1. Facebook Success Stories
How 12 companies are leveraging
the social network to advance their
CASE STUDY COLLECTION
2. Contents at a Glance
MARKETERS, MEET FACEBOOK ... 2
SNAPSHOT OF THE TOOLS AVAILABLE ON FACEBOOK 4
CASE STUDIES: EXAMPLES OF THE FACEBOOK TOOLS IN ACTION 7
OBJECTIVE A: INCREASING AWARENESS AND REACH 8
Sharp Electronics 9
Travel Channel 13
Serena Software 15
OBJECTIVE B: TARGETING DISTINCT MARKETS 17
One Day, One Job 18
OBJECTIVE C: TEST MARKETING 21
Cook’s Compass 21
OBJECTIVE D: FORGING RELATIONSHIPS WITH AND AMONG CUSTOMERS 22
Cirque du Soleil 24
ABOUT THE AUTHORS 26
ABOUT MARKETINGPROFS 26
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 1
3. MARKETERS, MEET FACEBOOK ...
Social media is all the buzz, representing a new low-cost avenue for engag-
ing with consumers at a much deeper level than is typically achieved with tra-
ditional advertising. Each outlet within the medium has acquired its share of
advocates, but the truth is this: LinkedIn is big, Twitter is active, but Facebook
is huge. And if you haven't yet made your acquaintance with this burgeoning
social network, it's time you were introduced.
In two years, Facebook has gone from being in the top 100 most trafficked
Web sites to #5 worldwide (according to Alexa), beating out Twitter at #8. As
of June 2008, it had more than 130 million active users and growing.
Launched within the university sphere, the network undoubtedly maintains a
large student population and is being leveraged by companies that specialize
in this market, as well as those aspiring to gain exposure among next genera-
That predominance is actively changing, however, as the network continues
to expand. Facebook now claims that more than half of its users are outside
of college, and that its fastest growing demographic includes those who admit
to being 25 years or older.
Chances are, your market is there—perhaps, en masse. But if you're like
most marketers, the question you're asking is how to use the new and
unfamiliar medium to your best advantage.
This report recounts how 12 organizations took that first step and how their
efforts have proven effective—or not so effective—for achieving their indi-
vidual marketing objectives. It begins with a description of the various tools
available at Facebook, followed by 12 case studies organized by marketing
objective, as follows:
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 2
4. MARKETERS, MEET FACEBOOK ...
1. Increasing awareness and reach: Case studies for six organizations
show how Facebook can be used to establish global brand recognition,
to bring in new leads and expand your customer base, to boost Web site
traffic and/or augment large multimedia campaigns.
2. Targeting distinct markets: Three more case studies demonstrate how
detailed information regarding user demographics and network behavior
can be employed to specifically target niche markets.
3. Test marketing: A proof of concept campaign illustrates how the network
can also help companies explore new markets and evaluate product
4. Forging relationships with and among customers: The final two
studies reveal how Facebook offers a unique channel for companies
interested in creating customer-based communities in connection with
Each case study details the tools and approaches used, along with the
outcomes achieved. While it may be some time before Facebook marketing
comes anywhere close to a defined science, this information should provide
you with enough fuel to get started on the right foot.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 3
5. SNAPSHOT OF THE TOOLS AVAILABLE ON FACEBOOK
Facebook offers a number of marketing options, which can be used either independently or
together, depending on your objectives.
1. Facebook Pages
Facebook Pages are business-friendly profiles (i.e., platforms for commu-
nicating directly with users) and provide organizations with an immediate
presence on Facebook. They are free of charge and easy to launch with
A basic page includes a graphic/logo, company description, and a Wall
where users can post comments. Additional elements can be incorporated,
• Photos and videos posted by your company, as well as applications that
allow users to upload photos and videos to your Page
• Discussion Boards, for posing questions and encouraging user
• Reviews, a dedicated space for fans to share their opinions
• Notes, a blogging feature that allows tags, embeddable images, and
automatic imports from an external blog
• Events, which inform fans of upcoming events via invites sent to their
profile home pages, in addition to listings on your Page
Users can associate themselves with your Page as “fans.” When they do,
your Page appears on their individual profiles under the “Info” tab, and a
comment referencing this connection is posted on their Walls. Wall postings
Example Photo Video Components are often publicized on other users’ News Feeds, which alert users to their
friends’ actions on the site. All of these components help “virally” expose your
brand to a wider network of people.
Pages are publicly indexed and accessible (i.e., available to unregistered
users), as well as searchable within Facebook. They are also promotable
within the network via Facebook Social Ads (described below), and of course,
by your own efforts.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 4
6. SNAPSHOT OF THE TOOLS AVAILABLE ON FACEBOOK
Reporting is available on all Facebook Pages, providing insight into impres-
sions, clicks, user engagement (such as Wall posts, video plays, etc.), and
2. Facebook Groups
Before Facebook Pages, there were Facebook Groups, and many organi-
zations still maintain a Group presence. Key differences between the two
• Users join Groups as members, rather than fans
• Groups are listed in bulk and without graphics on a user’s profile
• Groups are not necessarily open to all users: a Group can be set to
“private” so that the administrator determines which users can join
• Groups are searchable only within Facebook
• Many applications, such as Notes and Events described above, cannot
be added to a Group profile
• Group visitor statistics and reporting metrics are not available
3. Facebook Applications
Facebook Applications allow you to create interactive user experiences
with your brand using games, virtual gift sharing programs, and more. An
Application can integrate your Web site or existing Web application, as well
as mobile and desktop applications (with the Facebook API), and can be
featured independently and/or added to your Facebook page.
Application development may require you to hire a professional developer
(referrals available on the site) if you are not well-versed in PHP, SSH,
MySQL, Unix, and Web hosting fundamentals. It will also necessitate an
external location to host your application.
Only registered Facebook users can add your Application. When they do
so, they are given options to add a box or dedicated tab to their profiles for
friends to view, to receive notifications via personal email, and to bookmark
the Application for quicker access. For added exposure, user interactions with
your Application can be automatically publicized on that user’s Wall, although
users can choose to block this activity.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 5
7. SNAPSHOT OF THE TOOLS AVAILABLE ON FACEBOOK
When a user invites a friend to add your Application or interacts with another
user through the Application (by sending a virtual gift, etc.), the recipient is
alerted with a request, which they can choose to approve or ignore.
Reporting on Application usage and user demographics is available through
4. Facebook Social Ads
Social Ads include (1) banners placed along the margin of a user’s profile
page, and (2) ads that appear as sponsored content within users’ News
Feeds in connection with their friends’ social actions.
Both options offer tremendous targeting ability based on a variety of demo-
graphic data points volunteered by the users themselves, including age,
location, interests, college, employer, and more.
Ads can be purchased on both a CPC (cost per click) and CPM (cost per one
thousand impressions) basis, and an auction set-up (based on relevancy as
well as highest bid) is used to determine placement.
Detailed performance metrics are also provided to assist with measurement,
as well as targeting and creative optimization.
5. Additional Marketing Options
• Facebook Polls: Targeted similarly to Facebook Social Ads, this tool
Social Ads Profile
allows you to survey users who meet your selected criteria. Results are
available in real time and broken down by gender and age.
• Facebook Beacon: With this mechanism, a user’s actions on your exter-
nal Web site are posted to the user’s Wall and advertised on the user’s
friends’ News Feeds. When originally launched, this service caused an
Social Ads Inline uproar among users concerned about privacy issues and has since been
altered so that users can block Beacon all together, or on a site-by-site
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 6
8. Case Studies:
Examples of the Facebook Tools in Action
Now that you’re familiar with the tools at your disposal, here’s a look at how they’re
being used to achieve a variety of marketing objectives such as increasing brand
awareness, targeting specific market segments, testing out new markets and building
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 7
9. OBJECTIVE A: INCREASING AWARENESS AND REACH
There’s no denying the growing mass of Facebook users, and although they’re not looking to be
sold, this is an interactive medium in which they are very actively engaged, often on a daily basis.
The following studies highlight how six organizations are reaching out to these users to broad-
en their exposure, increase sales, and/or achieve their own critical mass.
Lenovo: Building worldwide brand recognition
Lenovo, which specializes in personal computing technology, used Facebook
in connection with other online media and its 2008 Olympic sponsorship to
generate global awareness for its brand and new IdeaPad product line.
The campaign revolved around a Lenovo-sponsored Olympic athlete-blogger
program, which was featured on a number of Web sites in addition to the
company’s “Team USA” Facebook Application.
Along with showcasing the blogs, the “Team USA” application enabled users
to participate in virtual fan relays, follow event results and medal counts, and
send virtual cheers. It also featured Lenovo product information and coupons.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 8
10. OBJECTIVE A: INCREASING AWARENESS AND REACH
In several spots throughout the application, users were encouraged to invite
their friends to add the application, and the user profile box prompted oth-
ers to join. Banner ads were also used to promote the application on the
During the time in which the 2008 Games ran, the “Team USA” application
was viewed more than 1,800,000 times and downloaded by more than
250,000 users from 120 countries.
Sharp Electronics: Sparking buzz in support of other campaign
Like Lenovo, Sharp used Facebook in cooperation with other media to
promote its AQUOS LCD line and generate awareness for its role in LCD
(liquid crystal display) and solar-energy innovation. Developed by Lowe
New York, the campaign included print, broadcast, and online advertising,
all highlighting two main themes: “Change Your Power, Change Your Planet”
Lenovo Profile Box and “Change Your TV, Change Your Life.”
For the online portion, an unbranded “Life Changing Box Game” Facebook
Application was launched, together with a related teaser microsite, to pique
interest and generate buzz for the company’s ensuing print and TV promo-
tions. Both elements incorporated a series of mystery prize boxes, the
contents of which users guessed at on the microsite and competed for in the
Each day during the promotion, application users were granted a select num-
ber of “touches” used to enter rounds and vie for 10 mystery prizes—later
revealed to include flat screen televisions, home theater systems, exclusive
tickets to sporting events and all-expense-paid trips. The player in posses-
sion of a mystery box when it randomly “opened” in any given round won the
Sharp App Screen
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 9
11. OBJECTIVE A: INCREASING AWARENESS AND REACH
Sharp’s application is believed to have been the first to offer real-life, high-
dollar prizes on Facebook—inspiration alone for users to spread word of the
game. To further encourage viral growth, the game was designed so that
players could increase their chances of winning by inviting friends to down-
load the application. If a friend won a prize, the person who had invited that
user would win a duplicate prize.
Online PR outreach and banner ads on Facebook, CNET, Wired, Gizmodo,
Yahoo, AOL and Google were also used to increase exposure for both the
game and the microsite.
Three weeks in, Sharp’s sponsorship was revealed, and by that time, the
online campaign had surpassed all targeted metrics, including those for ap-
plication downloads and usage, by an average of 15%.
123Greetings.com: Extending an e-business into the social realm
123Greetings.com is a free e-card service. Its goal was to grow its user base
Sharp App Invite Page
by successfully tapping Facebook’s vast user population. The company
believed Facebook’s members were more likely to keep in touch with family
and friends via the Internet.
In January 2008, the company launched a 123Greetings Facebook
Application that supports all 20,000+ e-cards available on its main Web site,
providing users access to the full array without ever having to venture off the
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 10
12. OBJECTIVE A: INCREASING AWARENESS AND REACH
To encourage adoption, the application was designed for ease of use so that
users can search by occasion, enter a personal message if desired, and
select recipients by simply clicking on their friends’ profile pictures, which
appear directly on the application page. The application also reminds users
of their friends’ birthdays with messages sent to both the users’ Facebook
profiles and personal email addresses.
Several viral elements were also incorporated. For example, both sender
and recipient have the option of displaying the 123Greetings application box
on their profiles to show off the cards they’ve sent or received and further
promote the 123Greetings brand amongst their friends. Users also have the
option of inviting friends to use the application without sending a card.
In addition to the application, the company formed a Facebook group in late
Spring 2008 as an extension of its brand and newsletter feature, a weekly
online publication that offers relationship advice to 13 million subscribers.
123Greetings.com’s “Editor Bob,” who writes the newsletter, also hosts
the group. He uses a friendly tone to introduce the company Web site and
newsletter, and encourages interaction with and between members by posing
questions and starting casual conversations on the group wall and discus-
sion board. He also asks for stories and quotes to be published in the weekly
123Greetings App Box newsletter. The group has been steadily growing and recently surpassed
The 123Greetings application has acquired more than 70,000 monthly active
users and over 600 fans. A total of 2,283,658 e-cards were sent via the ap-
plication during the months of June through September 2008, a fair lead up
to the company’s busy season which kicks off with Halloween and continues
through New Year’s Day.
By year’s end, 123Greetings.com anticipates that the application will directly
account for 10% of its total e-card volume in 2008 and play a large role in in-
creasing total annual volume from 120 million in 2007 to 145 million in 2008.
BrainReactions: Groups vs. applications in the quest for broader
BrainReactions is an innovation services and research company that has
been building a team of professional “Brainstormers” from around the world
to assist clients in identifying new product and marketing ideas. Aspiring
to expand the team’s “Generation Y” population, the company turned
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 11
13. OBJECTIVE A: INCREASING AWARENESS AND REACH
to Facebook after finding that the majority of its existing Generation Y
Brainstormers visited the site daily. It also recognized the network as a
low-cost mechanism for building an interactive online community that could
support its core business.
BrainReactions first established a presence on the network with a Facebook
Group, providing a place where Brainstormers could congregate and interact.
Next, it launched an application called “Most Creative People on Facebook,”
wherein users compete for votes from other users and nominate their friends
with invitations to add the application. Application users with the most votes
are featured on the main Application Page, along with a list of the user’s most
creative friends, encouraging other users to increase their rankings and invite
more friends to vote.
The application’s user profile box also motivates users to attain more votes
by displaying number of votes received, and the invitation messaging, which
bestows a vote of confidence upon the new user, further stimulates invitation
acceptance and application growth.
BrainReactions has not advertised the application and has instead relied
Most Creative People Invite solely on the viral exposure that is achieved when invitations and interactions
are posted on users’ News Feeds.
Since the company ultimately benefits from the size and scope of its
Brainstormer network (i.e., participants at their disposal when a new client
idea contest is launched), the success metrics for this campaign have largely
Most Creative People Application Box been based on the “reach” achieved.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 12
14. OBJECTIVE A: INCREASING AWARENESS AND REACH
The “Most Creative People on Facebook” application has been significantly
more successful on this front, demonstrating that the elements of interactivity
and competition are likely more appealing to this audience. Within the first
month after launch, the application registered 10,000 users from 14 countries
and has since grown to more than 87,000 users from 93 countries. More than
480,000 nomination invites have been sent, and over 1.2 million votes have
The group, on the other hand, has fewer than 100 members and consists
primarily of individuals who had joined the company’s Brainstormer network
prior to campaign launch. The group still exists, however, as an alternate
venue for existing Brainstormers to gather online.
Travel Channel: A creative strategy for boosting Web site traffic
Travel Channel used Facebook to generate awareness and traffic for its Web
site, TravelChannel.com, by incorporating the site’s content into a mostly
unbranded, interactive game application.
Dubbed “Kidnap!,” the application encourages users to virtually “kidnap” their
friends and hold them in a hideout city until the kidnapees can correctly an-
swer trivia questions about the hideout location. Clues to those questions are
then offered via a TravelChannel.com “Cheat Sheet” linked to the Facebook
To maximize user adoption, branding has been kept to a minimum, appear-
Travel Channel Trivia Question Screen Shot ing only once users are engaged in the game and at a point where Travel
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 13
15. OBJECTIVE A: INCREASING AWARENESS AND REACH
Channel can add value to the context of the game (i.e., through the “Cheat
Sheet”). In this way, Travel Channel connects with users in a positive experi-
ence that helps them succeed in the game, while at the same time exposing
them to TravelChannel.com content and teaching them to rely on the site as
a travel information resource.
A number of viral components also augment both usage and return usage
growth. First, the game offers users a fun way to interact with friends and
feeds off of users’ competitive natures. Invitations and other game-related
messaging play off this, as well, by alerting players that they’ve been
“kidnap’d” and prompting them to “escape.”
Another element rewards users with level advancements for repeatedly
kidnapping friends and for inviting new users to join. A points system, which
determines a user’s rank on the game’s leadership board, also compels
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 14
16. OBJECTIVE A: INCREASING AWARENESS AND REACH
players to continue kidnapping friends, while also encouraging kidnapees to
both utilize the “Cheat Sheet” and answer the trivia questions within a select
When the application launched in August 2008, Facebook Social Ads were
used to help generate awareness, and a Travel Channel group was estab-
lished to help anchor the application. The group currently has more than
7,400 fans, and the ads were effective in bringing in approximately 8,500 new
Kidnap! players during the four weeks in which they ran. The majority of the
application’s growth, however, has occurred virally.
During its first six weeks, the game registered 225,521 monthly active users
and 23,034 daily active users, with 1,711,300 sent kidnap requests. Traffic to
TravelChannel.com during those same six weeks increased 28%, and page
views went up 38%, as compared to the six weeks prior.
As of this writing, usage has grown to 2.4+ million players, making it the most
popular travel-related application and the most popular branded game on
Facebook. The number of daily active users has increased to 230,000 and
includes approximately 140,000 return users. And TravelChannel.com cur-
rently sees an average of 60,000 clicks a day originating from the Facebook
Serena Software: A viable channel for B2B
In early 2008, Serena Software wanted to inform business professionals
about its newly released Business Mashup Composer, an application that
combines data and visual elements from multiple sources into a process-
driven framework. The company was familiar with Facebook, having already
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 15
17. OBJECTIVE A: INCREASING AWARENESS AND REACH
used the network for its corporate intranet, and felt it to be an innovative
channel for targeting other business professionals networking on the site.
Given industry statistics, the company knew it risked low click-through rates
advertising on Facebook; however, it achieved better-than-average results by
creating an interactive application experience that mirrored regular Facebook
user activity. The application called “I’m a Super Masher” centered around an
entertaining video with strong viral potential and non-intrusively encouraged
users to interact with the video, learn more about the Serena product, contrib-
ute to the discussion board, and forward the video to friends.
Although some advertising was performed on other Facebook applications
about a week after launch, the majority of user growth came organically,
initially through Serena employees who posted the video to their personal
profiles and forwarded it on to friends. Serena also helped nurture viral activ-
ity by awarding points to users who invited friends or forwarded the video.
In the first month, the video registered more than 1.1 million views, and over
8,000 users clicked through to the Serena Web site for a click-through rate of
0.72%. A large percentage of those visitors went on to downloaded whitepa-
pers, data sheets, and the company’s software, signifying that the campaign
was effective in reaching its target base: business professionals.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 16
18. OBJECTIVE B: TARGETING DISTINCT MARKETS
Some companies are more interested in reaching clearly-defined markets. With precise target-
ing and the capability to tap into select user interests, Facebook provides such a vehicle.
The following examples illustrate two key points. The first is that although Facebook ad click-
through rates typically register well under 1%, proper targeting can result in a higher quality
lead that more than offsets that level of performance, as suggested in the Serena Software ex-
ample above. And secondly, while ads tend to yield a much quicker response, other Facebook
tools can provide a very cost-effective means for arriving at this goal.
IndiePix: Cost effectively reaching a segment of the market
IndiePix, an independent film distributor, commonly looks for ways to actively
involve its customers, a notoriously segmented group. This year, the com-
pany resolved to start a Facebook Group, seeing this as an effective platform
for connecting and communicating with not only self-identified indie film fans,
but also independent filmmakers.
The group offers users the ability to view some of IndiePix’s documentaries
in their entirety directly on the network, utilizing Snag Films’ video player
application. The group is also used to announce new releases and hype
screening events in individual markets, both through posted items and
Facebook’s Event Application.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 17
19. OBJECTIVE B: TARGETING DISTINCT MARKETS
Both of these elements have been successful in attracting additional filmmak-
ers interested in promoting their works. As those filmmakers join the group
and interact on the Group Page, IndiePix benefits through the added expo-
sure that is gained among those individuals’ networks of friends.
IndiePix has also sought to increase group membership by developing
a presence on other related groups and causes, such as the “Support
Independent Film” cause. This is achieved by not only joining these groups
but also contributing to the conversations taking place among their members.
The IndiePix Facebook Group is currently just shy of 600 members and has
become a great tool for getting word out to fans in individual markets.
In addition, while more traditional Web PR efforts remain the best source
of immediate traffic and sales spikes, the group is also demonstrating solid
potential for boosting awareness and sales of new titles. Although response
tends to be slow but steady, Facebook traffic has evidenced a strong conver-
sion rate, and on average, orders for a new title increase when it is an-
nounced or promoted on the group page. So far, however, the related traffic
and sales have remained directed at the specific title posted and have not
carried through to the rest of the Web site.
Note: IndiePix also tried Facebook ads and found them to be effective in
driving traffic to the company Web site, just not the right traffic. For this
reason, it contends that its Facebook Group is the best—and most cost effec-
tive—means for connecting with its target market on the network.
One Day, One Job: Experiments in targeting
One Day, One Job—an online company that specializes in helping college
students find entry-level jobs—aspired to grow its Web traffic and was at-
tracted to Facebook by the sheer number of active students on the network.
Although the company also set up a Facebook Page, it was more interested
in leveraging the precise targeting capability of Facebook’s ad platform.
The company initiated a dual campaign with some ads targeting Ivy League
seniors and the rest targeting seniors from 40 other top-rated schools, both
on a CPC and CPM basis. Ad copy included the phrases “Ivy League” and
“elite colleges and universities,” respectively.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 18
20. OBJECTIVE B: TARGETING DISTINCT MARKETS
For the CPM campaigns, 8000 impressions were allocated to the Ivy League
ad, and 14,000 impressions were granted to the version targeting other
schools. Click-through rates averaged 0.06% in both cases.
Both CPC campaigns, however, had over one million impressions each, with
the Ivy League ads achieving a 0.15% click-through rate and other school
ads registering 0.10%. One Day, One Job believes the Ivy League ads
performed better because the copy was more targeted. It also suspects that
its CPC ads performed better than CPM due to better placement.
Subsequently, the company has found that Facebook referrals tend to be
more engaged Web site users who visit more pages and stay on the One
Day, One Job Web site twice as long as the average user.
In a separate experiment, One Day, One Job worked with its job-seeking
clients to conduct Facebook ad campaigns targeting potential employers.
Facebook is one of the few places where people can be targeted based on
place of employment. The company used this capability to help five jobseek-
ers advertise their skills to individuals associated with choice organizations.
Jobseekers created the ad copy themselves and included a personal photo,
then linked the ad to an online resume, such as a profile listed on LinkedIn or
One candidate’s ad targeted the Walt Disney Company and received 685
clicks. It resulted in 21 emails, 4 Facebook messages, and a job interview
at the company. Several respondents offered advice for finding a job with
Disney and/or offered to forward the candidate’s resume to their supervisors.
Another candidate first targeted individuals from Accenture, Anheuser-Busch,
Facebook, Ford Motor Company, T-Mobile, Wal-Mart, AT&T, Sprint, Miller
Brewing, Monsanto, The Walt Disney Company, Nestle, ESPN, St. Louis
Blues Hockey, and Fox Sports with a more creative stance that read “Knock,
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 19
21. OBJECTIVE B: TARGETING DISTINCT MARKETS
knock. Opportunity knocks only once. I’m knocking. Click to see my resume.”
The ad was viewed 50,992 times and clicked 117 times, but resulted in no
leads. In a second attempt, the candidate specifically targeted Sprint with
copy that included: “My dream is to work for Sprint. Can you help?” Due to a
smaller target pool, the ad was only viewed 2588 times but received 32 clicks
and resulted in five email contacts from current and former Sprint employees.
Overall, the click-through rates achieved by the jobseeker ads were 10 to 20
times higher than One Day, One Job received in its own ad campaigns. The
most successful jobseeker ads targeted a single company with very specific
copy that mentioned the company name, whereas ads targeting multiple
organizations by location were less effective, drawing inapplicable clicks that
lowered the return on investment.
One Day, One Job’s next step will be to use this insight to improve its own
campaigns and target specific universities, rather than taking the more
generic “Ivy League” and “elite colleges and universities” approach.
Storquest: Generating high-quality leads with well-targeted ads
Storquest, a self-storage company with locations in many college towns, also
found success using Facebook ads with highly targeted messaging. In this
case, Storquest wanted to reach students from 21 colleges who might be re-
turning home for the summer and in need of a place to stow their belongings.
The Facebook Ad platform enabled Storquest to target users within a certain
age range who were attending those specific colleges. Ad messaging was
directed to each campus individually and mentioned each school by name.
This ability to drill down to precise demographic information and clearly tailor
each ad to its intended location translated into fantastic returns for the com-
pany. And because campaign results were measurable in real time, Storquest
was also able to optimize its ads throughout the campaign and reallocate
resources to those with the best performance ratios.
As a result, the company rented to more college students than ever before,
and total rentals for year-over-year same-store sales in college area locations
increased more than 50%. The ads achieved a 10% visit-to-lead conversion
rate and averaged $1.25 cost per click. Based on these figures, a highly
qualified lead cost Storquest $10.25, designating Facebook ads one of its
better performing online advertising sources.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 20
22. OBJECTIVE C: TEST MARKETING
Facebook’s user volume and inexpensive marketing options can also set the stage for cost
effective pilot programs such as those aimed at trialing a new entry market or assessing public
interest for a new service or product idea. This next study shows how one company was able
to demonstrate demand for an untried Web venture through the use of targeted Facebook ads.
Cook’s Compass: Building blocks for a successful proof-of-concept
Cook’s Compass, a local community review site for cooking enthusiasts, was
still in the pre-funding stage and looking to accomplish an effective proof-of-
concept in the Boston market, its first roll-out city. Pandemic Labs, a Weston,
MA-based viral and social media agency, was hired to build traffic for the beta
site via social media.
Pandemic Labs chose to engage in Facebook ads since its goal was to
acquire site users and content providers specifically from the metro Boston
area, and Facebook Ads’ targeting capability made this possible on a limited
The agency drilled down into first level demographics such as location,
interests and age to find small groups of perfectly targeted consumers, each
consisting of around 10,000 users. Each group was exposed to a unique set
of ads, and A/B testing was performed to evolve the ads and ensure each
group consistently saw the best performing promotions. If the agency wit-
nessed a drop off in click-through rates or conversions for one of the groups,
it would temporarily suspend ad buys targeting that group and rotate them
back in a month later.
Campaign success metrics were based on overall click-through rates as well
as new-user registrations and user submissions on the Cook’s Compass
site. Click-through rates ranged between .05% and .08%, and traffic from
Facebook converted at a rate of 1.19%. 57% of the site’s new-user registra-
tions were initiated during this campaign, which ended recently, and the site
was getting nearly three times as many signups when the campaign was
running than it does now, post-promotion.
Note: Pandemic Labs also set-up a Facebook page for Cook’s Compass,
but with limited expectations since the goal was to generate more immediate
interest. As anticipated, the page did not contribute much to this campaign;
however, it continues to build a community of fans which the company may
be able to leverage in future campaigns.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 21
23. OBJECTIVE D: FORGING RELATIONSHIPS WITH AND
We’ve covered a few examples of companies such as 123Greetings, Travel Channel, IndiePix
and Cook’s Compass who are building community in support of larger objectives or for future
use. Other organizations, however, are making this their prime focus, basking in the ability to
form sociable relations with customers at a level rarely seen since the days of small town Main
Take, for example, Freshbooks, an online invoicing and time tracking service, which uses
social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with clients in more comfort-
able surroundings and to associate with them as friends, even going so far as to send flowers
to those having a bad day and making donations toward personal walks for charity.
Next, we present two examples of organizations that are leveraging Facebook—and the excite-
ment and loyalty that some Facebook users are showing toward various brands and causes
as a means of expressing themselves—in an attempt to establish community bonds between
themselves and these users, as well as among the users themselves.
Cisco: Making “cool” connections
Like Freshbooks, Cisco wanted to expand its presence within social media
and decided to try Facebook in a campaign setting, as part of a three-month
promotion leading up to the launch event for its new Aggregation Service
Router ASR 1000 product series.
Cisco saw Facebook as a means for conveying the “cool factor” and showing
off the company’s fun side, but also as a place to amass a community of peo-
ple passionate about Cisco products. With this in mind, it started the “Cisco
Support Group for Uber User Internet Addicts” group, which introduced users
to other campaign components, such as the company’s YouTube and Twitter
profiles, as well as each other.
Group moderators utilized the Facebook Events tool to promote events
and contests connected with the campaign and product launch. They also
posted questions to initiate group discussions, held user polls and giveaways
through the discussion board, uploaded photos and videos and encouraged
members to do the same.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 22
24. OBJECTIVE D: FORGING RELATIONSHIPS WITH AND AMONG CUSTOMERS
The company further leveraged third party application software to host a
member quiz titled “What Kind of Uber User Are You?” Quiz results prompted
users to invite friends and to visit the Uber User Group, where they were
encouraged to share and discuss their results.
Early adoption for the “Cisco Support Group for Uber User Internet Addicts”
group was primarily among Cisco employees; however, it did not take long for
the network’s viral propensity to kick in. Group membership began to skew
towards customers approximately three weeks after launch and has since
exceeded 1000 members.
While the company is pleased with this volume, it had also hoped to achieve
more active engagement among members on the group page. It seems that
members may be more interested in expressing their connection to the Cisco
brand and/or the new router product than directly interacting with company
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 23
25. OBJECTIVE D: FORGING RELATIONSHIPS WITH AND AMONG CUSTOMERS
representatives and fans. Cisco noted similar behavior on other high-tech
focused Facebook groups, but also indicated that the lack of context sur-
rounding the promotion of an unreleased product may have been a contribut-
Nonetheless, this trial has given Cisco confidence in using Facebook within a
campaign setting, a tactic it plans to leverage again in future promotions. And
the Uber User Group continues to be used as a community base as well as a
channel for ongoing direct communications.
Cirque du Soleil: Constructing centralized and product-specific
Cirque du Soleil was also set on building community. The performance
company considers itself lucky to have a large, global base of dedicated
and enthusiastic fans and wanted a better way to directly communicate with
these individuals on a personal level. It chose to focus its efforts on Facebook
because of the network’s worldwide popularity.
Early in 2008, a general Cirque du Soleil page was set up, followed by sepa-
rate pages for each of its seven resident shows, including the six stationed in
Las Vegas, thus enabling fans to show their affinity for their favorite shows,
as well as the overall brand.
Each page features exclusive content such as backstage photos and videos,
interaction with performers and show updates. Page applications have been
added so that fans can upload their own photos and videos and write show
reviews. Discussion board posts have also been used to stimulate user inter-
action and to promote the company’s “Get Cirqued” Facebook application.
The “Get Cirqued” application was added as another vehicle to reach core
fans and gain new fans. It is freestanding and can be accessed without visit-
ing the Cirque du Soleil pages. Utilizing a quiz format, the application helps
users determine which of its six Las Vegas shows best match their mood.
The application box, which users can add to their profiles, is large and color-
ful and encourages further adoption with messaging that reads “What kind of
Cirque mood are you in? Find out now!”
CIRQUE du SOLEIL App Widget Box
Early in the campaign, targeted social ads were run to inform users of Cirque
du Soleil’s presence on the network.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 24
26. OBJECTIVE D: FORGING RELATIONSHIPS WITH AND AMONG CUSTOMERS
Number of fans and user feedback received have been the primary measure-
ments of campaign success to date. Currently, the main Cirque du Soleil
page has over 23,000 fans from around the world, 187 user reviews, over
420 Wall posts and over 400 fan-posted photos.
The individual show pages range from 775 to almost 3,000 fans and appear
to have attracted more users than the “Get Cirqued” application which has 55
fans and 175 monthly active users. Pages for the Love, O, and Criss Angel
Believe shows have been particularly successful in engendering fan engage-
ment in the form of Wall posts, photos, and reviews, and on all pages, user
comments and reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
In the future, Cirque du Soleil plans to develop Facebook-specific promotions
leveraging each show’s fan base.
IT’S YOUR TURN ...
12 companies, 12 strategies, and a view into how you might include the
growing social media phenomenon into your marketing mix. And when
you do, let us know how it goes by emailing your story to CaseStudies@
MarketingProfs.com. Your ingenuity could make it into our next edition.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 25
27. ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Kimberly Smith is a staff writer and marketing professional with more than ten years of
experience in the field. She joined the MarketingProfs team in 2007 after having been a fan
of the site since its launch. In addition to the weekly Case Study article in our newsletter
MarketingProfs Today, her canon of works comprises marketing and advertising collateral for a
sundry of small- to medium-sized businesses and write-ups for select publications such as The
Robb Report Collection.
Jason Alba is the career management evangelist. He got laid off in January 2006 (and still
hasn’t quite gotten over it). Even though he had great credentials and it was a job-seeker’s
market, Jason could hardly get a job interview. Finally he decided to step back and figure out
the job search process and try to understand all of the available resources.
Within a few months he had designed a personal job search tool, JibberJobber.com, which
helps professionals manage career and job search activities the same way a salesman man-
ages prospects and customer data. JibberJobber has been recognized as the gold standard in
career technology, and has had numerous media mentions.
Jason blogs at www.JibberJobber.com/blog, authored “I’m on LinkedIn—Now What???” and is
the co-author of “I’m on Facebook—Now What???”
MarketingProfs is a rich and trusted resource that offers actionable know-how to help you mar-
ket your products and services both smarter and better. Entrepreneurs, small-business owners
and marketers in the world’s largest corporations make up its 322,000 subscribers, making it
the largest in its category. Through the MarketingProfs Web site, newsletters, conferences,
seminars, forums and so on … we help you navigate the way to market your business and
keep you informed of the newest and best tools. Think of us as a beacon of light illuminating
the path through the clutter.
©2008 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FACEBOOK SUCCESS STORIES 26