Everything you need to know to make the most of the new Facebook “Like” Button

You may have noticed a new Facebook ‘Like’ button popping up on many sites (e.g. CNN, ABC, Fandango, etc.) across the web, but what does this actually mean for your business? We’ve broken this new feature (the so-called Facebook “Open Graph”) down to it’s essentials so you can understand exactly what it means for your company and how to make the most of it in your marketing strategy.

In case you haven’t come across the new Facebook ‘Like’ buttons, see the example below. Any company can now display these Facebook ‘Like’ buttons on their website; read on to find out what they mean for you and how you can implement them.

Fact # 1: The ‘Like’ button enables you to build your Facebook fans

When someone clicks the ‘Like’ button on a website they essentially become a ‘Fan’ of that website. What this means is that the owner of this website can publish Facebook status updates to these consumers just as they currently do to fans of their Facebook Fan Page. So adding the ‘Like’ button to your website is a great way to convert your existing users into ‘Fans’ and to build an audience that you can regularly communicate with via Facebook status updates.

Fact # 2: The ‘Like’ button spreads the word about your website to friends of your website visitors

When someone clicks the ‘Like’ button a newfeed story is generated on Facebook. So if a visitor to your website clicks the ‘Like’ button and they have 250 Facebook friends, up to 250 people might be exposed to a message about this website visitor liking your company website. This is a very powerful way for you to utilize your website visitors to spread the word about your business to their friends.

Fact # 3: Clicking the ‘Like’ button adds your site to Facebook user profiles

When someone clicks the ‘Like’ button on your website, not only does a newsfeed get generated but a link also gets added to the ‘interests’ section of the person’s Facebook profile. So, for example, if I visit RottenTomatoes.com and click the ‘Like’ button on the Godfather movie page, the Godfather movie will automatically be listed among my favorite movies on Facebook. The interest topics on Facebook include: Interests, Music, Movies, Television, but even if your website doesn’t fit neatly into these categories it’ll still be listed under other ‘Likes’ and interests. This means that anyone visting the profile of a person who ‘liked’ your website can discover your business and click directly through to your website. This is an entirely new way for your business to get discovered.

Fact # 4: Users can ‘Like’ sub-topics on your website
You don’t just have to put one generic ‘Like’ button on your website; instead you can create ‘Like’ buttons for different sections or topics on your website. For example, if you own a travel website you could put a ‘Like’ button on your homepage for people to become ‘Fans’ of your website but you could also put a ‘Like’ button on each of the pages for your specific tours so people could ‘Like’ your Mexican Surfing Tour or your France Biking Tour. This enables you to have several very specific groups of fans that you can push highly targeted status updates to, such as all people who are fans of your surf tours or all people who are fans of your biking tours.

Fact # 5: In addition to the ‘Like’ button you can add a ‘Like’ activity widget

In addition to the ‘Like’ button Facebook makes it easy for you to add a like ‘box’ to your website which displays a live stream of all people who have ‘Liked’ or shared (“recommended”) on your website. For websites that get a lot of engagement, this is a great way to provide a ‘window’ into the activities of your various users. If you’re a smaller website with limited traffic keep in mind that the content in the ‘Like’ box is not likely to change very regularly so it may get a little ‘stale’.

Fact # 6: It’s easy to install the ‘Like’ button & other Facebook widgets on your site
Adding the ‘like’ button and other Facebook widgets is easy – it’s simply a matter of pasting a line of code onto your website. If you’re not able to do this yourself, your webmaster will be able to do it in a matter of minutes. Here’s instructions for how to do this: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like

Fact # 7: You still need to encourage people to ‘Like’ your brand
While the Facebook ‘Like’ button provides a great opportunity for you to get the word out about your business and to grow your ‘fan’ base it’s important to remember that unless you have a website with massive traffic and a super popular brand it won’t be enough for you to simply put a ‘Like’ button on your site. This will certainly help and is something that you should take the time to do, but you’ll still need to be proactive in encouraging people to ‘Like’ your brand. This, of course, is where Wildfire specializes – running contests, giveaways, and other Wildfire campaigns are some of the most powerful ways to grow your audience of ‘Fans/Likers’ and our platform makes it dead easy to run a promotion both on your Facebook Fan Page and on your website simultaneously.

Wildfire Case Study Library is Live!

Here at Wildfire, we love to share with you our tips for running successful promotions and recommend best practices that we have found that worked well for some of our clients in the past. In line with this effort to communicate some great ways to consider adding social media marketing promotions into your marketing strategies, we have created a new case study library on our website!

In the library, you can find a collection of case studies separated by industry vertical. The cases we chose for this initial batch are a mix of varied pricing plans, industries, promotion types, and calls to action. They have one thing in common, however– they all succeeded in achieving the varied internal goals that were set, by running promotions that were intriguing to their users. For example, in the library under the Retail vertical, you will find the story of what online clothing retailer HauteLook did with a Wildfire coupon promotion that yielded a 250% ROI on the cost of the campaign. Also, under Food and Beverage, you can read about the Edible Arrangements giveaway promotion that resulted in a double digit percentage increase in sales from the year prior.

We will be growing and adding to the library constantly, so check back from time to time. We also welcome case study suggestions– did you have a great experience running a promotion with Wildfire?  Send us an email with some details about your success story and we might make it a case study of its own, displayed on our website and featured to our audience of 50,000+ newsletter subscribers! We look forward to reading your submissions.

Digitial Surgeons & Edible Arrangements use Wildfire to grow 100K+ Fans in 4 days!

We are always excited to share specific case studies with you, where we can display the great campaigns that our platform has powered over time. Today’s example was the product of the creative approach of a digital media agency to a goal set by their client, Edible Arrangements.

Edible Arrangements’ goal was to drive awareness around their chocolate dipped fruit offerings. To accomplish this goal, the approach was twofold. Edible Arrangements aimed to expand the social footprint around it’s brand by building the Facebook Fan base and consumer engagement as well as driving interest and sales for the holiday season. The end result of the 30-day campaign was impressive – 170,000 news fans for Edible Arrangements and a double-digit increase in sales relative to the same period last year!

To create a vision for the ultimate promotion which would run on Facebook, Edible Arrangements hired Digital Surgeons, a  digital media marketing agency. Digital Surgeons having had success with previous promotions they ran for clients using the Wildfire Promotion Builder platform, had their creative strategy department develop a really fun, compelling giveaway. They set up a campaign where Facebook users who signed up to become fans of Edible Arrangements received a voucher for 6 chocolate covered strawberries, free.

This approach, of giving away a highly valued product for free, proved to be extremely successful! Edible Arrangements saw their fan page grow from 5,000 fans to over 100,000 fans (which was their goal) in just 4 days! By the end of the 30 day campaign, the fan page had gathered 170,000 fans. And it doesn’t stop there– according to Steve Thomas, the VP of Marketing for Edible Arrangements, they saw a double digit percentage increase in sales from the year prior and the promotion exposed the brand to loads of new customers.

Digital Surgeons promoted the campaign heavily during it’s run on Facebook, reaching out with Direct Word of Mouth to bloggers, Twitter, Facebook messaging and wall feeds, and emailing the existing customer base that had previously opted in for special offers and news from the brand. Edible Arrangements and Digital Surgeons were both excited over the attention their campaign garnered on Facebook. This mix of ingredients– the high value giveaway, the great visual design, the interaction with fans, and the great marketing outreach–are all elements of a promising campaign. And we most certainly love being the platform that powers these campaigns, so keep ’em coming!

Wildfire receives $4.04M in Series A funding!!!

Hey everyone! We’re very excited to announce that we’ve received $4.04M in Series A funding from Summit Partners and a group of angel investors including Jeff Clavier, Aydin Senkut and Gary Vaynerchuk. For more information about the deal please read the press release below:

Wildfire Interactive Receives Growth Equity Investment from Summit Partners
Minority investment in industry-leading social media marketing company to fund continued growth
April 26, 2010
PALO ALTO, CA—Wildfire Interactive, Inc. (www.wildfireapp.com), a leading provider of social media marketing software, announced today that it has received a minority investment led by growth equity investor Summit Partners and joined by a group of angel investors including Jeff Clavier, Aydin Senkut and Gary Vaynerchuk.The investment will be used to fund Wildfire’s organic growth initiatives and continued development of the company’s social media marketing platform.
Founded in 2008, Wildfire offers a dynamic, self-service marketing platform that enables organizations to engage users and build followings on social networks and company websites. The software allows corporations, small businesses, marketing agencies, bloggers and non-profits to create their own branded social media marketing campaigns—such as sweepstakes, user-generated contests, quizzes, coupons and incentive-based surveys—and publish them simultaneously on their website and various social networks. The company currently serves thousands of customers, including Pepsi, Facebook, Sony, AT&T, Unilever, Yahoo!, Electronic Arts, LiveNation, Edelman Digital, Victoria Secret and Subway, and has powered tens of thousands of social media marketing campaigns. Wildfire is growing rapidly, and after a small investment by the fbFund in 2009, achieved profitability early on in its life.
Victoria Ransom, Cofounder and CEO of Wildfire, said, “Wildfire is a privately financed company that reached profitability just a few months after inception, so the decision to raise outside capital was an important strategic move for us. Teaming up with Summit Partners will provide our company with additional support as we rapidly expand our product offering and enhance our already valuable service to customers.” Alain Chuard, Cofounder and Head of Product Management, added, “We’re very excited to add Summit Partners to our roster of world-class investors, which also includes the fbFund. Without Facebook, we would not be where we are today. With access to Summit’s strategic guidance, global network of contacts and long history of partnering with growing software companies, we look forward to taking our company to the next level.”
“At Summit Partners, we’ve been making growth equity investments in software companies for more than 25 years. We are seeing large-scale, increasing demand for social media marketing solutions, and Wildfire is ideally positioned to become a market leader,” said Harrison Miller, a Managing Director with Summit Partners who will join the Wildfire Board of Directors. “We have been extremely impressed by Wildfire’s track record, exceptional management team and list of marquee customers. We look forward to working with this terrific organization to achieve even greater success.”
About Wildfire Interactive, Inc.
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Wildfire Interactive, Inc. (www.wildfireapp.com) is a technology company that’s dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes leverage the marketing power of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Wildfire’s patent-pending technology platform allows corporations, small businesses, agencies, bloggers and non-profits to easily create their own attractive, branded social media marketing campaigns—for example, sweepstakes, contests, coupons, giveaways, quizzes, and virtual gift campaigns—and publish them simultaneously on Facebook fan pages, on company websites (integrated with Facebook Connect) and on Twitter. Intuitive, streamlined and affordable, Wildfire’s platform is simple enough for even the least tech-savvy business manager to use, and flexible enough to suit the needs of the most creative marketer or advertising agency. Wildfire is a two-time winner of the Facebook Fund and was runner-up in the TechCrunch Crunchies Awards in 2010.
About Summit Partners
Summit Partners (www.summitpartners.com) is a growth equity investor that provides private equity and venture capital to rapidly growing companies. Founded in 1984, Summit has raised more than $11 billion in capital and has provided growth equity, recapitalization and management buyout financing to more than 300 growing companies across a range of industries and geographies. Summit Partners seeks outstanding management teams that have built their companies to market leadership. Summit’s notable software and Internet investments include AvePoint, Hyperion Software, Jamba!, McAfee, Postini, RightNow Technologies, NetWitness, SafeBoot, Tiny Prints, and Vente-Privee.com.
In the United States of America, Summit Partners operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by Summit Partners Limited, a firm authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Summit Partners Limited is a limited company registered in England and Wales with company number 4141197, and its registered office is at 20–22 Bedford Row, London, WC1R 4JS, UK. This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Summit Partners’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.

Wildfire Powers the Selection of a Miss USA “Contestant”!

The Wildfire platform has powered several funky, cool social media promotions in the past, from campaigns for Lady Gaga to hot sauces, video games, and presidential visits. But this is the first time we’ve played a part in the selection of a Miss USA “contestant“!

The Miss USA pageant is currently using the Wildfire Promotion Builder platform to power a contest they’re running on Facebook, calling for the selection of the 52nd “contestant” for the 2010 Miss USA Pageant, which occurs on May 16th! Entrants must submit a photo with a 250 word essay detailing why they believe they are worthy of becoming the 52nd “contestant”. One winner will get exclusive behind-the-scenes access to see what really happens as the ladies prepare to compete for the crown with a 4 day/ 3 night trip to Las Vegas, which includes roundtrip airfare, lodging and transportation as well as VIP tickets to the telecast and after party. The winner of the contest will not compete in the telecast, but will get a once in a lifetime pageant experience.

Possibly the coolest part is that the Facebook contest is open to any and all entrants 18 years of age or older– this means guys too! He could be a Miss(ter) USA “contestant”! Not only would this be a progressive step forward in demonstrating the power of social  media in support of equality, but can you imagine a cooler sight than a single male among a gaggle of female pageant regulars? Some of our team hopes the guys get the most votes just for that!

Who knows– if this contest goes well this year, maybe next year the pageant will choose a contestant for the actual telecast with audience participation via Facebook too! ¡Viva la Revolución!

4 Tips to Nearly Double the Performance of your Facebook Ads

Looking to make your Facebook promotions more effective? Facebook advertising, thanks to its highly targeted nature, can be one of the most effective ways for you to kick-start your promotion and ensure its success. Here are simple tips (some of which we learned directly from our meetings with Facebook) for how to improve the performance of your Facebook advertising. These are simple tips, but in some cases they can help you to almost double the success of your Facebook ad campaigns!

1) Ads Targetting Friends of Fans Double Your Ad Performance!

We learned from Facebook that the often overlooked ‘advertise to friends of your fans’ feature performs significantly better in terms of brand lift than regular Facebook ads. Why? If you advertise to the friends of your fans every single person viewing your ad will see that someone they know is already a fan of your brand (for example, if my friend Sally Baker is a fan of Bob’s Burgers the message ‘Sally Baker is a fan’ will appear beneath the Bob’s Burgers Facebook ad when I view it). As has been demonstrated many times before, people respond best to personal brand and product recommendations from their friends (in fact, a recent study by Morpace Research found that approximately 68% of Facebook users said that a positive Facebook friend referral would increase their chances of purchasing a product or visiting a retailer), so if every person viewing your ad campaign sees that at least one of their friends is associated with your brand the response will be dramatically higher. Now, you might be thinking ‘I only have 100 fans – if I advertise to friends of fans I won’t reach anyone’ – but keep in mind that on average each Facebook user has 130 friends. So if you advertise to friends of your fans and you have 100 fans you will be able to reach 13,000 of their friends. If you have 10,000 fans you’ll be able to reach 1.3MM of their friends!Additionally, a recent study by research and consulting firm Morpace found that approximately 68% of Facebook users said that a positive Facebook friend referral would increase their chances of purchasing a product or visiting a retailer. That is a very convincing statistic to support the effectiveness of advertising to friends of your fans.

Advertising to friends of fans is easy. When you set up your ad campaign on Facebook just select the “Target users whose friends are connected to” option (see screenshot below as an example).

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2) Keep Users in Facebook for Best Results

While you can use a Facebook ad to point to anywhere on the web, your advertising will be dramatically more effective if you point to something within the Facebook site, like your Fan Page. Imagine yourself in the shoes of a user– you’ve come online to engage with your friends, profiles, photos and feeds and have become interested in an ad. But once you click, you’re removed from your Facebook experience and taken somewhere completely outside of it. Unless the new location you’ve come upon is especially compelling, or in some way satisfies the experience you came to Facebook to achieve, many users will immediately drop off the advertised site and return to Facebook. If, on the other hand, you point your Facebook ad to feature something within the network, the user is far more likely to engage with it. Many Facebook advertisers make the mistake of directing their ads to landing pages that have been optimized for Google AdWords, not Facebook. Even if you’d rather direct consumers outside of Facebook, keep in mind the reasons they’re in Facebook in the first place and direct them to a landing page that is consistent with the fun, social, authentic and engaging nature of Facebook.

3) Targeting “Likes & Interests” with Facebook

Facebook ads enable you to target consumers according to highly specific demographic and geographic information. But why stop at age groups, location, or gender? You can make sure that your ad only displays to people who have explicitly stated somewhere in their profile that they share a particular “like” or “interest” that aligns with your ad.

For example, in setting up this sample ad for the Chocolate Bakery not only can you target US females between the ages of 25 and 55 (the target demographic for the Chocolate Bakery), you can also target people who list the following ‘likes’ in their Facebook profile: “chocolate cake,” “fudge,” “cookies,” and “chocolate”. Facebook shows that over one million users fit this very specific set of criteria so that’s one million sets of highly targeted eyeballs to potentially reach with your ad!

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4) Brick and Mortar Business? Get Local with your Advertising!

If you have a business that is in a brick and mortar location or primarily serves customers from a certain region, you can drill down to very specific location targets with Facebook advertising. You can even get as close as a 10 mile radius of your city! Now that’s localizing.

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About

We are a group of innovative developers, designers and marketers with a passion for creating a social media marketing platform that helps companies & agencies to engage the millions of social network users. Our platform allows you to easily grow and cultivate your fans & followers.

Wildfire Interactive, Inc.
3485 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306
USA

Email: info@wildfireapp.com
Phone: +1 (888) 274-0929
Website: www.WildfireApp.com

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