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“Like and share” campaigns are history – how to market on Facebook?

NB! This blog is updated. Original post was published 18.04.2013.

Social media is a common marketing medium for businesses today. The big Facebook marketing boom started with massive spread of „like and share“ campaigns. Now there’s finally an understanding that those 10,000 fans that joined the fan page to win the prize are not potential buyers and are now just hanging there and maybe waiting for a new chance to get something for free.

Like and share campaign is like a cold shower

“Like and share” campaign don’t attract relevant fans. What’s the point of giving away something cool and fancy if your company is engaged in a completely different field? Yes, you will get the desired attention and probably a pretty decent fan base. The problem is that those fans are not interested in your business, products or services. Those fans are interested in the opportunity to win something. The question is whether it is the company’s goal?

Businesses that market in social media need to measure the benefits Facebook brings in for real. For example, how many euros have you earned from Facebook fans or how many customers (not fans!) did you get from a certain campaign.

How to market on Facebook?

Facebook marketing is moving towards a new direction – customer relations. The campaigns are no longer about „share and leave a comment to win the price“. No. Facebook marketing has developed into a direction where every fan gets some benefit. The benefit doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive prize, but you can offer interesting and relevant content that has value for your fans. Bigger campaigns are targeted to a specific group and offer relevant activity and prizes that are related to the business activity.

To set up a Facebook marketing strategy you first need to set your goals. Your goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. After that find out who’s the target audience you’re going to devote your time.

You need to offer your fans something personal that is helpful and playful at the same time and offer value. Nobody comes to social media to buy something! Social media marketing means two way communicationand interaction with fans. And that’s what your Facebook strategy should be about.  Social media marketing should provide the benefits for both the company and the fans.

5 tricks for an effective Facebook campaign

Youthfulness – It is important to understand Facebook psychology. The entire world of Facebook revolves around “fun.” It may sound a bit unnecessary but understanding what fun is to young people is the key for creating an effective campaign on Facebook. “Fun” can be defined as surprise, achievement, win, triumph etc. In other words Facebook is a gamified social network and a collaboration with the „fun” in your campaigns are an instant hit on Facebook.

Get personal – Since Facebook is an online social platform you need to get personal to gain credibility. Fans are there to interact with users with similar interest. Not to buy from you. Get involved in conversations and show them that you really share their interests. Build your campaign on personal communication and bring out the benefits the user gets when they join your fan page. Remember, the value must be personal, not “if you’re lucky, you’ll win”.

Give over the control – To make your consumers feel special you need to give them control and autonomy. The more they realize that they have a word on your doings and they can make a difference, the more prone they are to join your campaign. Be active on your fan page and encourage users to interact and comment on your posts. This also requires fast responses and dealing with your followers problems. Several social media monitoring platforms can help you with that. For example, Hootsuite or Zoho Social.

A perfect opportunity to involve your fans and increase engagement is to post user generated content. Can you rember the “Share a Coke” campaign? It created a lot of buzz because customers where excited to find Coca-Cola bottles with their name on it from the stores. So, they shared it on social media as well!

Good timing – Timing is essential. To get better understanding of your consumer’s behaviour find out when they are more active on Facebook. For example, use Facebook Insight to figure out when they use social media. Before you launch a campaign set up the posting schedule how much and how often you post about the new campaign. Posting too frequently will irritate your fans, posting too rarely will not get enough attention.

Pictures attract attention – Beautiful visuals are attractive and stand out. Facebook statistics show that posts with photo albums, videos, images etc. increase fan engagement more than posts without visuals.

Advertising on Facebook

There are numerous opportunities for companies to market on Facebook. Facebook advertising system works on a bidding model that is similar to Google AdWords. You can choose between cost per click i.e. CPC or cost per 1,000 impression i.e. CPM.

Some tips:

Set up your goals – What is the purpose of the campaign? Do you want to direct traffic to your website? A newsletter sign-up? Getting purchases? More leads? Again, use SMART goals!

Targeting – Research targeting options before running the ad. You can monitor how estimated reach and suggested bit changes when adding different targets. Estimated reach shows the interdependence between ad frequency and input range.  Suggested bit shows what the target range after segmenting. Optimize your bit price and reach to get the best price. Targeting factors are:

  • Location (state, city, and zip code)
  • Age
  • Interest
  • Connections on Facebook (visible to everyone, friends, friends of friends, etc.)
  • Demographics

Plan the structure – Set up a formal campaign that outlines different types of ads that you can split test. This means you can change one part of the ad and then see which one performs better. Change the ad structure from time to time keep freshness. For example, test the photo, message, format or CTA.

Budget – Decide whether you are willing to spend per ad or for the entire campaign and what’s the time limit. When choosing a daily budget, your ad is automatically put on hold when the budget is reached. Campaign period can have a time limit – three days, five days, etc.

Track you progress – Know the indicators you must follow to track the success of the campaign. Allocate Facebook traffic from other sources and follow their activity on your site. It’s important to find the value of your Facebook traffic, so find out whether they make a purchase or send a query or fulfil other objectives you have set on your site. Links with tracking codes, special coupon’s for Facebook fans and custom landing pages are great to track Facebook leads and sales. Google Analytics is an essential tool to monitor the social activity on your site.


Like and share campaigns are no longer an effective way to market your business. Set up your goals on Facebook, learn to mix „fun” into campaigns, target precisely and don’t forget the personal approach. Offer something valuable for your fans. Use Facebook ads to boost your campaign reach and get connected with desired target group.