4 Successful and Creative Facebook Contests


Years ago, if a marketer wanted to run a contest, he’d have to run print ads and hope that people would take the time to fill out an entry form and then mail it in. The Internet made things easier, but you still assumed that consumers would somehow find their way to your website.

Facebook adds another layer of ease to the process: Consumers are already there doing something else. If the promotion looks interesting enough, filling out an online form isn’t that big a deal. Rodney Mason, the chief marketing officer of promotions agency Moosylvania, says Facebook-only promotions have a lot of advantages. “One would be the ease of use,” he says. “You can also connect with people…
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More About: Contests, Facebook, Marketing, coca cola, trending

8 Tips for Health Care & Pharmaceutical Companies on Facebook


The Facebook Marketing Series is supported by Buddy Media, Power Tools for Facebook. Are you posting blindly? Use our insights to help you deliver the right content at the right time and get the results you need. Download our data report now.

Pharmaceutical and health care companies have been understandably cautious about using social media for marketing purposes.

While the FDA provides little concrete guidance, some social media marketing is permissible.

Here are a few tips and best practices to consider if your health care company is embarking on a Facebook presence.


1. Is Your Product Consumer-Facing?


Determine if your brand, drug or service is “consumer facing” — whether consumers are the ones making the purchase decisions. This factor applies more to over-the-counter products that consumers can buy themselves (such as Advil) in stores and less to prescription drugs for which doctors are the ones writing the prescriptions. Consumers tend to go online to research products before they buy — and they want to be able to reach the manufacturers directly. Physicians, on the other hand, don’t (and can’t legally) talk about work on Facebook. So, pharma advertisers should determine if social media marketing is even relevant to their product in the first place.


2. Provide Useful Information


People go to Facebook to socialize, not to “friend” Lipitor. If pharma companies are to earn the attention of any modern consumer, they should provide useful information and value to the consumers instead of asking them to do things or give personal information. “Information” includes accurate details about the product, including side effects and risks.


3. Ask Intelligent and Related Questions


Once consumers voluntarily give their attention and visit the pharma companies’ Facebook pages, then pharma has the right to ask intelligent questions and listen to the feedback from the community. Instead of telling, asking and listening is a way to earn the dialogue with consumers and fans.


4. Have Real Experts Lead Discussions (Not Marketing or PR Reps)


Consumers are very savvy and have learned to sniff out marketing and “bad acting.” When they interact with advertisers, they expect complete transparency and candor. This goes for pharma as well. So instead of having marketing or PR representatives field questions from users, it’s important for pharma companies to have real experts (scientists, MDs, etc.) answer questions and concerns from consumers. If your company doesn’t currently do this, organizational processes should be put in place to enable it.


5. Create a Publishing Schedule


Many brands have made forays into social media. But beyond just buying display ads on Facebook, it is important to have something new to talk about periodically. This not only means creating valuable content and providing information about new products, but it also can be asking the right questions. The key is to do this consistently and regularly, thus creating a publishing schedule of both content and questions that can be delivered through your Facebook page. This way, users have an expectation for new content on a regular schedule, which will bring them back to the page and give them a reason to talk and share.


6. Establish the Right Success Metrics


“Doing social media” does not mean placing display ads on social media sites like Facebook. You need to engage and measure success to see what works. But the number of fans or Likes are not the best success metrics. Consumer engagement and vibrance of the community are more important and yield more value over time. So for those pharma companies that are using Facebook for marketing, tips two through five above will collectively enable you to better engage the community and create longer-term ties. Metrics that involve actual actions of the users — the number of conversations, the number of repeat visits, the pages viewed per visit — are better than one-off actions like clicking the “like” button.


7. Make a Social Media Commitment (Not a Campaign)


Social media is media created by the conversations of people. Advertisers have to earn the right to participate in these conversations by creating a community with valuable content. What your followers say — whether good or bad — is now permanently recorded online for all to see. So advertisers should be prepared to make a “social media commitment” instead of a “social media campaign.” The efforts in social media should not stop as if it’s a marketing campaign. As advertisers embark on social media “commitments,” they should see them as the opportunity to create relationships and assets of lasting value, both for consumers and pharmaceutical companies.


8. Monitor For Adverse Events


Finally, for the pharmaceutical industry in particular, advertisers must monitor for adverse events in the sites and pages they own and control — including their own Facebook pages. This has seemed an onerous task in the past, but monitoring tools and services are making it easier to collect, detect and act. In addition, there are four criteria that must be met to constitute a reportable event.

The FDA requires that four criteria be reported in each adverse event report:

  • 1. Who is the patient affected?
  • 2. Who reported the event?
  • 3. What was the adverse event?
  • 4. What was the product that is suspected of causing the bad reaction?

Most comments on social media sites do not meet all four criteria. So companies should use the tools to gather relevant, potentially reportable comments and have their own medical and legal departments review and provide guidance.


Conclusion


The use of social media is not only appropriate, but also highly effective and efficient in certain cases. So pharma and health care companies should make plans and take specific steps to leverage social media on platforms like Facebook.


Series Supported by Buddy Media

The Facebook Marketing Series is supported by Buddy Media, Power Tools for Facebook. Are you posting blindly? Use our insights to help you deliver the right content at the right time and get the results you need. Download our data report now.


More Facebook Marketing Resources from Mashable:


- 4 Ways to Set Up a Storefront on Facebook
- HOW TO: Create a Facebook Engagement Policy
- HOW TO: Engage and Mobilize Facebook Fans Beyond the “Like”
- 5 Creative Facebook Places Marketing Campaigns

More About: facebook, Facebook Marketing Series, MARKETING, medicine, pharma

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Book Marketing: How 4 Authors Are Finding Success With Social Media


Andy Meek is a senior business reporter for The Memphis Daily News. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyMeekTN.

The book industry is in upheaval. The recent news that Borders will liquidate and shutter all of its 399 stores is the latest sign of print’s unstable market.

In many ways, tech advancements have forced the industry’s deterioration. While print struggles to catch a foothold, tech-savvy authors are managing to bridge the gap. Therefore, I’d like to introduce four tech-savvy authors whose statuses range from rookie to bestseller. Thanks to social media, they’re writing their own rules about branding and fan engagement.


1. John Green – The Fault in Our Stars




Author: John Green

Twitter: @realjohngreen

Facebook: John Green

Website/Blog: JohnGreenBooks.com

John Green’s latest book, The Fault in Our Stars, is riding high on the charts. It recently landed the number-one spots on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. But here’s the thing – his story won’t be published until 2012.

Green promoted the book to his 1.1 million Twitter followers, according to The Wall Street Journal:

On (a) Tuesday afternoon, he posted the title of his new book on Twitter, Tumblr and the community forum YourPants.org. An hour later, he upped the stakes by promising to sign all pre-orders and the entire first-print run, while also launching a YouTube live show. Mr. Green discussed his plans for signing the book and also read a section to give viewers a sense of what The Fault in Our Stars would be about.

On the same day of the WSJ article, Green responded by tweeting, “I am genuinely uninterested in marketing, but I am VERY interested in being part of awesome communities.”

Publisher @penguinusa also tweeted the news: “did you hear? @realjohngreen’s new #ya novel THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is #1. One catch, he’s still writing!”

To which Green could not resist shooting back: “@penguinusa HAHAHAHAHA Don’t make fun of me corporate overlord or I will refused to finish it! ;)”


2. Laura Hillenbrand – Unbroken




Author: Laura Hillenbrand

Twitter: @laurahillenbran

Facebook: Laura Hillenbrand

Website/Blog: LauraHillenbrandBooks.com

Earlier this year New York Times bestseller Laura Hillenbrand – the author of Seabiscuit – participated in a new media experiment to promote her new book Unbroken, which follows a WWII pilot who was shot down, only to survive a Japanese prison camp.

NPR produced what it described as a “book club-meets-social media experiment” across its Facebook, Twitter and web presences -- places where Unbroken was widely discussed. On the NPR Books Facebook Page Hillenbrand also contributed to the discussion.

By achieving direct access to the author, readers like Robin Politowicz became inspired to write back:

Laura,

Was there a moment in your research that just stopped you in your tracks? A particular incident or injustice or cruel twist of fate (of which there were so many) that gave you pause? Wonderful book – listened to the audio version on a long vacation drive, and had to think of errands to run once we got home so that we could finish listening :-)

–Robin Politowicz

Dear Robin,

Good question! There were so many breathtaking moments in Louie's story. I think the one that was most striking to me was the one when he was on the raft, and the Japanese bomber began strafing him and his raftmates. This was incredible enough, but in seeking cover under the raft, Louie ended up having to fight off sharks, striking them in their noses while the bullets showered down. I can't imagine that there's been another man in history who has been simultaneously fired upon and attacked by sharks. That he survived it continues to amaze me.

–Laura


3. Blake Northcott – Vs. Reality




Author: Blake Northcott

Twitter: @ComicBookGrrl

Facebook: Vs. Reality

Website/Blog: BlakeNorthcott.com

If you’re a new writer who’s looking ahead to a seemingly daunting publishing task, take a tip from Toronto writer Blake Northcott.

She recently self-published Vs. Reality, a work she’s calling a “comic book-inspired urban fantasy novel.” The Kindle version is now available through Amazon.com.

During the nine months spent writing her comic and movie blog, she amassed a 16,000-strong Twitter following, and collected more than 1,700 personal Facebook friends. Furthermore, in the space of one week earlier this month, her re-launched blog got 4,500 page views.

To put the numbers in perspective, her Twitter tribe is roughly the same size as that of publisher Image Comics. And a few days ago, Goodreads.com notified Northcott that she is the tenth most-followed Canadian on the site.

Northcott’s social media presence includes what she describes as an “instant feedback mechanism that tells me people are listening.”

“People are so passionate about books, comics and movies,” says Northcott. “When you connect with them on their level, and they know you’re legitimate, they respect you a lot more. Social media facilitates the ‘secret handshake’ where you get into the club, and people know you’re one of them.”


4. Duane Swierczynski – Fun and Games




Author: Duane Swierczynski

Twitter: @swierczy

Facebook: Duane Swierczynski

Website/Blog: Secret Dead Blog

If Quentin Tarantino ever decided to put down his camera and pick up a novelist’s pen, the result might read like the action-packed work of Duane Swierczynski. He writes hard-boiled thrillers that have the inventiveness, colorful characters and crackling dialogue of comic books.

His latest book, Fun and Games, was released a few weeks ago. To coincide with the release, Swierczynski devised a promotional contest that met with great fan approval.

To boost his pre-order numbers, Swierczynski invited fans to send him a confirmation once they had pre-ordered the book. In return, he randomly picked winners to which he sent personally chosen prizes - for example, signed copies of his five previous novels, a copy of Rockstar Games' recent title L.A. Noire, and even the right to name a minor character in the third book of his current trilogy. Additionally, he sent everyone who pre-ordered his book an offbeat postcard he picked up from the road, complete with a handwritten note of thanks.

“I was just talking to a friend the same age as me [late 30s] about how much harder it was to find like-minded people back in the early '90s,” says Swierczynski. “Sure, there was 'zine culture, but other than that, you couldn't help but feel kind of all alone in the universe ... Social media makes it so much easier, and so many people I've met online have turned out to be good friends in real life. So [social media] is not really a ‘strategy’ – it's a matter of craving that hive-mind experience. And as part of that hive-mind, you should give as much as you take.”

Image courtesy of Flickr, matthileo.

More About: amazon, authors, books, business, Facebok, MARKETING, publishing, social media, twitter

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7 Things Facebook Should Do To Increase Security [OPINION]


This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.

Eugene Kaspersky is CEO of Kaspersky Lab, the company he co-founded in 1997, which is now the world’s largest, privately-held anti-malware company. You can follow him on Twitter @e_kaspersky and his blog at eugene.kaspersky.com.

For the past seven years we have seen how Facebook has dramatically changed the way people communicate while it has formed a new culture of online socializing.

For most people, Facebook has been about keeping in touch with friends and family in a totally new way. But for security researchers, such as myself, it has led to seven years of new challenges for the security industry. The main issue with social networking and security is that social networks are, well, social, and when the human mind gets involved, vulnerabilities can be exploited. I’m talking about human vulnerabilities, those against which it’s hard to defend.

Many Facebook users lack knowledge and experience about how to protect themselves in the social networking environment, which has made the situation worse. Facebook appeals to new Internet users who often lack the computer savvy to identify online threats, and the most vulnerable segment of the audience — kids — have little life experience required to make reasonable decisions.

Because of this, I believe Facebook needs to enhance the security and privacy features of its site so the problems don’t escalate out of control. With the help of my colleagues, here are seven key recommendations I believe will make Facebook a safer place:


1. Enforce Full HTTPS Browsing


This way, all users can make sure no one is snooping into their conversations, even if they’re browsing Facebook through an untrusted Internet connection. Additionally, it will render attack tools such as Firesheep completely useless.

I admire the fact that Facebook has enabled optional HTTPS browsing in its recent security features roll-out. However, I don’t think the option is clearly marked enough for most users to find and utilize it. Therefore, I feel that this feature should be made mandatory for everyone.


2. Implement Two-Factor Authentication


Banks are offering e-tokens to their customers to safely access their online banking accounts; but in a world where social networking sites are becoming more and more important to what we do online, users should also have the same technology available for protecting their Facebook accounts.

This option should be enforced and mandatory, otherwise it may easily be lost in the depth of account settings. Following Facebook’s initiative to send verification codes via SMS, I suggest the company develop a mobile application that will generate a one-time password in addition to the master password. This way, an attacker would have to compromise not one, but two devices to access a Facebook account. This is not an easy task even for an experienced hacker.


3. Make Clear Which Facebook Apps Are Trusted


Malicious Facebook apps are being analyzed and reported by researchers on a daily basis. Facebook needs to perform a thorough security check and approve all incoming applications to make sure no malicious app makes its way onto a user’s profile.

At the very least, allow users to add a list of trusted/approved applications to his or her profile. If the person wants to use an application that is not trusted, they should be able to run it in some sort of “profile sandbox,” so that any malicious activity would not affect their friends and family.


4. Tighten the “Recommended” Privacy Controls


Currently, Facebook’s recommended privacy settings easily allow for an attacker to become the friend of a friend of a target, and consequently to access data needed to reset a password for an email account, or to misuse other personal information. Why does Facebook allow “everyone” to access status, photos, posts, bio, favorite quotes and family and relationships by default?

In the security market we follow a simple rule that works: “Disable everything, then enable the things you really need.” If Facebooks wants to take steps to actually make its site safer, the default setting should make personal information visible only to friends. Allow the users to decide later whether they want to change their data exposure.


5. Make Permanent Account Deletion Easier


Permanently deleting a Facebook account should … permanently delete the account. Respect the user’s will to entirely wipe out his presence on Facebook, without worrying that some materials have been left available on the Internet, and make permanent account deletion a simpler process that doesn’t require a special request to Facebook customer support.


6. Commit to Parental Controls


Allow parents to set up limited-access accounts for their children, as sub-accounts under their own Facebook presences. The limited sub-accounts could automatically be turned into full-access accounts once children reach the age of consent.

My colleagues and I support initiatives to protect users under 18, as expressed in California’s SB242, which extends the opportunities for parents to control their children’s social media accounts.


7. Better Educate Users


I value Facebook’s commitment to educate users about security and privacy in social networks, including the initiative to set up dedicated Pages to these topics (Facebook Safety, Facebook Security and Facebook Privacy). However, no matter what sort of protection surrounds Facebook users, those privacy features will remain useless should users lack the awareness.

For this reason, I recommend extending the practice by introducing more opportunities for user education. A good example would be to launch daily webinars that cover the most important aspects of Facebook security in the clearest and simplest way possible for the general public.

It is also the belief of myself and my colleagues that a closer interaction with security vendors will assist in building a stronger community to bolster critical Facebook initiatives and allow for more informed decisions. An advisory board consisting of the most authoritative experts in the security community, and regular summits to review past and future initiatives could bring additional value to the development of a safer Facebook.

These are seven realistic, doable and actionable steps that can dramatically increase the safety and privacy of Facebook’s users. Of course, no technology can guarantee 100% security as long as the human factor is involved. Still, Facebook can and should do everything it can to protect its users and keep them safe.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, malerapaso

More About: facebook, letter, mark zuckerberg, op-ed, Opinion, privacy, safety, security, social media

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40 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed


Whew! This week was awash with news. So, we transformed that news into advice, tips and how-to’s that you can reference for years to come.

Take Facebook’s video chat launch — we’ll guide you in setting it up. Or the space shuttle launch — we provide the Twitter accounts for dozens of astronauts and space experts. And Google+ has been on the minds of millions — we present its pros and cons. Mashable not only releases breaking news, we help you learn how to apply it to your business, your interests and your personal life.

If spare time for reading didn’t exactly factor into your busy week, here’s a roundup of resources that appeared on Mashable.


Editors’ Picks



Social Media


Facebook & AMEX Team to Give Small Businesses a Social Media Makeover


Facebook and American Express’s small business division, American Express Open, are teaming up to give five companies a Facebook makeover and $20,000 to grow their businesses.

The contest is part of American Express Open’s Small Business Saturday initiative, which encourages shoppers to support small, independently owned businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Last year was its inaugural and largely successful year, which American Express is working to develop into an even larger movement across the U.S. this fall.

More than 11,000 small businesses entered the contest, from which 10 finalists, profiled in the gallery below, have been selected. Users can cast votes for their favorites from now until July 20 on Facebook. The winners will then head to Facebook’s headquarter’s where they’ll get advice from the company on how to best tailor their Page, Ads and social plugins.

The partnership between the two makes sense given each company’s aggressive focus on the small business market. Facebook has partnered with major companies on small business initiatives before, including a 2008 campaign with Visa that awarded $100 in Facebook credits to the first 20,000 business owners to sign up for Visa’s Facebook application.

Facebook and AMEX also recently announced a deal that allows businesses to buy Facebook Credits to use on advertising through AMEX’s membership rewards program.


The Bandee - Weston, FL


The Bandee, which began as a class assignment, is a stylish hair band optimized for sports and outdoor activities.


Bear Creek Tackle - Bend, OR


Bear Creek Tackle offers more than rods and reels. It's a complete online resource on how and where to fish, educating anglers at all levels.


Big Daddy's Bar-B-Que - Gary, IN


Big Daddy's Bar-B-Que started out selling barbeque at a flea market and evolved into a full-fledged restaurant dedicated to giving back to its community.


Distinctive Gardens Inc. - Dixon, IL


Distinctive Gardens Inc. is not a typical nursery. It's a garden center that unites those passionate about plants, gardening and community.


Fat Brain Toys - Elkhorn, NE


Fat Brain Toys is a wholesale toy company that creates toys, games and gifts designed to challenge children while they play.


HOPELights - Plano, TX


HOPELights prints customized magazines for kids with special needs and develops communities for their families. The goal is to build confidence in young readers by making complex messages simpler.


Modmarket - Boulder, CO


Modmarket makes fast food that's good for you. They serve up sustainable grub from local growers that's healthy, delicious and affordable.


Parkwhiz.com - Chicago, IL


ParkWhiz.com takes the hassle out of parking at sporting events, theater, concerts and more. Drivers reserve hard-to-get spaces online, and save time to enjoy their experience.


Spoonflower - Durham, NC


Spoonflower is a far-from-average online fabric store. Customers can design, print and sell their own designs to create truly unique quilts, blankets, toys, clothes and more.


Viesso - Santa Monica, CA


Viesso is a modern, eco-conscious furniture company that allows you to customize one-of-a-kind furniture both online and in store.

Disclosure: American Express is a Mashable advertiser.

More About: american express, business, facebook, facebook page, small business, social media

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The History of America, As Told by Facebook [PIC]


In honor of Independence Day, The New York Times visualized America’s would-be Facebook profile in its Op-Art section, translating the history of the U.S. into Facebook’s iconic narrative structure.

The piece (below), “Like It or Unfriend It?” was created by novelist Teddy Wayne, Vanity Fair staffer Mike Sacks and designer Thomas Ng.

The graphic recalls a similar piece published by Slate‘s Christopher Beam and Chris Wilson in May, which chronicles recent U.S. events in an imaginary Barack Obama Facebook feed.

Last year the Washington Post published pieces of a real Facebook feed in “A Facebook Story: A mother’s joy and a family’s sorrow” to tell the tragic story of a young mother’s illness and subsequent death.

All three pieces acknowledge a new kind of plot structure told through the incremental and often brief updates we post on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Notably, all three pieces subvert the reverse-chronological order in which these updates are normally displayed.

Image courtesy of Flickr, ladybugbkt

More About: america, art, facebook, facebook page, social media, the new york times, united states

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5 Innovative Facebook Campaigns to Learn From


The Social Marketing Series is supported by Campaigner®. Campaigner email marketing enables small, medium and large businesses to strengthen customer relationships and drive sales by connecting to their customers quickly, simply and affordably. Visit www.campaigner.com to learn more.

If you’ve tried to run a campaign on Facebook and were frustrated by its poor results, you’re not alone. Facebook‘s ads have a pretty poor performance record and its ads continue to be cheap, though plentiful.

The good news is that Facebook is working hard to improve its ads’ performance. The company continues to experiment with new ad formats and has lately cozied up to the ad community with Facebook Studio, a forum for new campaigns that features a directory of ad agencies.

The idea is that marketers can learn from each other as they try to navigate Facebook, which is terra incognita for everyone since it’s so new. In that spirit, here are five recent Facebook campaigns that offer some instructive examples on how the platform can be used to amplify a message or interact with consumers in a new way.


1. “Infinity” — Batelco



Bahrain Telecommunications Co., a.k.a. Batelco, isn’t going to give Apple a run for its money in the name-recognition department anytime soon, but for those interested in social media marketing, it’s the little brand that could. You may recall that Batelco’s “Infinity” video made the short list of favorite TED ads earlier this year, but the Facebook aspect of that campaign is just as notable.

Batelco aired two trailers for the video in movie theaters and online in September 2010. To spread the video even further, Batelco’s app included a prompt for users to activate their webcams and take pictures of themselves reacting to the video. The picture was then posted on Facebook (with the user’s permission). Next, the company and agency FP7/BAH disseminated information about the making of the video. Realizing that all the target customers were online, Batelco also set up kiosks in malls and airports letting consumers see the video. As a result of the exposure, Batelco gained more than 200,000 fans on Facebook. More than 70% of Bahrain’s Facebook community are fans.

The Upshot: Batelco bet heavily on a viral video and it paid off, partially because the video itself is so compelling, but also because it provided a means for people on Facebook to add something to the experience.


2. Fashiontag — Flair Magazine



Flair, a Belgian women’s magazine, observed that women check out each other’s wardrobes in real life and figured that might be the case online as well. That reasoning prompted the creation of Fashiontag, an app that lets users identify their friends’ clothing in Facebook pics and ask a question about the item. The question also was posted on the friend’s wall.

Those conversations then ran on a Fashiontag Page on Facebook. The best ones ran in the magazine. According to Advertising Age, after the app launched on March 22, the magazine’s Facebook Page got a 35% bump in fans, to 23,000. Best of all, this was done on the cheap: The app only cost about $35,000 to create.

The Upshot: Flair created a genuinely useful app and one that tied in with its brand mission. As a result, the title not only got attention, but found a new way to interact with readers and create content.


3. Comida Kraft — Kraft Foods


Kraft introduced Comida Kraft, a recipe website targeted to Hispanic consumers, in 2001. Nine years later it launched a Comida Kraft Facebook Page as well. Kraft stepped things up in May 2011, by enlisting Mexican celebrity chef Alfredo Oropeza, which boosted the Page’s fans by 38%. But Oropeza isn’t just lending his name. In July, Kraft is planning three livestreamed video chats with the chef, during which participants can ask questions in real time. In November, Kraft is planning to give Latina moms who subscribe to Comida Kraft recipes by email — those who subscribe to the Comida Kraft Mobile Club will get free exclusive access to additional recipes and videos on their mobile phones.

The Upshot: Kraft, working with digital marketing agency 360i, has added new activities to engage its Facebook fans. The addition of a celebrity chef and exclusive access gives consumers a reason to become fans and gives fans special access.


4. The Squeezing Smiles Machine — Prigat


The problem with a lot of branded Facebook Pages is there’s nothing to do there. Israeli juice company Prigat not only gave its fans something to do, it put them to work. Prigat set up an app that let fans activate an orange juice machine by smiling. (The company used face-recognition technology to recognize those smiles.)

It turns out, a lot of users were up to the challenge. More than 20,000 users uploaded photos of themselves, which led to 30,000 “likes,” (a 300% jump in growth). More than 40,000 oranges were also squeezed during the effort — the juice was given to charity.

The Upshot: Bridging the real and the online world can spark some interesting ideas. Asking users to smile also ensured that the program was fun.


5. Your Very Own Mad Men Ad — Mad Men Season 4 in the Netherlands



Here’s the pitch: Don Draper and his team have a new assignment — an ad about you. But first they have to know a bit about you — what kind of car you drive, what’s your drink of choice, that kind of thing. Next, they need a picture of you. Then you get to see a few mockups of ads about you. When you settle on one you like, you post it to your site. The best ads will run in the Dutch magazine BLVD Man and on billboards in Amsterdam.

The campaign, from an agency called Greenberry, launched in June to promote the premiere of season 4 of Mad Men in the Netherlands. So there you have it: a promotion for a show about advertising that creates advertising about you that might actually run as a real ad somewhere. Is your head spinning yet?

The Upshot: This promotion stays true to the concept of the product it promotes, but involves consumers in the process as only Facebook can.

What other innovative Facebook campaigns have you seen? Let us know in the comments below.


Series Supported by Campaigner®


The Social Marketing Series is supported by Campaigner®. Campaigner®’s Smart Email Builder makes it easier than ever to create professional looking email marketing campaigns and affords multiple ways to grow and manage lists, integrate with CRM, and utilize campaign metrics and reports to increase results. For more information, please visit www.campaigner.com or watch a product demo today.

More About: 360i, facebook, MARKETING, Social Marketing Series

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HOW TO: Claim Your Business On Facebook Places


This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

Facebook Places is essentially free word-of-mouth advertising for your business. When customers check in, they’ll automatically be telling their Facebook friends about it. If you run a small business with a street entrance, there’s a good chance that it’s already a part of Facebook Places — with or without your input.

By claiming your Page, you have the opportunity to customize that free advertising. It also makes it easy to purchase pay-per-click advertising for your Places page.

Here’s how to get started.


1. Add Your Business To Facebook Places




Open the Facebook app on your mobile phone. Depending on which device you have, you'll either hit "Places" or "Check In" on the home screen of the app. Type the name of your business in the search bar. If there's no listing for your business, there will be an option in the search results menu to add it. You can do so by adding a description and selecting "add."

If your business has already been added to Facebook Places, you can skip this step.


2. Search For Your Business On Facebook




Open Facebook on your desktop and search for your business. Click on the Places result.


3. Claim Your Place




Beneath the image on the Places page there is a hyperlink that says, "Is this your business?" If it is, you can click it to start the verification process.


4. Verify Your Listing




Before Facebook will let you edit the page, they ask for either a business email address or a document that has your name and business' name on it. After you supply either, it can take as long as a week for Facebook to confirm your request.


Important Questions


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