Beyond the Facebook Status Update: SMBTV #5

If you’re a brand trying to market to customers on Facebook, how do you cut through all the noise and reach your audience? What can you do to engage people through the medium, beyond just having them fan your page? Atlanta-based social media strategist Brad Ruffkess tackled these questions this morning at the fifth Social Media Breakfast Tech Valley.

Brad shared some interesting data points about Facebook:

  • Brad Ruffkess SMBTV The average user fans two pages a month on Facebook
  • Facebook approximates 30 billion page views per month
  • Gaming in social media is huge. Farmville has more users than Twitter
  • Facebook’s self-service ads drive $200 million in revenue

He shared some interesting ways brands are using Facebook: Adidas’ Star Wars campaign that integrates Google Maps and a Facebook user’s location to “blow up” their city with a blast from the Death Star. Canada’s CTV broadcast network integrated the Olympic Torch Relay live video stream with Facebook Connect to allow viewers to post status updates about watching the relay live.

Brad left plenty of time for Q&A that covered everything from the benefits and differences of profiles vs. groups vs. pages to the intricacies of FBML and ways to measure effectiveness of Facebook engagement.

Some of the key takeaways:

  • The value in Facebook is not necessarily the “share” but the “re-share” – what can you do to get your network to post content on your behalf? People like and trust information they see from their friends more than they do from brands.
  • Don’t forget to take your Facebook engagement off of Facebook. It’s very easy to use widgets and simple lines of code to add Facebook functionality to your Web site. Add a fan page box, allow users to comment on content on your site (video, e.g.) via Facebook status updates, use Facebook Connect for people to comment.
  • Quantity does not always (or sometimes ever) trump quality. A small number of passionate fans is more valuable than mountains of people who don’t really care.
  • Paid media is critical to success on Facebook and one way to cut through the noise. Advertising on Facebook is extremely targeted and affordable. At the very least, you can use the self-service ad tool to look at data surrounding the particular group you want to target.
  • There are rules of the road to Facebook and if you violate them, your page and community can be removed. Know the restrictions around things like contests and protocol for contacting fans and asking for their personal info. If you abuse the rules, Facebook can and will remove you – and then you’ve lost all the time and effort you’ve spent building up your page and following.

You can watch the video of the entire presentation via UStream, courtesy of MZA Multimedia. You can also view the Twitter transcript of the event.

What’s the most creative marketing use of Facebook that you’ve seen?

8 thoughts on “Beyond the Facebook Status Update: SMBTV #5

  1. Granted, it is JibJab and entertainment, nevertheless the implementation of Facebook Connect into JibJab absolutely helped their site explode for individual user connection.

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=629030954763

    http://developers.facebook.com/cases/?jibjab

    This is the huge takeaway from their facebook connect efforts. They exploded in use:

    http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/11/10/connect-brings-jibjab-1-5-million-facebook-users/

    “It took us 8 years to reach 1.5 million registered users in the era of email. It took us only 5 months to acquire the same number of users on Facebook.”

  2. Thank you so much for putting this together. I found it very informative and quite surprising how much power Facebook has in marketing. It definitely opened my eyes.

  3. Excellent session on Friday, Amy!

    Brad was full of great insight, and the St. Rose facility was excellent.

    Question: can anyone locate the “Coupon” app that was mentioned at the beginning of the talk? I believe it was located on the Price Chopper FB page.

    With a quick search, I could only find WildFire’s app which, seems great, but is a little out of my personal price range. ($114.47 for a month’s worth of “standard” features.)

    There’s also the Involver situation. ($99/month for “Pro”, which isn’t all the applications…) Anyone have experience with Involver?

    Anyway — thanks again for continuing to bless the Capital District with great knowledge and insight through these SMBTV events!

    • Glad you found it useful! I don’t recall the name of the coupon app for Facebook – but maybe you can ask @PriceChopperNY via Twitter and see if they can tell you.

      • Hey Amy!

        Welcome back from ski-cation!

        In the interim, I found out that there is a pretty simple FBML code to insert on a Static FBML page within the FB Fan Page to make certain content only available to fans.

        I can send over info on how to do that if anyone wants/needs it!

        Thanks Amy!

  4. Hi, Amy. I’m a regular reader now! Can you clarify your first bulleted statement: “The average user fans two pages a month on Facebook.” I didn’t understand that tid bit.

    • I think Brad meant that on average, a Facebook user clicks the “Become a Fan” icon on two brand pages a month. I’m currently a fan of about 20 or so pages (my favorite beer brands, TV shows, etc.). Some of the less active users may become fans of pages less frequently, if at all. Others are fans of many pages and will fan just about anything. But according to Brad, the average Facebook user becomes a fan of about two pages every month.