promoting events and news on facebook (via| the qualified yes)

 my organization holds events around the country to raise awareness and money for brain tumor research and patient services. our communications group works to publicize those events in the media, including social media. here is a mini case study of the ways to use one of those channels.

putting your best face(book) forward

comm put up a  web page (mostly for online donors) and facebook group to support the event, which took place this past weekend in portland, oregon (note: comm is switching from facebook groups to pages for events). after the event, a supporter used the nbts facebook page to inquire whether pictures were up yet from the day-long walk. our social media manager promptly responded, and added a link she found to local news coverage of the event:

this is good customer service, but what else could we do to leverage the free publicity? as you can see, inserting the hyperlink into a comment provides the link but little in the way of bells and whistles. even if someone “likes” the comment (that’s my thumbs up, btw), the object of one’s affection doesn’t jump to the liker’s stream – therefore, it doesn’t broaden the exposure.

liking versus liking liking versus…what are we, in seventh grade?

facebook’s Like feature is not really a great promotional tool. Note that I am not talking about the “ liking” that used to be “becoming a fan.”  formerly-known-as-fan-page: good. because once you fan/follow/whatever it is a page, every update to that page shows up in your stream. there’s an opportunity to capture new eyeballs.

no, this liking is that little word that shows up at the tail end of everything in facebook like it wants to be the new period. getting a lot of likes is good for the ego maybe, but for broadening your audience? not so much…

over 600 people liked frank rich’s op ed piece in the times. but their liking it when the piece rolled through their stream did nothing to increase the audience for that information. liking or commenting earns the item a single text line in the other stream:


sharing works better

but wait, you say. what about all that stuff on top in that frank rich piece. a-ha! my friend kevin did more to promote that news item than 600 casual clickers by sharing his affection. by clicking on “share” rather than (or in addition to) “like,” kevin created a content-promoting engine, complete with an image, a link to the original story – even a brief (and editable) synopsis!

can we do this with the portland walk news piece or other nbts content? can we ever!

I grabbed the link in the original comment above and attached it to a status update. Facebook lets me post the update to just my network or, with the normally dreaded “everyone” setting, makes it a searchable object that can turn up in a google ort yahoo search.

here’s how it looked to my friends. cool!

earlier today I did the same thing to build some buzz for an online event that launches next week, Tulips Against Tumors. I created a status update and attached a link to the info tab on its facebook page

note that the summary contains a link to the actual Tulips Against Tumors website, allowing viewers to navigate directly to it. note, too, how facebook muddies the waters by announcing that “31 people like this.” this just means the TAT facebook page has 31 fans followers adherents, not that 31 people clicked the little “like” below my original post. but I digress.

I asked co-conspirator and light of my life alice hanes to use the share link on the above tulips item, she graciously did so, and this was the result on my page:

to those in alice’s network who don’t (yet) know me, the item showed up like this:

recommendation for non profits or other businesses that want to put themselves in front of potentially vast audiences: have everyone in your organization who is on facebook use the share link to promote events and important news. the resulting barrage of rich media will seem like overkill at first if you are seeing everyone’s share. but remember that your employees/volunteers have a lot more friends who are not associated with you than who are. so while you’re seeing a post five times or ten, you will be reaching a broader audience which will see it only once or twice.

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App Lets Brands Add Groupon-Like Deals to Facebook Pages (via mashable)

Wildfire, makers of promotional tools for brands on Facebook, is releasing a new application that lets marketers and brands turn their Facebook Page or website in to a deal hub.

The new application is called Group Deals, and it is designed to be like a do-it-yourself Groupon add-on to Facebook Pages and company websites via Facebook Connect. Wildfire users can create and define their own deal-a-day style promotions, which will allow interested brand fans to purchase the deals via their PayPal accounts.

During the setup process, application users can set the value of the deal, define the threshold needed to activate it and link it to their e-commerce system through their own pre-defined discount codes. Brands can also set deal terms and conditions and customize the appearance of the check-out page, as well as use their own images to tweak the application’s appearance. The final step is to the publish the deal to a Facebook Page or a company website.

Given that Group Deals are heavily tied to the Facebook (Facebook) platform, users who sign up for deals can publish the activity to their newsfeed or invite their Facebook friends to join them to unlock the promotion in the question.

Wildfire is using the PayPal API, which means PayPal will help them to track and manage the entire deal buying process, and automatically notify buyers if and when the deal is activated.

As the group buying trend continues to grow, brands and marketers are sure to be curious about how they can apply the deeply discounted deal model to their own products and services. Wildfire’s Group Deals option lets them do just that within Facebook’s network of nearly 500 million members and on their own sites.

Obviously, there’s huge potential here. We expect creative brand campaigns tied to group discounts, and even think there’s enough here to help brands use social media to significantly impact sales.

Marshalls Launches Unique Facebook Contest To Win $5000 Wardrobe (via allfacebook)


cool promotion. will be interesting to see if the core marshalls shopper engages - or is it an attempt to broaden the base?

Marshalls is launching a unique Facebook campaign for the next three weeks where people are asked to sign up as fans, take quizzes and earn keys to unlock a free $5,000 wardrobe.  The concept was designed by Hill Holiday and represents yet another big brand moving into Facebook.

The campaign involves users first signing up as a fan for Marshalls at the Marshalls’ Facebook Page.  The contest starts each Thursday, where fans play a quiz based on the campaign’s online videos.  Completing the quiz gets you the key, and for each key earned, $1 is donated to the Dress for Success charity.


Then, as Wednesday hits, key holders are reminded to come back to the fan page to try their key between noon and midnight Eastern time to see if it unlocks a ‘virtual wardrobe’ worth $1000. 25 keyholders also win $50 gift cards.

According to HH:

The campaign culminates on Wednesday, April 28th at noon (eastern) with a live, interactive “virtual grand prize event” streamed from NYC and brought to everyone viaUstream.  Fashion-wise shoppers can watch and participate in the event on Marshalls’ Facebook, and various fashion influencer blogs where theUstream player and social stream will be embedded.

HH also talks about some of their more interesting features of the campaign:

  • TV spots are not only tagged with a “drive to” Marshalls’ Facebook page but include a voiceover mention aimed to increase receptivity to go online and engage.
  • For each week’s kickoff, we’ve created a 24 hour media stunt to help grab attention and invite consumers to Marshall’s Facebook page to earn their key. Check out today as we’ve skinned the site as one big Marshalls shopportunity.
  • We’re using Facebook engagement ads in two ways. First, the “become a Fan” video engagement ads will showcase the week’s shopportunity video (a “behind the scenes” extension of the TV spot). And, second, the “become a Fan” event ads will enable Marshalls’ to invite others outside their Facebook page to the April 28th live event.