Using FBML to Make Your Facebook Ad Campaign Viral

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I am always a fan of utilizing paid traffic to make a viral campaign. In the past I talked about how I used PPV and Twitter to expand my reach. This time I want to talk to you about utilizing FBML (Facebook Markup Language) to use with your affiliate campaigns. It is an easy strategy but does help with your cost as well, since the end user will help you spread the word.

In marketing it is important to tell your users what to do – buy, subscribe, etc. With Fanpages, I tell them to like the page as an incentive. Enough likes will get you more visibility. The more visibility the more users click on your campaign.

Since Halloween is over I am going to show you one of my campaigns.


Halloween is over this is a good time to show you how to utilize FBML on a campaign I recently did. This specific offer was a download offer and I did this about 2 weeks prior to Halloween. It was a simple concept that I wanted to take advantage of. The reason I got fascinated by FBML is because of some Facebook ads use the like function to get more reach as an incentive to get something in return.

If you do not know what FBML is… please read Social Media Informer on How to Install and use FBML.

First I created the Fanpage landers to tell the user what to do. Even the Fan Page main image has an arrow telling what the end user have to do to see themselves as a Vampire. I strongly believe in landing pages to help increase the quality of leads and to filter out useless clicks. Landing pages are always good to get better control and feel of your end user before sending them to the actual offer.

… anyways.

I wanted to see how this will take affect on a campaign. So I found some FBML code to incentivize the traffic to LIKE a page in order to receive something. Here is the code used:

<fb:visible-to-connection>

WHAT IS SEEN AFTER A PAGE IS LIKED

<fb:else>

<div id=”non-fans”>WHAT IS SEEN WITH NON LIKES</div>

</fb:else>

FYI: If you are an admin of a page, you will not see this function in action. You will always see the “LIKE” lander.

The landers are just images I custom made, I find it easier to use images than actual HTML. I can create the strong CTA with arrows pointing to what I want the user to do first. It just gives me more control over standard text.

So when the user likes the fan page, they see the below image. Which has another share functionality to it, a “Step 2”. Again I tell the end user what to do making sure the CTA is clear and bold. Here I tell them to share, with the share a light box feel popups and asks them to share. This share function is also customizable via FBML.

Here is the code for the FBMl share button:

<fb:share-button href=”FAN PAGE LINK HERE” />

You can also customize what popups in the Share box:

<fb:share-button>
<meta name=”medium” content=”mult”/>
<meta name=”title” content=”name of fan page”/>
<meta name=”description” content=”description of fan page”/>
<link rel=”image_src” href=”url to image location” />
<link rel=”target_url” href=”http://URL OF FANPAGE”/>
</fb:share-button>

  • meta name=”title” content=””name of fan page” – the name of your fan page
  • meta name=”description” content=”description of fan page” – the description you want to use.
  • link rel=”image_src” href=”url to image location” – if you are using an alternative image, this would be the location on your server
  • link rel=”target_url” href=”http://URL OF FANPAGE” – the url to the fan page that you are sharing

This is great because you can now control the content of the popup box and make it even more appealing for the user to share with their friends and make it more visible by simply utilizing your own image.

If you know any media buying techniques, then you should know what to do with the image. If not, I use a bright background with a darker foreground. This brings visibility to the image and more eyes to the Fan Page.

Also it lets you create a community sense by creating an interaction with the share functionality. Since you can control the text you can input anything you want. I created a copy that basically said “I just uploaded a picture of myself as a vampire”. The reason I did this is because Facebook is a social community about what their friends are doing. So I just created a curiosity copy for the share text function.

Now the only problem is most users did not use the share button but instead clicked on the image which took them to the offer download. But some did share it and increased visibility a bit more. There is no way to resize the share button and I tried to make my text bigger, but that makes the share button non-visible because of the text size taking over the button.

If there was a way to control the Share button size I can see this campaign do better. Since it is a fixed button size it is a hit or miss.

I just simply put the share button at the top and added Step 2 to help the user follow the steps needed to participate. I hope these FBML codes will help with your Facebook ad campaigns.

There are so many other FBML code to use with  your fan page such as social proof of users already liking the page, comments on the fanpage itself, etc. I have been reading up on the FBML and how I can continue to use it to my marketing benefits – even created my own script for WordPress which I will release soon.

You can actually see my FanPage and see the FBML in action, if you already have not liked me. More strategies are also listed at Infinite FB to help you with your Facebook campaigns.


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  • Thats an awesome campaign! Great post.. i was wondering though if you heard but apparently facebook won’t allow scripts that select all friends and invites them.. they limited it to only 50 or so per invite..

  • Great writeup! Its not even funny how similar our campaigns ended up being this halloween lol. I will shoot you over my upcoming post to laugh at.

  • I’ve wanted to try this but haven’t taken action. (typical)

    I didn’t see any ad spend and profit with this study? Want to share or no?

    Edit: Where is your facebook like button for your blog posts? LOL kind of ironic

  • Ian

    well this doesn’t select their friends to share. so it doesnt go against any TOS

  • While FBML is important to any marketing campaign or social media strategy, it is also important to note that Facebook is phasing out FBML and is supposed to be moving to iframes completely in January. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers and marketers write about FBML and I see people scrambling to get a page up without the knowledge that it more than likely will not work in the matter of a few short months.

  • I really like the look of that, I hope Halloween was successful for you, heaps of opportunity over Halloween, well done for taking action, so many people don’t!

  • marleena

    Ian, really really awesome post, which shows why you are one of my favorite bloggers in the CPA space.

    Just curious – how did you get this page approved by Facebook? its for a download offer which I thought that they don’t allow to be promoted on FB.

    Also, in terms of traffic – did you use Facebook ads to drive the initial traffic? If so, am even more puzzled how FB approved a download offer.

    Would be great to get additional info from you..

    M

  • I was about to ask the same questions as marleena!

    If you were using FB ads how on earth did you get this campaign approved?

    And if you weren’t using FB ads, how were you getting the initial traffic? Did you outsource a couple thousand likes?

    Thanks for the great post!