Integrating Facebook Into Your Marketing Strategy

By Justin Lafferty 

Gone are the days when print and TV are the dominant avenues of advertising. Now companies big and small need to integrate Facebook and other social avenues into their marketing plans. A panel of experts, including a social media official at HBO, at the AllFacebook Marketing Conference talked about the importance of keeping Facebook in mind when reaching out to potential customers.

The panel talked about how through social marketing, brands can find out what their customers are talking about and tap into that. Here are the experts:

  • Stephanie Agresta — EVP, Managing Director, Weber Shandwick
  • Sabrina Caluori — Vice President, Social Media and Performance Marketing, HBO
  • Daina Middleton — Global Chief Executive Officer, Performics
  • Alan Osetek — President, Omnicom Resolution Media
  • Nichole Goodyear — Executive Director, (Moderator)

Caluori talked about a real-life example where HBO saw the need to have an all-hands-on-deck approach to marketing. When the company wanted to promote a trailer for the popular show Girls, they didn’t just go with a normal PR blitz. PR worked with social media to create an integrated Facebook campaign. Caluori said HBO paid for a sponsored post to drive engagement, then went with a sponsored story to reach the always-important friends-of-fans demographic:

What we did was work with paid, owned, and earned strategy. … We made sure that that piece of content got into the hands of the prime audience for that: The fans and then the friends of fans.

Caluori also told participants that companies shouldn’t just blindly buy ads. The types of ads that Facebook offers are specialized for different purposes, such as attempting to build a fanbase or promote a product. She recommended that marketers have a specific intent when they place an ad. Caluori also talked about how the results from Facebook marketing should be examined regularly, so marketers can quickly see what works and what doesn’t. She said HBO takes a continual approach to this kind of analysis.

Even if you don’t have the ad budget of HBO or other larger brands, you should still be willing to experiment with Facebook marketing. Middleton recommended that companies allocate as much 30 percent of their ad budget to seeing what works with social marketing. By tapping into the power of Facebook marketing, brands can find out some very powerful information, such as what your audience is talking about and what they want to see.

Middleton pointed out Cabella’s as an example of solid Facebook interaction from a marketing standpoint, building a true community around the brand, showing that the people who work for Cabella’s are also consumers of the brand’s products:

The people who run Cabella’s use the products. That community sees everyone as an equal participant. We talked earlier about finding that passion point, and I think that’s a real challenge for marketers in this new space.

Agresta also talked how engagement is so much more important than just acquiring likes. Sales leads and other valuable information can be found in comments:

The arms race to friends and fans was a big focus for at least 12 months, but now people do look at things like comments, and that should be measured. … You might be able to glean some valuable information from those comments. … Social commerce is real, but the numbers are emerging.

Readers: How have you integrated Facebook into your marketing strategy?