CAMBRIDGE MARKETING COLLEGE
Prepared by GUIDE TO FACEBOOK
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CAMBRIDGE MARKETING COLLEGE
GUIDE TO FACEBOOK
Section 1 - What is Facebook?
1a. Social Media in Context
Why you shouldn’t do it
Wider strategy and finding your reasons
1b. Facts and Figures
1c. Setting up your Facebook
Section 2 - What Are The Opportunities
2a. Business to Consumer
Good Practice Examples
The Formula for Effective Facebook Ads
Privacy and Data Protection
2b. Business to Business
2c. Integration with wider Marketing Strategy
2d. Setting up your Campaign
Section 3 - How Can I Find Out More?
3a. The Alternatives to Facebook
Five More Options
3b. Links and Resources
Introduction Section 1 - What is Facebook?
1a. Social Media in Context
Facebook’s principles include “Facebook promotes openness and transparency by giving
individuals greater power to share and connect”. The ethos and principle of Facebook and
many other social networking websites are that regular personal engagement and frequent
updates help to keep people in touch, wherever they are.
As the user statistics show, for many people Facebook has become a core method of not
only creating social engagement in the real world but as a replacement for face to face
communication with those outside of the person’s inner circle of friends and family. The
average 130 contacts for each Facebook user far exceeds the number of people that an
average adult regularly spends time with in the real world so in many ways Facebook and
its peers are providing an additional and broader method of keeping in touch with a wider
As we will see in this Guide, the principle of sharing of personal information and
experiences in the Facebook medium opens up a wealth of opportunities for the digital
Social networking websites have revolutionised the communication between families, marketer seeking to engage with individuals on a clearly targeted basis and on their terms,
friends, peer groups, special interest groups, clubs and business colleagues across the in their personal online space.
globe. Some of the most popular sites are now so large and influential that if they were
Why you shouldn’t do it
countries themselves they would be in the top ten most heavily populated on the planet.
Before embarking on the Facebook journey as a marketer or indeed as a consumer, it is
Founded in February 2004 by Mark Zucherberg (pictured above, source: Facebook.
well worth considering your motivation for doing so. With the plethora of digital marketing
com), Facebook is one such social networking site that helps people communicate more
tools available there needs to be specific reasons to choose Facebook.
efficiently with their friends, family and colleagues. The company develops technologies
that facilitate the sharing of information through the social graph, the digital mapping of There is an argument that simply selecting the world’s largest social networking site due
people’s real-world social connections. Anyone can sign up for free with Facebook and to the number of active subscribers is the easiest decision to make. However it is much
interact with the people they know in a trusted environment. more about the tools available to segment this large audience (by for example country, city,
employment, gender, age) that adds fuel to the argument.
Facebook is by far the largest social networking service on the internet with over
400,000,000 active users (defined as those who have accessed the site within the last It is vital that Facebook is not considered in isolation or indeed as a single solution
30 days) a figure that has doubled during the period April 2009 to February 2010. The to the needs of businesses to promote, brand and market. Facebook, along with other
business has secured over $40m in investment funding since launch and bases its main social networking and online opportunities is just one in a range of marketing and
revenue stream on paid advertising. communications channels within the wider mix.
Facebook’s simple navigation gives users easy access to core site functions and Wider strategy and finding your reasons
applications. Profile, Friends, Networks and Inbox – pages core to the user experience
Many digital marketers begin their foray into social networking with the belief that it
on Facebook – have a prominent place at the top of the user’s profile page. Facebook
will be the answer to direct sales opportunities and a channel of unlimited new business
applications – Photos, Notes, Groups, Events and Posted items – are displayed alongside,
generation. However it’s important to remember that Facebook and indeed all the social
with third-party applications a user has added to their account.
networking sites on the internet are business relationship tools and not especially sales
This Definitive Guide aims to show Marketers the range of opportunities available to them channels.
for using Facebook as a marketing channel, brand profile enhancer, promotional tool and
For some brands and types of product which are more receptive to customers making an
business development resource.
impulse purchase then it may be that Facebook profiling then promoting such products
could produce incremental sales. For most business to business and business to consumer 1c. Setting up your Facebook
products and services it’s much more about establishing and encouraging a long term
relationship with the target audience than assuming a quick sale will result.
1b. Facts and Figures
(source: Facebook.com March 2010)
More than 400 million active users
50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
More than 35 million users update their status each day
More than 60 million status updates posted each day
More than 3 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
More than 5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo
albums, etc.) shared each week
More than 3.5 million events created each month Personal Pages
More than 1.5 million local businesses have active Pages on Facebook
Creation of an effective Facebook presence, be it from a personal or organisation
More than 20 million people become fans of Pages each day
perspective is all about the level of content available on an ongoing basis.
Average User Figures
The News Feed page is the heart of Facebook where status updates are shared and
Average user has 130 friends on the site commented upon. In turn these comments lead to further interaction by way of direct
Average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook personal messages or live chat.
International Growth News Feed and Profile Page right hand columns are the location for sponsored links and
advertising and suggested activity, events and contacts with whom to engage.
More than 70 translations available on the site
About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States From the user’s Profile Page they can directly contact ‘friends’, post videos, events, photos
Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application and links, thereby stimulating the interaction with others. From the marketers perspective
the Profile Page is a key location because it is the user’s comfort zone in which they are
most receptive to receiving marketing and communication messages.
There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their
People who use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice more active on Facebook than “Facebook is starting to roll out an all-new way to share your likes and interests, and it’s
non-mobile users. all about Community Pages.
There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote
These changes are related to the new “like” terminology. Instead of becoming a fan of
Facebook mobile products
pages — which at the time, were limited to brands and organizations — users could simply
click a button stating that they liked the page/brand/organization. The new lingo gave
users less commitment and more ability to easily express affinity.
Very shortly thereafter, Facebook launched Community Pages. Now, users can “like”
topics, such as cooking or hip hop, in addition to brands, such as Sur La Table or Eminem.
These community pages aren’t run by individuals, so they don’t have a wall and don’t send
updates to users’ feeds. Instead, they import streams of related, public content from user
Status text is split into updates from friends and updates from all Facebook users. E.g.,
if I write in a status update to everyone, “I love this new hip hop album,” Facebook
recognizes the term “hip hop” and imports my public update to the hip hop community
page.” (source www.mashable.com)
With the viral capacity of social media sites and the popularity and diverse coverage of
Facebook, searches for missing persons can be quickly coordinated and managed by
interested parties, setting themselves up as ‘administrators’.
Creating a successful Group or Fan Page
A successful group or fan page must engage the users. It must be informative, attractive
and allow open public communication of the users on the “wall” or discussion board.
Facebook Groups and Fan Pages There must also be a degree of interaction.
Facebook groups and fan pages are a free way to increase exposure of the product or To use the example of the IT Consultant if he were to create a fan page or group then
service which a company is offering. These involve creating what is in essence a small one people who have worked with him should be allowed to post photos of when he was at
page web page. This page should include as much information on the product or service their company, tell stories of experiences of working with him and give honest feedback
as possible and links to outside websites and products. Facebook users will then have to to other users who may enquire about him. These people must also be able to invite their
search or be invited to join a group or fan page. friends or colleagues as a recommendation which will in turn increase awareness of his
There are two ways to go about a fan or group page; one of which is for the company
to control and monitor the page; the other is for a past customer or alumni to create and What the IT consultant must not do is delete or censor negative comments made about
administrate the page. him or his service offered (unless they are slanderous or derogatory) to allow honest
communication and feedback. If a good service is offered and provided more people
There are upsides and downsides to both methods; a Facebook group or fan page allows
should be positive than negative but companies should bear in mind that people are more
a company to receive feedback from an individual customer but a customer is more likely
inclined to air a grievance than offer a compliment.
to be honest whether it be positive or negative on a non-company run page, than one
associated with the company. If a company wishes to gauge truly honest feedback on the
product or service they must be willing to take the rough with the smooth.
Interestingly the first generation location based Facebook services are already ‘in the wild’
with applications like Pocket Life in beta testing. This service posts your real time location
and updates on Facebook allowing users to see where friends are, where they are meeting
and share messages, photos and favourite places around you.
It is likely for the marketer this will open up a raft of location based marketing and
advertising opportunities in a similar way to how Bluetooth, Google search and Wifi have
provided methods of geographic targeting of messages and communications.
One of the most impressive Facebook zones has been developed by Red Bull for over
2.6m followers who are encouraged to open dialogue with their favourite sponsored riders,
watch streamed Red Bull TV, follow twitter posts integrated into the Facebook pages and
contribute feedback to a wide range of Red Bull sponsored online games.
By embracing true open dialogue with fans Red Bull has both encouraged regular repeat
engagement and a measurable loyalty at the same time as positioning the brand within
a wider marketing mix targeting those interested in its core areas of sports, motorsports,
music and lifestyle.
Facebook games provide an opportunity for development of addictive casino, arcade,
networking and solo games which are some of the most engaging elements of the service.
Farmville as an example has over 70m regular users who play as a farmer in a virtual farm
world. Birthday Cards with over 32m users allows the sending of personalised cards on
There are positives and negatives of Facebook especially in the area of groups and fan
pages. The aforementioned negative feedback is almost unavoidable without censorship
but censorship itself will impact negatively on a company because it will come across as if
said company has something to hide. This feedback though can be seen as a positive, not
every company has the ability to gauge the thoughts of individual clients on a one to one
basis. This therefore opens an area of feedback that before companies may not have been
able to obtain.
It is believed that more than 100 million of the 400 million users of Facebook access it
from their mobile phones. Data from the GSM Association shows that Facebook accounts
for half of all time that UK mobile phone users spend on the internet on their mobile
phones and this equates to over 2bn minutes each month.
To support this access Facebook launched a text-only version of the site called Facebook
Zero which is de-featured and omits data intensive applications like photos. Whilst it’s
likely that mobile access will continue to grow, a slimmed down version of the service
called Facebook Lite has recently (April 2010) been withdrawn from service as bandwidth
across the world increases.
Section 2 - What Are The Opportunities For Marketers? In the organic impression department, Nielsen found that “those users exposed to both the
‘paid ad’ and the organic impression remembered the ad at three times the rate of those
2a. Business to Consumer just exposed to the paid homepage ad,” and that “homepage ads increased awareness of
the product or brand by 4% on average, but exposure to both homepage ads and organic
Good Practice Examples ads increased awareness by a delta of 13% versus the control group.”
Legendary personal development coach and consultant Brian Tracy has harnessed the The bottom line is that the more the user was exposed to paid and earned media — with a
power of Facebook within a broader multi media marketing strategy. With over 17,000 combination of both packing a powerful punch — the greater the ad recall, awareness and
‘Facebook friends’ from businesses to consumers Brian Tracy International utilises purchase intent.
Facebook as a regular self-publishing platform, providing tuition, snapshot quotes and free
video content as tasters for the purchase of seminar attendance, consulting and book sales. Nielsen recommends the following tips for advertisers looking to capitalise on their data:
One of the best known products in the world, Coca Cola has an integrated social media Start with engaging homepage impressions; these will drive more organic impressions and
strategy using Facebook to provide links to sponsored events, polls and downloads for its the engagement rate goes up as the organic impressions go up. Buy paid media on social
5.3m followers. Ongoing research through this database allows the company to monitor networks; it’s the catalyst for more earned media. Balance reach and frequency across
trends in acceptance and feedback about its varied marketing activities. homepage, social, and organic impressions.”
Other good examples include Guiness, Manchester United, Oxfam, U2, Ben and Jerrys, What are Facebook Ads?
and Disney. A Facebook Ad is much like a Google AdWords Ad but with four main differences
The Formula for Effective Facebook Ads (source www.mashable.com) a) Facebook Ads is Facebook specific
“In order to understand the value of a Facebook ad impression, Nielsen analysed over six b) Facebook Ads allows a company to have 135 characters to summarise a product or
months of responses from 800,000 users to more than 125 Facebook ad campaigns by 70 service
different brand advertisers. c) Facebook allows a company to use an image
Homepage ads: Above-the-fold ads that contain ad creative as well as an option for users d) Facebook Ads allows you to target specific age groups, salary brackets, occupations
to engage with the brand (e.g. “Become a Fan”). This is an example of paid media. and even specific interests
Social impressions: Homepage ads that include social context, like the names of users’ There are also key positive similarities namely the option of CPC or PPV systems of
friends who are already fans of the brand. This is an example of a hybrid ad that is both payment accustomed to Google AdWords.
parts paid and earned media. Once created a Facebook Ad will appear on the home pages of Facebook users as well as
Organic impression: Social stories that appear on the homepage of friends of users who group pages, fan pages and actual profiles relevant to the demographics targeted by the
have engaged with a brand or become a fan of that brand. This is an example of earned Facebook Ad campaign.
Earned media is being used to describe brand mentions on Facebook that are broadcasted
(“shared”) by the consumer, whereas hybrid organic impressions offer a more controlled
way to generate earned media from paid advertisements.
The data clearly shows that the social advocacy of earned media played a substantial role
in the performance of homepage ads on Facebook. According to the data, ad recall grew
from 10% to 16%, awareness doubled from 4% to 8% and purchase intent quadrupled from
2% to 8%. That last metric is perhaps the most telling, and shows that when a Facebook
user advocates for an ad, the ad is 4x more likely to result in a purchase.
a company were to select the demographics of every 30 to 60 year old IT manager in the
UK who has Facebook they would reach 2,120 Facebook users. If they were to expand
the keywords to include office manager, office assistant, office administrator, business
development manager, business development and human resources they would expand
their visibility to 9,940 Facebook users.
Choosing the right fields to target is possibly the most important area in making an
effective Facebook Ad by exposing the company to people who are most likely to be the
Facebook Ad Monitoring
Facebook allows the creators of the Facebook Ad to monitor the effectiveness of their
Ad in much the same way as Google. Facebook supplies figures of clicks and graphs
of the different demographics such as the age of people who are clicking. These figures
allow a company to monitor returns and whether or not they are reaching the intended
demographic which their Ad was aimed to appeal to.
Privacy and Data Protection
Facebook states that, “People should have the freedom to share whatever information they
want, in any medium and any format, and have the right to connect online with anyone -
any person, organization or service - as long as they both consent to the connection”.
This principle is fundamental to the successful preservation of personal identity and
privacy on the internet and particularly in high profile and very public social networking
Making an effective Facebook Ad sites.
An effective Facebook Ad is much like an effective Google AdWords Ad and relies on Whilst widely scrutinised Facebook is publicly declaring its commitment to protection
a concise summary. With 135 characters at a company’s disposal (almost double the of users’ privacy. However the local legislation in some countries in the world are based
allowance of Google) a company does not have to be as precise in their summary. The Ad on very different levels of privacy and information protection. Germany for example has
must still be concise, instantly recognisable and explain what is on offer effectively. To use quite different opt-in and authorisation legislation which is not compatible with the current
the IT consultant from the Google AdWords campaign, for example the Ad may read like methods of account creation within the US based Facebook which is also accessible in the
this: country. Some commentators have remarked this gives Facebook unfair advantage in the
attraction of commercially valuable new users.
Microsoft Certified, 20 years experience.
Training offered in areas inclu.
Excel, Access, Word and all other Office Systems.
There is also the option of a photograph or image to further engage the potential client.
After the Ad is created the company will be asked to produce a profile of their ideal
client base. Options on demographic targeting start with location which ranges from
choosing from a specific country to specific cities. The steps that follow include gender,
age, keywords such as hobbies and interests, occupation, education, work place and
relationships. At the end of choosing a set of demographics, Facebook will notify the
creator of how many potential clients they will be reaching with their Ad. For example, if
2b. Business to Business
Communication to target customers through Facebook is about the development of longer
term relationships and credibility that comes from continued and regular exposure to a
brand, product or service.
A key method of achieving this is to use a viral marketing approach and Facebook with its
capability of hosting images and videos is an effective tool in an integrated viral campaign.
Viral campaigns through Facebook should be developed much in the same way as that for
a YouTube or email marketing campaign. Viral in this context is the process of encouraging
advocacy or referral endorsement from one person to another.
Research (source: JE Phelps, 2004) into the content and distribution of viral messages has
shown that jokes or messages with humourous content were by far the most distributed
and overall most likely to be distributed by females. Participants’ reasoning for distribution
revolved around themes of enjoyment, entertainment and fun with messages sparking
strong emotions such as happiness, inspiration and caring the most effective.
Viral marketing through Facebook should:
1. Be fun and intriguing
2. Relate to a product or service which is easy to use or highly visible
3. Initially target opinion leaders and women
The art of good digital marketing has always been based on a deep understanding of target
4. Be associated with a credible source
customers and their behaviours. Facebook profiling within business to business or business
5. Integrate with traditional and offline technologies to consumer campaigns allows a highly specific and targeted range of data to be integrated
into advertising for maximum value from pay per click (PPC) and pay per impression
Facebook aims that, “People should have the freedom to access all of the information
Amongst the available options which compare highly favourably against online
made available to them by others and should also have practical tools that make it easy,
advertising through say Google Adwords, are location, age, gender, education, workplaces,
quick, and efficient to share and access this information.”
relationship status and language. Each option can be individually selected with the final
Facebook Ads is an advertising system for businesses to create a presence on Facebook estimate of people matching the chosen selection of options given before an advertiser
and to encourage the spread of information virally and to target advertising to the exact commits to a campaign.
audiences they need to achieve objectives.
“Business marketing teams are switching from paid ads to social networking advertising in
Interestingly Google’s AdSense (affiliate advertising service) can now be integrated 2010 to gain more control because they can.
into Facebook and other mobile applications through open source languages, allowing
Marketers shelled out more than $1.2 billion on social networking advertising last year,
marketers to be creative with how they generate revenue from their Facebook and other
and that figure will only rise – to $1.3 billion this year – as advertisers aim to leverage
social media applications and services.
their existing social media infrastructure in 2010, according to a new report from
eMarketer.” (source www.utalkmarketing.com)
2c. Integration with wider Marketing Strategy achieve fantastically accurate targeted marketing. As well as this specific targeting the
sheer volume of Facebook users which a company can reach is a huge plus. All these
As major search engines begin to develop semantic search, the next generation of
positives plus the relative costing of CPC payment options make Facebook a cost effective
intelligent result engines, the location-based advertising on Facebook coupled with the
and valuable resource in the area of non-intrusive marketing.
integration of status updates, tweets (Twitter.com) and blogs should allow for highly
targeted affiliate marketing opportunities for the more creative marketer.
2d. Setting up your Campaign
Integrating such an approach into a wider marketing and promotional strategy should
Facebook advertising campaigns can be achieved following a few basic steps:
challenge the effectiveness of more traditional marketing with its highly focused
measurability and metrics aligned to business objectives. Preparation
Decide whether you want to advertise your own web page, viral video, online campaign or
a location on Facebook such as a Page, Application, Group or Event.
2. Ad Message
Write clear, targeted adverts with concise text that speak directly to the audience you
are targeting. The title can have up to 25, and the body up to 135 characters. As you are
creating your advert, a preview of it will be shown to you.
Put an attractive and relevant image in your advert (optional) that is appropriate for the
product or service being advertised. Image will be resized to fit in a 110px wide by 80px
Decide whether you want people to be directed to your own web page or something on
Facebook like a Page, Application, Group or Event. If you are already the administrator of
your Facebook Page, Group, Event or Application, you can select it from the drop-down
In this step, you may also choose to precisely target by Location, Age, Gender, Keywords,
The art of effective marketing through Facebook is to befriend before selling. The golden Education, Workplace, Relationship Status, Interests, Languages. If you tick the boxes,
‘rule of thirds’ applies to consumers and businesses seeking to maximise the effectiveness Facebook will add content that notifies a user of their friends’ interactions with your brand
of this as a communications channel for self or product and service promotion. or business on Facebook. This advocacy will significantly increase the effectiveness of
your ads.By default, Facebook targets all users 18 and older in the default location. You are
The golden ‘rule of thirds’ says that you should talk one third about yourself, giving
encouraged to modify this to reach the most appropriate people for your advert.
interesting personal insight into yourself or your business. One third about ‘free stuff’,
signposting interesting links to videos, blogs, Tweets and news stories you feel would be of 6. Estimates
interest to your customers. Then one third is the overt sale of your product or service. Ensure you reference the approximate reach figure for an estimate of the number of people
who match your criteria. This figure should then be factored into your campaign objectives
Continually balancing the frequency and subject matter of your status updates and
and measured regularly.
Facebook posts in this golden ‘rule of thirds’ will ensure that friends are both entertained
and educated and are most likely to respond to the sales invitations they are given. The
main positive that Facebook offers is the ability to use such specific demographics to
7. Campaign Name Section 3 - How Can I Find Out More?
Name your campaign but keep in mind that ads in the same campaign share a daily budget
and schedule. 3a. The Alternatives to Facebook
8. Daily Budget and Schedule With Facebook’s announced 2010 Developer Strategy (April 2010), to become the
The minimum budget is US $1.00 a day. Do you want your campaign to run continuously ‘social centre of the web’, we can expect to see an increasingly robust platform that
starting once the advert is approved or at a specified start and end date? allows inherently networked applications and integrated websites, providing optimum
Decide whether you want to pay for clicks or pay for views. For more information about connectivity and marketing options for communications specialists.
best practices for each payment type, take a look at Facebook’s FAQs.
However there are alternatives to Facebook and before immersing oneself in all that the
9. Set Limits service has to offer it is worth considering others available.
Confirm the maximum you are willing to pay per click or per 1000 impressions depending
on your payment method. The suggested bid range shows you what other advertisers are Google Buzz
currently bidding to reach people in your target. For best results, you should bid at least as Google Buzz was launched in February 2010 as an alternative to Facebook but importantly
much as the minimum suggested bid. to integrate a capability for social networking and messaging into Google’s web-based
10. Review the Ad Gmail and other applications such as Google Maps.
Check the targeting, budget and advert itself for errors. You can go back to change any of www.google.com/buzz
the details by clicking “Change Advert”. Once you are happy, enter your credit/debit card
information and click “Place Order”. All adverts go through a quality review prior to being Five More Options
Many more social networking options have been created and developed in the last year
11. Monitor and Tune such as Meemi (www.meemi.com) but they all face the challenge of being an ‘alternative’
As you run your campaign, test other options for bidding, targeting and timing until you to Facebook and not necessarily enjoying the critical mass of users which makes the
find an optimum setting. networking opportunity. If you have no friends on a particular service it’s not a viable
Bebo (www.bebo.com) is highly popular in UK and growing in popularity in the US and
focuses on video, music and photo tagging whilst unlike Facebook has default profile
settings as private’.
Orkut, owned by Google, is a country-specific social networking site proving popular with
18-25 year olds in Brazil (http://www.orkut.com/MembersAll).
Asia is well served by Friendster (www.friendster.com) with multiple language and
alphabet options. The addition of chat rooms and iTunes synchronisation makes for an
integrated experience for users.
Facebook purchased (http://friendfeed.com) FriendFeed in 2009 as an in-house social
networking aggregator, drawing in the ability for a friend to follow posts and updates
across multiple social networks in one place.
Before deciding on joining a social network it is worth considering the likelihood of your
friends using the service and as a marketer the depth of profiling possible for targeted
3b. Links and Resources
Marketers should consider the following links to more detailed information references in
Facebook Official Blog
10 Rules for Advertising on Facebook
The formula for effective Facebook ads
Integrating Google AdSense with Facebook Application development
Brian Tracy International Facebook presence
Coca-Cola Facebook pages
54% of companies ban social networks at work
Facebook to link Profiles and Pages
Facebook seeks to build the semantic search engine
Integrating location and status updates within Facebook
Digital Marketing tutors at Cambridge Marketing College regularly blog on this and other
social media topics at http://tutors.marketingcollege.com and through the College’s Digital
Marketing website at http://www.digitalmarketingprogramme.com
About the Author
This Guide was written by Neil Wilkins who has been active in digital marketing since
the launch of his first website in 1994. Neil runs a marketing consultancy called Viper
Marketing (www.vmcg.co.uk) that advises clients on creating and rolling out effective
digital strategy and has been a Tutor with Cambridge Marketing College since 2002.
C A M B R I D G E M A R K E T I N G C O L L E G E S
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