Once you leave high school, it’s believed that the popularity contest is over, right? It no longer matters what brand of jeans you wear, if you’re a jock or a nerd or what kind of car you drive. Well, it matters again, especially if you’re trying to build your brand on Facebook.
Facebook is a tricky nut to crack, especially with all the talk of algorithms and things that, on a basic level, you probably don’t really understand. If you post something on your Facebook page, your fans should be able to see it and then “like” it. Unfortunately, Facebook is a little more complicated than that, but they’re working on it.
Texas Pete Hot Sauce recently handed out 10,000 free samples through Facebook home page engagement ads and its Facebook Page, and the company is hoping to build on that campaign’s success buy recruiting more Fans with the promise of free hot sauce.
To promote its variety of flavors, Texas Pete was offering a limited number of product samples and included discount coupons for Facebook Fans. The company hoped to pass out 10,000 samples over a four week period, but hit that number of requests in just 6 days. Each sample contains a 1.9 oz. bottle of the consumer’s flavor of choice, can koozie (a bottle cooling sleeve) and a coupon. The coupon holds a unique bar code which the company hopes to use to track the redemption rate.
We’ve seen companies have success using Facebook as a springboard for sampling, with Splenda using a dedicated Fan page a few months ago to gather insight into public reaction to one if its new products.
Now that Texas Pete has seen that its Fans are paying attention, it’s looking for more of a Facebook presence. The company is promising to add a coupon for a “Buy One Get One Free” Texas Pete product to its Fan page if it can reach 100,000 Fans by Nov. 15th, Ryan Helmstetler of The Sales Factory, who built the campaign for Texas Pete, tells us. The page is currently around the 35,000 mark, but shouldn’t have a problem reaching the 6-figure mark by the mid-November cut-off date given recent trends in the “Food-For-Fans” campaigns that are becoming popular.
This approach is very similar to the Fan Woody campaign which just netted TGI Fridays a half-million Fans and counting (currently close to 640K) after the promise of a free Jack Daniels burger. While TGI Fridays also promoted their offer through more traditional media outlets, like television, Texas Pete seems happy to let word spread virally from its Facebook page. Given the brand loyalty that the hot sauce enjoys, it should only be a matter of time before Facebook users are flocking to the page to offer themselves up as Fans and get their free goods.
Corporations and big businesses are turning to Facebook to promote their brands, but one lawyer in Massachusetts is using the site with some success to add to his client list. Richard Vetstein began his private practice, the Vetstein Law Group, about 6 months ago, and has been promoting his practice and blog through Facebook, where he has a little more than 600 Fans. It’s unusual for a small legal practice to have numbers this high, and Vetstein attributes a commitment to the Page and a high-profile recommendation for his large Fan numbers.
While Vetstein is bringing in new potential business to his page, he is also using it to build stronger relationships with current clients.
“People do business with people that they like,” Vetstein said in a recent ABAJournal.com blog post. “Facebook enables you to get to know people in a way that strengthens the overall relationship.”
Vetstein’s success on Facebook is an extension of his traditional approach to business; he is a self-proclaimed networker, and used all the available tools on Facebook to get in touch with people in his email lists, as well as his past and present friends. He also received a nod from David Barrett, director of social media legal marketing at the Rainmaker Institute — who touts 11,800 LinkedIn connections.
The Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog, which Vetstein authors, is also posted on the Fan page, and Vetstein notes that this has also helped the page’s search ranking. He also uses the Fan page to post notes about his practice and related legal topics.
Using Facebook to promote a legal practice has the potential to be a powerful tool to attract new clients, but it does raise a few questions. There could be possible problems with personal and professional relationships becoming intertwined, much like the concerns recently raised over Facebook pages for those in the medical field.
T.G.I. Fridays is taking an interesting approach to attracting Facebook fans to its brand, launching an ad campaign with an original character named Woody. Woody is an “average guy” looking to pick up 500,000 fans before the end of September, and if he’s successful, those fans will receive a free Jack Daniels burger.
Woody has a few commercials running on television and posted in the Videos tab on his Fan page, in which he promotes his the page and the free burger offer. So far the page has a little over 100,000 Fans, and should he reach the half million mark by the end of the month, the first 500,000 Fans will receive a coupon for a free T.G.I. Fridays burger.
Most of the other restaurants in the 500,000+ Fan category have accumulated their backing a little more organically, or through promotions and campaigns involving established offers or characters already associated with their brands. This is the first time we’re aware of that an ad campaign to garner Facebook Fans has centered around an entirely new, unknown character.
Most of the restaurants enjoying Facebook success are of the quick-serve variety, with McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A and Pizza Hut hitting the one million Fan mark recently. It will be interesting to see if T.G.I. Fridays can grab half a million fans in less than a month, especially since they’ve obviously spent the money to develop the page and buy television ad time. But the enticement of free food is a powerful one, and this seems to be the driving motivator based on the posts on the page’s wall.
While most Facebook Pages with over 1 million fans are devoted to performers, celebrities, and brands, FMyLife.com, or FML as it is widely known, has become the first website to hit 1 million Facebook fans. The site is a collection of entries that chronicle the normal and not-so-normal events that make us call into question exactly why it is we get up each day.
The FMyLife.com site already had a healthy following, and the fact that it offers an easy way to share individual posts from the site in news feeds has helped carry that popularity across to Facebook. Posts on FML.com are the perfect viral material, and they’ve been shared and re-shared on Facebook, increasing the site’s popularity with Facebook users.
While FML can be a great way to find a good laugh every now and then, many of the entries are downright depressing. So does the site’s popularity infer that many Facebook users share some sort of morbid curiosity? Maybe not.
As Facebook continues to evolve in many directions, it’s important to remember the core principles of what made it so popular. Facebook is a great way to share compelling content with friends in an unobtrusive and very viral way.
Glenn Beck is one of the more polarizing personalities in radio and TV, and the right-wing talk show host has brought his name to Facebook and built a strong following. Beck’s Facebook Page is one of the most popular for any political commentator, and has largely become a forum for his more than 290,000 fans to voice their opinions. It continues to gain popularity despite very few posts from Beck.
Posts from Glenn Beck himself are mostly about his appearances, Fox News programming and book and concert tour dates. There isn’t a consistent flow to the posts, which seem to come in spurts. There were eight posts for the month of June, but only one post so far for all of July and August. This hasn’t stopped Beck’s fans from adding their own comments, and he continues to add more fans at a steady clip.
Source: PageData by Inside Facebook
The popularity of Beck’s Page shows just how eager Facebook users are to use the site as venue for political expression. Last week, we saw Sarah Palin’s growing popularity on Facebook, and just yesterday, the same with San Francisco Mayor and California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom. Of course, Barack Obama remains the most popular political figure on Facebook, with over 6.6 million fans – second only to Michael Jackson’s 10.1 million.
Beck is the sort of figure that draws comments from both sides of the political fence, as is evident by the popularity of his radio and television programs. Facebook gives everyone a way to comment on Beck’s views, as there are only so many calls the on-air personality can field during one of his shows.
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Quick serve restaurants are continuing to grow in popularity on Facebook. Last week, Chich-fil-A became the first restaurant chain to hit 1 million Facebook fans, but hot on its heels is Pizza Hut, who just crossed the 1 million fan mark.
A generic Pizza page is one of the most popular generic food Pages on Facebook with more than 4.5 million fans, but Pizza Hut is the first pizzeria to move past 1 million itself. The next closest pizza joint is Papa John’s with a little over 300,000 fans.
The Pizza Hut Fan page offers several nice features. First, there’s a Facebook application for ordering from your local Pizza Hut restaurant. The app requires you to create a Pizza Hut account, but once you do, you don’t have to leave your Facebook page to order, and the process is much quicker since all of your info is already on file.
Second, the company is also heavily promoting its Pizza Hut iPhone app, which allows users to place orders from their iPhone. Many other restaurants offer an iPhone app to make ordering easy, but Pizza Hut is cross-promoting the it well, making the tab the default landing page.
Pizza Hut has done a good job of paying attention to the way Facebook users interact with other sites. While they offer discounts and promotions in their update stream, they do so lightly. Instead, the company is focusing first on building and promoting its e-commerce functionality to drive more pizza sales.
Popular quick-serve restaurant chain Chick-fil-A has something to cluck about on Facebook this week: it just joined Tiger Woods in the 1 million Facebook fans club, becoming the first restaurant to hit that mark. Chick-fil-A has amassed an almost cult following for its chicken sandwiches, and it’s that same sort of loyal following that has helped its Facebook Fan page hit this milestone.
Chick-fil-A has accomplished this despite a few handicaps compared to other QSR’s (quick-serve restaurants) like pizza delivery chains. One, the franchise does not have national distribution – the highest concentration of Chick-fil-A locations are in the southeastern United States. Second, the nature of the Chick-fil-A business and service is also slightly different, as they do not offer deliveries and only some of their locations offer online ordering. Finally, Chick-fil-A hasn’t done big Facebook promotional campaigns like Papa John’s, who recently jumpstarted its Facebook Page with 200,000 fans through a single engagement ad promotion
Chick-fil-A’s success has a lot to do with their brand loyalty, as well as its light-hearted contests like the current Cow Appreciation Day, which encourages fans to dress like a cow and send in their photos for a chance at prizes. The overall focus of the company has always been creating a superior product, and their Facebook success is a good indicator that building brand loyalty in the real world can translate into popularity in social networks, where future customers can be reached powerfully through viral communication channels.
Tiger Woods is the most recognizable name in golf, and the 14 time major winner is expanding his widespread brand appeal to Facebook. This week, Tiger topped more than 1 million fans on his Facebook Page, becoming the first golfer ever to do so. Although Tiger has only posted a few updates to his Page relative to other athletes and celebrities, that hasn’t stopped fans from flocking to the page and leaving comments at a steady clip.
The success of the Page can easily be attributed to Tiger’s already huge fan base, but there are a few things that Tiger is also doing right. There are no huge ads or blatant attempts to push any of the many products that Tiger endorses, with the only real money-driven content being a link to donate to the Tiger Woods Foundation. And the content Tiger has shared is honest and personal, with a few photo albums of pictures taken with fans, Tiger’s family and even one with Diddy.
Given the fact the this page has done so well with so little content, there is the potential for Tiger’s page to become one of the most popular athlete Fan pages on Facebook if Tiger were to post more. Both Shaquille O’Neal and Lance Armstrong saw their fan numbers rise when they began investing more time on their Facebook Pages, including personal message written by the athletes themselves. Shaq and Lance both promote their own brands fairly aggressively on their respective pages, and sometimes it seems as though Shaq will promote anything.
The Republican Party may not have made the best use of Facebook in last fall’s elections, but If you’re looking to keep tabs on the latest Sarah Palin news these days, your best bet is to become a fan of her on Facebook.
The former Alaska governor’s Facebook Page has experienced rapid growth since her resignation a few weeks ago, as fans rely more and more on her posts to get information about her political views and future plans.
Palin made no secret of her distaste for the media during her final speech as Alaska’s governor, and it appears she’s decided to speak directly to her followers rather than through television and newspaper reports that she claims distort her words.
Palin has amassed a base of almost 800,000 Facebook fans, and it’s obvious that her message is reaching much farther than that. In her critical post on the current debates involving the future of healthcare, Palin struck a nerve by accusing President Obama of creating a system that would involve “death panels.” The phrase quickly caught on with people on both sides of the argument, and the White House even responded to the post through their own online avenues.
PageData: Palin’s Facebook Page audience has been growing more in recent weeks (graph shows new fans per day over last 30 days)
This isn’t the first time a politician has turned to Facebook and social media to further his or her message. President Obama was very successful using both Facebook and Twitter to garner support. But unlike her predecessors that have used social media to reach constituents, Palin is not hitting the political trail or appearing on many television shows. Instead, she is currently relying largely on social media to reach out to the public, and so far she’s succeeding.
Palin’s comments on topics like the “death panels” are eliciting thousands of responses each on her Facebook Page
This may come as a surprise to those that feel social media caters mainly to young people, but Palin has been successful reaching older demographics, which is also testimony to the growing popularity of Facebook among older users.