Article in Adweek Magazine: Social Marketing Do’s and Don’ts explores the FaceBook campaigns of Target, Walmart, and MacDonalds highlighting what contributed to their success or failure.
– sponsored a page in FaceBook
Their sales rose significantly and there faceBook page helped sales increas 6.5% over last year
“Target rejiggered its marketing approach from storytelling to, well, party planning. “Our attitude had to be that we were taking advantage of an environment that already exists; we aren’t there so much to tell a story, but to put on a party, giving the students a platform for social interaction, ….He adds that any content provided by a marketer in such a setting “needs to work as social currency. … Whatever story there is, it’s mostly told by the users, not by the brand.”
Their success was helped by their appropriateness as all brands should “research the conversation and community before jumping in “
Target noticed that the moving into dorms was a scary part of college life and named their page the “Dorm Survival Guide ” – emphasising this area of their target demographics experience, with recipes, products etc. It also had an associated image gallery – where students could pix of their home away from home.
A marketers online ideals needs to be in line with both their brands offline ideals and of the communuity they are targetting – the matter of authenticity is key!
“Target’s tips about decking out your dorm totally fits with the brand perception of bringing design to the masses for low prices, so the students didn’t reject it,”
“in a social network the … site has to reflect the visual language of its members“
They also linked their banner adds within FaceBook back to their FaceBook page.
“As Target and AKQA watched patterns of posts and page views, they also saw that the online social network has an ecosystem, in the same way that any group of humans has its internal organization. In a social network, there are people who join to grab information, those who like to distribute material to others, those who want to simply look around and those who want to shape the activity in the group, says Cavalletti. By watching the discussion threads, Target could identify the people who tended to serve as mentors for future marketing efforts.”
Launched Room Mate Style Match – “to connect college students with a variety of dorm-related products and information.”
Thier social networking site enabled a space for people to criticise their corporate strategies eg anti-unionism etc. Via wall posts people “criticize the company’s labor practices and corporate reputation”.
This article thinks that not using a forum and wall posts only was also a bad idea, however they are complimented for leaving criticisms up on thier page.
McCareers – career recruitment-sponsored page on Facebook
It was filled with criticism and removed.
In summary, this article states:
“While sponsors can’t control what’s posted on their pages, they “have the option of turning the discussion on or off,” notes Facebook’s Murphy. “However, we advise brands to keep discussions going because the comments give brands an opportunity to learn about consumer concerns and a forum for telling consumers what they are going to do about those concerns.”