Roger McNamee is a founding partner of Elevation partners, which is one of a wide realm of prominent venture capital firms that own a slice of Facebook. McNamee isn’t just an investor in Facebook though. He’s also a client.
McNamme is the sort of quirky character that you find all too often around Silicon Valley. Slightly nerdy, hugely smart and mad keen on technology. He’s also in a band called Moonalice, and when he wanted to build greater awareness of this band, he turned to his investment.
What McNamme achieved with Facebook marketing and Moonalice is nothing short of incredible. The growth from 50,000 fans (the band have been on Facebook since 2006) to 220,000 fans is impressive enough. What impressed me more is the fact that they have more people talking about them on Facebook then they have fans – the surest of sure signs that they have super high engagement on the platform. This growth has been achieved in under a year.
During that year, McNamme has learned some valuable lessons, made some mistakes and hit some huge home runs. Its wise to approach this with some sceptism because McNamme has a vested interest – he owns part of Facebook afterall – and we have covered recently stories about the challenges that Facebook are hVing with big brand advertisers, so this could be an attempt to attract more marketing dollars. That said, we saw some value in what he had to say, so Below are his five top tips for mastering Facebook marketing:
1) Don’t be afraid to stray off the beaten track: McNamme posts up funny pictures and cute animals to drive engagement. Often its easier to get likes on non-marketing messages. The fact that your brand appears above the post is the significant part – meaning you’re still driving brand recognition.
The high engagement gathered by this type of post is the secret behind getting all of the people talking about your page. This equals social buzz and gets more fans to get involved
2) Don’t be afraid to take a few risks: this links into the advice in point one. McNamme is not afraid to skate close to the wind, figuring that sometimes a boundary pushing post can spike engagement. This may network for a big blue chip company, but for an edgy band or website, it could be golden.
To illustrate McNamee recently posted a pic of Ike Turner and Tina Turner with the caption “I like Ike.”
Forgetting that Ike abused Turner as a child, this caused a huge uproar amongst fans. For McNamme it was a mere blip – “shit happens” was his response – and he revelled in the extra engagement. He did however take the post down in the end.
3) Use Facebook advertising to push popular posts to new audiences: When a post bites, driving likes, shares and comments, McNamme is more than happy to turn on Facebook ads. He uses the ads to reach more people like his current fans. He already knows that the message is a hit with that demographic, as illustrated by the viral base that the message already has, so this is a low risk advertising strategy.
He spends up to $7,000 per month on such ads, but some months he won’t spend a penny. This strategy is a powerful one for brands that already have a solid base of fans, but it could be easily modified for those that don’t.
Smaller chunks of budget could be split amongst a number of posts. Start promoting them, wait to discover a post that bites, and then cycle up the spend on that post whilst cutting the budget to the rest.
4: Post relentlessly: Running the Moonalice page must resemble something akin to a full time job. The page updates 10-20 times every day, allowing the band to maintain plenty of touch points with fans.
This has to be allied against quality content – “spam is horseshit” – and it’s rationalised by the low percentage of fans that actually see each post. McNamme believes that 5 percent of fans see his post, although Facebook officially claims 13 percent. Either way, posting relentlessly like McNamme only really guarantees that each fan sees one or two posts per day
5) Don’t over think it: lots of companies have researched engagement rates on Facebook allied against times of the day, week, month, year and special occasions to try and find the best time to post.
For McNamme this is an overly complex approach – he prefers to shotgun out the content and let the content dictate the engagement.
6) Talk but don’t preach: For McNamme, too many brands focus on pushing out marketing messages constantly. He prefers authenticity based on real conversations. He’s also insistent that its critical to like back fans comments and to talk to them personally. It’s all about “letting them know their voice matters”
7) Finally, take an upbeat tone: For McNamme, Facebook is “supposed to be fun”. It’s not an only traditional news house where the mantra ‘there’s no news like bad news’ still rains supreme. Facebook is about sharing positive news, showing off even for many, as opposed to the more negative slant that you find on news sites.
Match your content to the mood of the platform, eliminate all whining or complaining, and share fun and engaging posts.
For McNamme and Moonalice, it really is that simple to master Facebook marketing.