Social Media Marketing: An Idiot’s Guide

Marketing on Facebook is an interesting and often ill-defined thing. A business is likely to create a Facebook page hastily, without a real strategy, and then expect results to develop quickly. A key to understanding social media is to first understand it’s pace. Social media is a marathon, not a race. It runs on authenticity, a thing that can’t be bought, a thing that has to be earned over time. Once you’ve built a loyal audience, you can more easily make something go viral or see quick results from a specialized campaign.

Building brand loyalty means producing some kind of incentive. In other words, there has to be a reason your audience interacts with your social media assets. They’re not going to visit your Facebook page if there’s no reason for them to do so.

You don’t have to pay for likes, you don’t even have to run expensive contests. You simply have to create the perception of value. Take a look at a recent campaign set up by  95 WIIL Rock, a Wisconsin/Illinois radio station.

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Basically, they’ve offered to split whatever money they might win from a recent (insanely huge) Powerball with everyone who liked their page. This is, in a word, genius. It’s practically free to the radio station, especially considering the astronomical statistics that nearly promise they wont have to live up to their promise.

Very similarly, Facebook user Nolan Daniels posted this picture:

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The caption of which read:

Looks like I won’t be going to work EVER!!!! Share this photo and I will give a random person 1 million dollars!

Yeah, it received almost 2 million shares in less than two days. While this isn’t strictly and act of marketing, it’s the kind of awareness that most social media marketers would kill for. This guy became famous over night, just because he posted a picture.

Oh, and if you hadn’t yet put it together, it’s a fake. He didn’t win the Powerbal, the numbers shown in the ticket aren’t the winning numbers. In the end, that didn’t matter. No one was going to take the time to look them up, especially because sharing the photo is such an easy thing to do. It literally takes two clicks.

Why They Won 

In both of these instances, they were successful because they offered the chance at something great for almost no effort at all. Asking your audience to LIKE a too many things or take too many steps is, to put it simply, boring. They’re not going to do it, at least the large majority of them. The key is finding that special place where a campaign is both easy and valuable.

Of course, the bottom line is always something to consider. In the case of the radio station, they’re now tasked with engaging that audience. This is a much tricker act, especially if you’re trying to turn all those likes into a profit.

In the case of the fellow with the fake picture, well, it’s just got to avoid all the people he tricked into sharing is picture for the rest of his life. Good luck, Nolan.

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