Social media is one of the newest, most customizable, and most readily received channels for advertising today. It is flexible, easily manageable and, when used correctly, potentially powerful.
As such, it behooves us to inspect a few case studies of advertising campaigns in the social medium known as Facebook.
First up: Food.
Blue Sugar Bakery
Blue Sugar takes a simple, but incredibly effective approach to their social media marketing. As they are advertising food, the ads work best on the hungry, but the pictures are taken in such a way that even slight hunger can get the best of those who see them. At least, such has been my experience.
Whenever a new flavor of cupcake or other baked confection is completed, there is a Facebook post to publicize it and encourage locals to try it while they still have it in stock. When a large order or remarkable event cake is complete, a picture usually follows, showing the high-quality of the work done. On blessed days of divine intervention, a sale will occur, often due to a canceled order, and a Facebook post lets the town know.
Overall, they portray themselves in a friendly, transparent, professionally skilled way. And in the case of advertising cupcakes, simpler seems to be better.
This men’s clothing store has almost constant giveaways featured on their Facebook page. The way to enter is to like the post, with an added entry for sharing it also. Their giveaways are nothing paltry, either. The post featured above is one of their most common prizes, giving away a free grey suit.
The giveaways get our attention, but the rest of their page’s content keeps it. Formal Education frequently acquires new varieties of merchandise, and everything new is shown on Facebook.
The downside is that while many people like and share their posts for entry into the giveaways, that is sometimes all that they do. A deeper involvement to enter any sweepstakes (such as greater participation on their actual site) could influence potential customers to act, rather than simply appreciate.
The upside, however, is the powerful reach that Formal Education’s Facebook ads achieve through the liking and sharing required to enter any drawings or giveaways. Every time someone likes their post, that at least shows up in the smaller activity feed, and if they share it then the news feed is affected as well. This could lead to bombardment of the same ad to numerous people within the community, applying some key guerrilla marketing tactics. (whether or not guerrilla marketing actually works is another issue entirely)
These delicious bars have an ad campaign that specifically targets the outdoor adventurer lifestyle (as you might expect). Clif sponsors a variety of outdoor events, and those feature prominently in their Facebook posts. Also included are developments like the one pictured above, in which Clif bars have gone international.
Of course their new products are posted often, but even more often (and perhaps more interesting) one will see publicity for Clif-sponsored events. Why should this be?
Because when people go to these events, they stock up on Clif bars at some point along the way. Also, it reinforces Clif as the niche brand for this specific market, becoming the ideal energizing snack food in the minds of the adventurers that frequent the posted events.
To me, the most fascinating part of Facebook ads is that I actually willingly opt in to have this publicity displayed to me whenever I log in to Facebook, simply by liking the page. When I follow a company, I actually expect and want them to send me these notifications and ads.
In my mind, that makes Facebook and other social media platforms some of the most effective areas advertising can be displayed in, because the audience is a willing one.