Facebook Marketing Tactics

October 7, 2009
By Lisa Barone in Internet Marketing Conferences

I’d like to start off by thanking Danny Sullivan for convincing the session bouncer to let me in the room so I could set up. Apparently bouncer dude wanted to keep me out there forever.  Because he hates his life. Remind me to kick him on the way out.


It’s Day 3, which means complete and utter delirium on my part.  Up on stage we have Danny Sullivan moderating speakers Rebecca Kelley, Will Scott, Marty Weintraub, and Dennis Yu.  Reeeady?  I AM!

Up first is Dennis.

How is Facebook different than Google? You’re targeting who people are instead of targeting keywords.  You have a viral multiplier because friends will see it in their feed and be able to become a fan. Pricing is different.  The sophisticated of targeting is different. Google is like driving a car. Facebook is like flying a plane because you’re getting the back end of who people are based on their interests.

He asks who’s used Facebook Lexicon – a FB keyword research tool.  Not that many people raise their hands.

Profile Attributes as a Keyword

Use profile attributes as a proxy for keywords. He offers up the top dozen Facebook keywords

  1. Simpsons
  2. House
  3. Family Guy
  4. Music
  5. Barack Obama
  6. Dormir (sleeeeping)
  7. Grey’s Anatomy
  8. Chocolate  (yum!)
  9. Friends
  10. Nutella
  11. Sleeping  (yes, please!)
  12. Pizza  (is this list trying to taunt me or what?)

What Sites Do Your Customers Visit?  If you know who visits your site, you can target the ads differently based on all Facebook’s options and preferences.   He changed his Preferences to tell Facebook that he likes guys (he doesn’t) and got flooded with a bunch of gay dating ads.  Yep…that’s pretty much how it works. Facebook: A worst matchmaker than your mother.

Facebook is for demand generation NOT demand harvesting. It’s about creating awareness, interest, desire and then getting them to act.

Facebook Local Ads

74 percent of Facebook advertising in 2009 wil come from local. You can do some crazy hypertargeting and blanket a whole town. When you’re testing ads, include images. It will get you a higher CTR. Put a phone number in your ad with a local area code that people will recognize. This will help you get a bigger brand benefit. You can also put tracking on the phone number to see where people are coming from.

Facebooks = Adwords, Circa 2003.  If you know how to target, you can get 3 or 4 percent CTRs  When Michael Jackson died, within 15 minutes they had all sorts of ads asking if Michael Jackson was dead.  Then they linked to a OneRiot page where they could see all the info about Michael Jackson. They saw a 3-4 percent CTR.  It’s a great user experience.  There are lots of opportunities available but you have to do it manually because there’s not an easy way to do it or an API.

Ad Multiplication

Multiplication of 10 images, 3 body copies, 5 demo targets, 2 landing pages = 300 ad variations.  You have to create them by hand.  Girls with blond hair and wearing pink get a higher CTR.  #justfyi

Interest Targeting

The further down you interest target, the more specific you’re going to get.  You have to be careful not to go down too low. [insert your own joke] You’ll get a high CTR but your ads will burn out quickly.  In Facebook, you can have ad burnout in a couple of hours. It’s about how heavily you run and how tightly you target. If you run fast and target high, you’ll burn out quickly.  Facebook doesn’t have tools that will let you bid for position.

Facebook is  a giant email auto-responder. You don’t want to send people to your site, you want to send them to your Fan Page.  Once they become a Fan, you’ve got them. You can message them, you make sure their friends see you. You get a viral multiplier. It’s better than email because people’s email’s burn out faster than their Facebook accounts. Its amazing what you can do when you get them into the stream. When you’re doing the targeting on Facebook, it’s usually pretty accurate.

What to expect in the next 12 months?

They’re going to improve their UI to make it more accessible to agencies. He’d like to say that Facebook is a really bad place so that people don’t crowd it. But it’s really great. It’s a land grab right now.   It’s going to get more competitive as people learn about the opportunities that are available to them.

Next up is Marty Weintraub.

Marty’s up and yelling. If you’ve ever heard Marty speak, you know what I’m talking about.  Marty is a normal speaker on a double dose of steroids. And I mean that lovingly.

Facebook is unimaginable from an organic perspective.   It’s a well-laid play for Internet domination. (muahaha!)  Facebook is a massive walled garden. It’s the other Internet. It’s closed loop, members only system. There are 120 million users logging on everyday. There’s a billion pictures and 10 million pictures monthly. There’s a billion content blocks, blog posts, news stories and links weekly. There are 45 million active users groups. There’s SO MUCH cool stuff to search.

There’s no external search engine allowed on Facebook, you just get the internal search. Facebook search has always kind of sucked, says Marty. It’s good at finding people close to you, sorta.  It’s smart to understand and monitor the search as it develops. It’s immediately useful but it’s also an easter egg.

You can get insight as to what’s searchable in Facebook by looking at your own privacy settings and see how you can restrict others.  You can see how they subdivide communities (my network, only friends, friends of friends, everyone).   Everything YOU can do is something someone can DO to you.  You just have to flip it.

Even if you’re not friends you can see links, status updates, some pictures.  Newly expanded from people/groups search you can search for info over the last 30 days.

[Marty is at the podium rocking back and forth in a manic excitement. He’s awesome]

Anatomy of Facebook SERPs

They’re chunky. Pages and Groups are usually at the top of the search.  (Popular applications can trump Pages or Groups if you have a lot of users.)  Then its posted by Friends – the people closest to you in your circle. Then, it’s the Web results (Bing).

It starts with Classic Facebook People Search. If it’s not a common name, then they go out to extended networks and geo proximity. From there, they can pull them from anywhere.

How are they ranked?

  • Pages: Ranked mostly by Fan count. Also influenced by freshness, proximity, phrase density, etc.  It’s weird. Possibly paid.
  • Groups: Facebook crawls the Group titles and descriptions.  It’s mostly based on member count. Group listings in “All” search are more erratic. Cool Group Search Filters > How users search Facebook “should” is a signal regarding the Facebook DB.
  • Applications: Straight up popularity contest. Get lots of users and you’ll rank over Groups or Pages. Put the keyword in the name first. Use the keyword as much as possible.
  • Events: Geo-proximity is the biggest factor in ranking. Facebook indexes the event name, the geo, and the title and description.Putting the geo in the name is helpful.
  • Web Results: Run by Bing. One click takes users to Bing. Consider the implications of the Yahoo Deal. Bings SERPs are not geo savvy.
  • Post By Friends: Strictly chronological. It’s not hierarchical.  It’s a liner fire hose.  It’s not personalized and it takes 30 seconds to index.

Most Important way to use Facebook

Select “everyone” in privacy settings > search

Best use of Facebook is crowd mining. It’s the same as it ever was but you have more reach. Expanding social graph now includes content recommendations. Use it for selective relationship building and give them a reason to want to meet you.

Leverage trust delicately! Find true connections. Friends, Friends of Friends, etc. There are privacy issues here. Find people talking about things. If you can’t talk to them how you want from your page, be a person who represents somethings. Make lists of 100s of people who are interested in what you do. give a lot more than you take all the time.  Be holistic and suppport the community first.

Facebook Optimization Tips

  • Share links in FB to optimized content
  • Put most important information in title tag
  • Drop on walls, status, updates and notes
  • Optimize photo albums titles
  • Get organic prominence with application
  • Remember that Bing serves double duty

People with keyword names can index easily. Do whatever it takes to lift Groups and Page fan count. Gain immediate prominence by paid Facebook search.

Does this matter very much? Kind of. It’s an awesome demographic tool. It may matter by sheer participation.  It depends on user adoption and Facebook’s focus.

Next up is Will Scott.

His worst public speaking fears have been realized — he’s following Marty Weintraub. Hee.

Some sneaky FB Opportunities

Target just your fans or people coming to an events with Ads. It’s cool but it’s not mindblowing.  Use Birthday targeting [Yes, you can target people ONLY on their birthdays. How cool is that?]. Golly this one is fun! [He said “golly”. I adore Will Scott.] Use 1 to 1 communication with Event attendees/maybes.

Happy Birthday targeting helps you to beat the banner blindness things.  Birthday-only offer amplifies the immediacy of call to often. [It’s your birthday. Get cake TODAY!] The offer redemption often includes complimentary sales. It’s a great way to attract new customers. Also excellent for retail/service business.    The moment you respond positively to an event (yes or maybe), you give someone the right to send you an email.  That gets you in their FB inbox AND their real email inbox. That’s pretty powerful.

Facebook Advertising ROI

We’ve seen huge savings on a cost per lead basis with Facebook. Leveraging advanced targeting increases likelihood of conversion. Get ’em where they live.

aaand that’s it.  Super short presentation but Will is awesome. Seriously. #crush

Last up is Rebecca Kelley. [cracks knuckles]   There were literally w00ts when Rebecca took the podium. It’s like being at a sporting event all of a sudden. Who is this chick?

Facebook Groups

Groups were pre-pages Pages before Pages came around (got that?). It’s basically the new wave of a forum.

Why Join a Group? You can find tons of groups related to your business. You can find targeted users/demographics/potential customers. You can promote your brand via comments, shared links, new connects, etc.

Why Start a Group? You can run it like your very own forum. You can help people out and answer questions. You can get lots of traffic. It’s subtle branding and interaction.

Examples of groups Becs belongs to:

  • Search Engine Land has a Group on Facebook.  They have multiple admins. Word of caution:  Admins can boot out other admins. Know that before you accidentally piss one off and get screwed out of your page. #justsayin
  • Facebook Triathlon Group: Good opportunity for businesses for when people ask questions.
  • Wine, Sex, Rock and Roll: They make it seem sexy and cool. They get emails about updates. Good opportunity if you sell wine.

Best Practices for Facebook Groups

  • Choose your group name wisely
  • Address a need
  • Be mindful of the size of the group (With <5k members admins can send private emails. Over that, you can’t.)
  • Participate and be helpful; don’t join stuff you’re not going to genuinely care about/contribute to
  • Update frequently

Facebook Pages

Pages are set up for “fans” of something.  It consists of pretty much everything. You can be a fan of a corportation, an action, objects, sleeping etc?

Why create one? Awesome for branding. Use it to find/communicate with an appropriate audience of like-minded people. Get good traffic. They’re stickier than a Twitter profile. It’s good for reputation management.

  • Siteman Cancer Center: 260 fans. It’s very one-way. there’s not much engagement.
  • Cancer Sucks: 19,000 fans. Far more engaging. There’s a big community. Great opportunity to leverage the users on there to talk about any fund-raising or awareness opps.  It could be run by a nonprofit.
  • Laughing: Has 700,000 fans and is run by Comedy.com. It’s a nonbranded Fan page. People posts jokes, etc.  They cross promote their Twitter profile.
  • ShoeMoney Tools:  A squatter set up a Facebook page. He contacted FB and got control of the page and contacted all of his friends and let them know the page existed. They had 1400 users. From there he implemented the Fan page widget on his site. That brought it up to 2k users.  In September he sent out some promotions to his fans and it resulted in a 20 percent conversion rate from Facebook. He ran some more ads paying 39 cents a click and got .8 fans per click.

Best Practices for Creating & Marketing a Page

  • Think branded vs non-branded. (Black and Decker vs I Love Girls Who Use Power Tools)
  • Be non-commercially commercial
  • What appeals to a broad range of people (I need a vacation, I need a glass of wine)
  • Customize your URL
  • Stay on topic

Danny: Facebook is like the other Internet…only worse.


What to Look For When Hiring A Link Builder

on Aug 10 by Lisa Barone

According to the SEO Edition of MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report, just 59 percent of respondents are doing any…

Internet Marketing Conferences
Internet Marketing Conferences

Turning Simple Change Into Big Profit

on Mar 25 by Lisa Barone

Holy rushing! Things are running late and starting on time and the silly blogger girl is running around like a crazy…

Internet Marketing Conferences
Internet Marketing Conferences

Inner View: Google’s Keyword Research Tools

on Mar 9 by Lisa Barone

What’s search engine optimization without some keyword research mastery? Nothing, I say. And that’s why we’re here.  Up on stage…

^Back to Top