Permission Based Marketing – Five Tips to keep you from Sucking at it.

Permission marketing,  just like it sounds – a  company gets permission to send fans marketing information. Permission based marketing used to be all about email. Social media changed that forever.

Facebook encourages companies to collect “Likes” on their Facebook page because once a person Like’s a brand’s Facebook page, that brand can send the fan messages and post them to their newsfeed directly (Facebook uses the EdgeRank algorithm to determine if it gets placed on the newsfeed) . Pinterest and Twitter have similar social media marketing capabilities but I’m going to focus on Facebook today.

What makes permission based social media marketing compelling gets back to the value of Newsfeed Product Placement. As soon as a person sees a post on their Newsfeed or Timeline that they are interested in – and they engage with it (Like, Comment or Share) – that post now gets amplified to all of that person’s friends’ Newesfeed. Boom! One person seeing your brand just turned into hundreds.

Permission based social marketing means you target the people who engaged with you and you also reach their friends (if the content is compelling enough to get others engaged). The content is  often where companies go wrong. Very wrong.

Going back to my Facebook Blog on CNBC – Newsfeed product placement is all about the Fan being the star of their own movie – the movie of their life. The one question every marketer must answer is the question your fan is asking: “What’s in it for me (WIIFM)?”

To give you an example of how effective Permission Marketing and Newsfeed Product Placement can be – look at the Facebook users at the US Open Golf Championship who used the Lexus-sponsored dwinQ social platform. The diagram below shows the amplification from each person!


Amplification of users at the US Open golf Championship using dwinQ’s platform of branding a memory with automated phots

  1. Provide a picture or video of the person interacting with your product(the Lexus model)
    1. This must be captured at one of your events or locations. If you can post it in real time all the better – then it’s news. We’ve found shares on these activieties to be as high as 60% (Lexus at the US Open Golf tournament)
  2. Provide “Secret” informationabout a product release
    1. Rumor mills like MacRumor or Wikileaks are among the most popular sites on the web  – letting your fans in on a secret keeps them riveted
  3. Use humor – some of the most popular videos on YouTube are “Fail” videos. People falling of bikes, kids jumping off cliffs and belly-floping, etc. Think of a way to incorporate your product in a funny (but not too polished video)
  4. Give away a beta or early releaseversion of your product to the most influential fans that you have. This may not necessarily be the ones with the most friends – you need to asses interaction among friends
    1. Having 1,500 Friends but only engaging with 50 is not nearly as valuable as finding someone with 500 friends and who regularly engages with 200 of them. Engagement is key
  5. Create a user advisory group
    1. A private web page, an in-person meeting, a VIP event at your main trade show all allow you to create scarcity and help your key fans feel special. A contest or event that will allow people to apply for that position, and then getting user feedback is a great way to create brand ambassadors who will amplify your message.

These five rules are enough to keep any marketing professional busy for a while. The key to permission based marketing is optimizing the Newsfeed Product Placement and Branding a Memory on Social Media – you need to figure out “what’s in it for me” and then test out all the ways you can develop something that really gets amplified and something your fans will want to engage with and share

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