Brands look to Facebook earlier in campaign development

Since 2007, brands have created Facebook fan pages that users can join or check regularly. However, the social network has added increased functionality and additional options for advertisers in the past year, giving marketers more opportunities for increased engagement.

Jennifer Stolte, director of marketing for Celestial Seasonings, said the tea company has taken advantage of Facebook’s high engagement in its campaigns. The brand launched its fan page last March, but just this month debuted its first Facebook-specific campaign called “PossibiliTeas,” which incorporates a quiz on the company’s fan page.

Stolte said that in years past, the company would have created a microsite within Celestial Seasonings’ homepage, and used Facebook to drive traffic to that site. Yet the company is housing the effort within Facebook because it’s a more accessible channel for its target audience, as well as being more viral.

“With our demographic of 25- to 54-year-old females growing rapidly on Facebook, they’re more likely to interact with the brand, and each other,” Stolte explained. “With the PossibiliTeas campaign, in just a week we’ve had over 1,700 unique users take the quiz, and a big jump in number of fans.”

“Facebook now has this hybrid model in which the most important updates are alongside live feeds, so users are getting everything at once,” explained David Berkowitz, senior director of emerging media and client strategy at 360i. “All of this puts marketers in the mindset beyond just getting fans. They’re thinking about how to get people to sustain engagement and take actions that will appear in other users’ live feeds.”

Brands can still implement myriad features into a fan page, like quizzes, polls and videos, but today they can also create various experiences based on whether the goal is acquisition or retention, Berkowitz added.

“Marketers can create branding when a visitor first gets to a fan page by adding promotions and links to create a rich experience,” he noted. “But once they’re hooked enough to become fans, the page will default to the wall itself to promote engagement between the brand and the consumer.”

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