With all the hype about Facebook in the media these days, some people may be inclined to dismiss it as the flavour of the month. That would be a mistake.
I think we, as marketers and consumers, have barely scratched the surface of what Facebook is capable of. Here's just one example of another Facebook marketing experiment I conducted a few weeks ago.
My friend Jane was trying to rent her beautiful coach house in Toronto's Cabbagetown district. She placed an ad on Craigslist and sent around an email message to her friends, but she didn't get too many nibbles.
So I offered to help. Using Facebook's status line feature (which tells your friends what you are up to), I told my network of Facebook friends, "Bill is looking for someone to rent a friend's Cabbagetown coach house." I did this for about a week, and I updated the status line several times during the course of the week.
I was pleasantly surprised to receive five different inquiries from friends who were interested in the coach house. That may not sound like a big number, but when you consider the fact I 'only' had about 250 Facebook friends at the time, that's a 2 percent response rate. How many Internet marketing campaigns these days do you know that get a 2 percent response rate? Not to mention the fact the cost was zero.
Now I'm not for one second suggesting you run out and start pitching products and services using your Facebook status line. In fact, I am discouraging that.
What I am suggesting is that you think about the fact that thanks to Facebook, my little experiment found five additional potential coach house renters for my friend that she otherwise would never have known about. In less than a week. For free.
And that, dear reader, is why Facebook's potential is huge.
Update: July 23, 2007
The coach house has now been rented.
Domain name expert Bill Sweetman is the President & Lead Ninja of Name Ninja, a boutique domain name consulting firm that helps companies acquire, manage, protect, and profit from their domain names. Bill has provided strategic domain name advice to major companies around the world for over 20 years.
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Although I've had a myspace account for years now, I've definitely been holding out on Facebook. It seems to be catching on nicely these days.. I'll have to give it a try!
Posted by: Terra Andersen | July 31, 2007 at 11:12 AM
You inspired me to write about Facebook in my blog....something I'd been thinking about all week.
I agree the potential is huge....and its power incredible!
Posted by: Emma Warrillow | August 1, 2007 at 03:26 PM
www.Kijiji.ca actually receives a lot more traffic in Canada then Craigslist. You might want to recommend that in the future as well. Great point on FaceBook though. Have you seen the FBexchange widget yet?
Posted by: Paul J | August 2, 2007 at 03:41 PM