How spending a few dollars on Facebook can turn you into an influencer
Guest post by Dennis Yu
Iam a member of the public, and thus a member of the press. So when I get terrible service, should I complain? The levers of power have been tipping toward the public, thanks to social media:
• A hotel treats me wrong (it’s happened to you, too), so I write about it.
• My best friend had a problem with his Toyota, blogged about it, and ran a Facebook ad for $20, targeting executives of Toyota in Japan.
• A cruise line screws up its Fourth of July cruise, so this author writes an exposé on Business Insider.
• An airline accidentally kills a woman’s golden retriever, so she uses her blog and Facebook account to warn others about neglect.
We resort to this only when we’ve exhausted our regular channels. Complaining on social media should be a last resort, since it’s basically jumping the line. When you’re a journalist, blogger, or an influential person in other ways, you wield a megaphone. Even if you’re not one of those, running Facebook ads gives you that same power for a few dollars.
Rent the megaphone
A lot of people will file a complaint or go to the Better Business Bureau when this happens. Try that and let me know how it works a few weeks later, counting up how much time and money you spent chasing wild geese. Then run Facebook ads with workplace targeting (targeting folks who work at the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or wherever folks need to see your message). Target executives at the offending company by following these easy steps.
Because you’re targeting just a few dozen or a few hundred people, it can be done for a few dollars and in a few minutes. The next day, the general manager of the dealer calls to profusely apologize. Folks in Japan at Toyota HQ have seen the ad and are asking what happened.
Of course, as members of media, you and I have to be careful not to abuse our status. Yet with Facebook ads targeted by workplace, any consumer now has this lethal weapon.
We’re all the press now
Sure, you can get a message into Mark Zuckerberg’s mailbox for $100. But why not target employees at Facebook for far less and reach a couple of thousand people, too?
- We attended a mobile hackathon, wrote a post about it, and targeted Facebook mobile engineers. Matt Kelly and James Pearce noticed it and liked it.
- An intern decided to “play a trick on his boss” and ran ads targeting me. See what happened.
- B2B firms target the press to get more coverage and show up in the Facebook newsfeed.
An army of advocates
Jim Williams of Influitive shared this with us: “Xactly‘s advocate marketing program generated hundreds of recommendations, follows and shares on LinkedIn, and a single advocate challenge resulted in nearly a hundred new Facebook fans and Twitter followers.”
Customers are already talking about the companies that they love or hate online, but advocate marketing programs allow marketers to better organize those customers, tying their activity to sales and marketing initiatives and results.
Have a grudge or complaint? Would you spend $5 to scratch this itch?
• How to run an effective Facebook campaign for $5 (Socialmedia.biz)
• The danger of buying Facebook fans (Socialmedia.biz)
• ‘Brand Advocates’: How to enlist armies of loyalists (Socialmedia.biz)