers or not, you can create your own phenomenon to help put your brand in front of a massive audience of potential customers. If you can create a tool, game, or other system that builds value relevant to your consumers, you can do amazing things.

Can you think of any kind of neat app or game that would make using your product or service easier?

Tips and Tricks

Here’s a neat trick on how to use Facebook PPC for B2B sales: If you’re targeting a specific company, find out what city its corporate headquarters is located in. Then target fans of its page who live in the same city as the company’s HQ. Odds are, most or many of their employees (including senior management) are fans of the company page. This gives you a unique opportunity to put your ad right in front of their faces, and even create custom landing pages to capture their e-mails or phone numbers for follow-up campaigns.

What about you? If you know of other ways to use Facebook for marketing, or if you have any questions on what I’ve written here, feel free to comment below!

The Practical Marketing Applications of Facebook (Part 2 of 4)

By Sam Mallikarjunan, Chief Executive Officer of Mallikarjunan Media Group

Part 1

“Like” Me!

The most well-known is the Facebook “like” button. Whereas Facebook used to give users the option to become “fans” of something—be it a brand or company or person—they can now “like” something with a single click. The “like” button is easy to install on any website. If used properly, it allows the owner of the page to publish updates into the news feeds of all the users that “like” that page. This is incredibly valuable, as it makes it easy to turn a single visitor into a returning one without having to capture an e-mail address. Whereas e-mail marketing has long been the predominant information-capture focus of most websites, gathering “likes” is quickly gaining in importance. The Facebook “like” button should be on every page of your website, and you should use the people that like it to create sticky traffic by publishing relevant updates into their news feeds.

You can incentivize people to “like” your posts and pages using different methods. First and foremost, organic “likes” will be the most valuable. People who genuinely appreciate your content are more likely to be great customers, brand loyal, and engaged on your page, as well as share the content with others. However, you can stimulate activity with incentivized contests and games. A favorite strategy of mine is to make a post (either on the brand’s Facebook page itself or on a blog) and say, “‘Like’ this post for a chance to win (insert something somewhat valuable here).” For example, if you’re writing an article about a cool inbound marketing service, you might offer a free consultation, a free month’s service, or even just a free T-shirt to a random winner from those who “like” the post or publish an update back into their news feeds to come back and win the prize.

Facebook also has an incredibly useful comments module which will allow people to leave comments on your website while logged into Facebook. Since there’s a small probability that some of your visitors may not have Facebook accounts, I’d strongly recommend that you create a back-up comment module, similar to the one on the CigarRobbie.com blog. This useful widget allows your users to carry the conversation about your page or brand back to their networks of Facebook friends, since by default, it will post back to their profiles. Essentially, comments now have the power to share your content far beyond just your own visitors and into each of their social networks. This module also includes a “like” button with the same features and flexibility.

Add a Facebook “like” button to every page on your site, and decide what relevant content you want to share with those who click it.

Easy Logins

There is a great deal of value in having users be able to login and register at your site. It can create unique user accounts for them or create a unique experience. The need to identify one user from another is as fundamental to any other site as it is to Facebook itself. Many sites, such as Formspring.me, now allow you to register for their sites with a single click rather than the formerly arduous process of registering at a site by entering your name, age, state, zip, e-mail, gender… you get the idea.

Remember that Internet marketing is much like electricity. Users will take the path of least resistance, but the more resistance (i.e., steps) in the process, the more people that you’ll lose—whether it be user registrations or value conversions. By making it incredibly simple to register an account on your site by using Facebook’s one-click login, you’ve instantly created a system that’s easy to use with low resistance. Also, by integrating it with Facebook where users can revoke access and permissions, you’ve made people feel more comfortable than they may have been giving you their personal or contact information to begin with.

Keep in mind that not everyone has Facebook, so you should offer other registration options on your site as well.

Decide if there is any reason to have a visitor register with your site. If so, make Facebook a one-click option.

Part 3

The Practical Marketing Applications of Facebook (Part 1 of 4)

By Sam Mallikarjunan, Chief Executive Officer of Mallikarjunan Media Group

Any business owner, from the Fortune 500 to the corner liquor store, has heard about the tremendous potential of social media for Internet marketing. However, although everyone acknowledges and accepts that social media has great potential, and many of them know they should be involved, few people understand the specific, practical marketing applications for social media sites.

In this four-part blog post, I’m going to profile one such social media site: Facebook. I’ll also share some data that I’ve aggregated through my research. Keep in mind that there are many third-party applications that make using Facebook easier that I’ll profile as well.

What is Facebook?

Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla in the social media marketing world. The brainchild of Harvard geek Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook now has more than 500 million users (yeah, that’s about seven percent of the population of the entire planet) and has created a phenomenon of unprecedented scope and scale.

Hundreds of millions of people spend huge segments of their daily lives on this single site, interacting with friends, sharing content, playing games, and scheduling or organizing their social lives. It’s become a venue for collective action, knowledge, and an incredibly detail-rich (if personally detached) social environment. Users willingly share an incredible amount of personal information, and they greatly trust product and service recommendations made by members of their network.

Facebook has also created a incredible scale of off-site integration. Although many social sites—such as Twitter, Digg, Buzz, and others—have buttons that allow you to share content, Facebook has created a phenomenon with its social plug-in applications. Facebook’s Developers Guide is probably the best way to find out more about what options it offers and how to install them.

If you haven’t already, go to the Facebook site and create a personal profile for yourself.

Part 2