STUDY: What Types Of Facebook Campaigns Will Drive Earned Media?

By David Cohen 

The types of marketing campaigns on Facebook that draw the most entries are not necessarily the same types of campaigns that generate the most sharing and earned media, according to a new study from Facebook marketing software provider Wildfire Interactive.

Wildfire found that campaigns such as coupons, giveaways, and sweepstakes attract the largest entry totals, but campaigns that encourage Facebook users to share opinions and personal preferences generate the most earned media, including pick your favorites, quizzes, and trivia.

Why the emphasis on earned media? According to Wildfire, it’s working: 82 percent of Facebook users who clicked on friends’ news feed posts about quizzes went on to take those quizzes themselves.

Wildfire offered five ways for brands to best take advantage of these types of campaigns:

  1. Play up the personality: When putting together a plan for your next social marketing campaign (or set of them), consider how you can plan the content or application to allow users to express themselves. If you’re putting together a voting app, for instance, think through how you can set it up so that users are voting on something that expresses an opinion they’d feel proud to share, and make sure the app includes a mechanism for sharing their voting outcome via a news feed message.
  2. Consider “What’s in it for me?” from the users’ perspective: Users on Facebook are very conscious of clutter in their feeds, and they don’t want to be a source of news feed “spam” to their friends. Keep this in mind as you screen potential interactions that a user could have with your Facebook applications and content, and you will have a good idea of what’s inherently “shareable” and what isn’t.
  3. Incentivize sharing behaviors in creative ways: When developing the structure of a new custom application for your fan community, consider building in some game mechanics to incentivize sharing behavior. Mountain Dew does this exceptionally well with its “Dew Crew” campaign, which has an intricate but easy-to-follow gamification element that rewards users for sharing and posting.
  4. Benchmark performance with the appropriate metrics: While your goal with one campaign might be engagement (, another might be earned media. It’s important to make sure you’re measuring progress toward those goals with relevant metrics.
  5. Mix it up: Just as paid media (ad) campaigns should be adapted to drive different types of user activity, so should custom content initiatives. A well-rounded social media marketing program includes a steady drip of varied applications and content designed to influence a range of user interactions.