Thursday, June 2, 2011

Use "gutsy, scrappy" marketing to bend Facebook to your will....

By Mark Helfen

Can you get rich using Facebook? How about not just get rich, but get rich quickly?

Well, maybe not. But Facebook can be a low cost but very effective part of your marketing strategy. You can connect to a large number of very targeted Facebook "friends," with little cash investment, and make a real bottom-line difference in your small company's finances.

So says Evan Bailyn, speaker at the next SDForum MarketingSIG meeting, June 13 at our regular meeting location, EMC. His talk is titled "How to Build a Massive Facebook Audience that Converts to Profits," which is a pretty clear explanation of what you will learn.

Bailyn, CEO and founder of First Page Sage, has shown it can be done. When I interviewed him, he said that he had started eight internet-based businesses and sold five of them, some for multiple millions. The businesses were of different types and products, but all used his expertise in Google and Facebook to find and communicate with his market.

His strategy is to "beat the system" - to go right up to the edge of Facebook or Google rules, but not cross the line. Definitely an example of guerrilla marketing. But what would you expect from someone who wrote a book called Outsmarting Google: SEO Secrets to Winning New Business. The Facebook version is in the works.

The strategy is to use Facebook ads and generate a large number of highly targeted prospects for a very low cost. Bailyn said that you can acquire Facebook connections for less than 25 cents each.

No special skills are needed - Bailyn said he was an English major in college, and had his businesses going in just a few years. It just takes "creativity and hard work," and a willingness to use "gutsy, scrappy tactics." Perfect for small, entrepreneurial startups.

You can get a great deal of marketing results "for a fraction of the budget others are spending."

While large companies might also benefit, they might not have the flexibility to be quite so scrappy.

One discovery that Bailyn made using his tactics is the importance of word choices in the ads he develops, something this writer already knew. In running A-B tests, some words generated a much higher response - words like "excellence" or "blanket." He might be persuaded to share a few more of his favorite words during his presentation, or his methodology for finding them.        

He promises "real hard facts", and "on the ground" tactics that you can use. So come to next weeks meeting, and start making new friends - at least on Facebook.

Please register in advance at our Meetup page to attend.


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant.

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