Now that I have been using Facebook on a daily basis, I have been looking at all the marketing opportunities that go with this type of online service.
Of course you can buy advertising directly with Facebook. These are the ads that are placed on the right side of the page. I would like to know the click rate for these ads? Do members really check them out?
But the most effective way to market is to directly ask the member. The Obama & McCain campaigns have all kinds of direct marketing on Facebook. I did a quick Obama search under events and it produced more then 500 Obama event causes. McCain produced the same results. Here is an interesting stat: The cause group that claims they are the “official” McCain group has almost 217,000 members and the big Obama group has more the 800,000 members. There are two reasons for this. I believe the Obama campaign has done a better job of marketing to the social websites and he appeals to younger voters which use the site. When I was searching both campaigns on Facebook I could have looked forever. The groups for both candidates go on and on. Some have just a few members and some have tens of thousands. No matter what, this is a lot of eyeballs promoting the candidates.
A great marketing tool with Facebook is the join an event option. The first one I received was asking if I was voting. I had the option to RSVP with confirm or decline. It shows you how many others have already confirmed. This is a wonderful marketing tool because you have the person do something (interactive) which will help them remember and you have direct stats to tell you how many saw it. It also creates hype.
Starbucks is using the election & Facebook to market. They are offering free coffee to all who tell them they voted. They added the RSVP feature to this. Not because you need it to get the coffee but it tells them how many people really read it. The last count I saw was over 61,000 people saying they would attend.
We all should be taking a closer look at social networking. I think this is the next big marketing battleground.