On of our business goals for 2008 is to include more social marketing strategies in our direct marketing tool-kit. Therefore, we’re always looking for success stories of marketers who have figured out how to use social marketing to grow their business. We were intrigued by this case study, published in its entirety on Marketing Sherpa.
Paul Allen, CEO, World Vital Records, wanted to use social networking as the strategy to market his subscription-based genealogy research service. His team created their own social networking site, FamilyLink.com, last spring to help genealogists create family trees and connect with researchers around the world.
So how did he go about augmenting the FamilyLink network of approximately 30,000 registered users? Allen’s idea was to take advantage of Facebook’s 64 million active users. “Our own social network is growing slowly, and it’s going to be a big part of our future strategy, but Facebook is the biggest opportunity I’ve seen in 10 years on the Internet.”
The Solution and Results
When Facebook opened its platform to outside developers last year, Allen and his team moved quickly. In October, they launched a genealogy application for Facebook users called “We’re Related,” which lets people connect to their family members on the network and create family trees. To date, the application has been downloaded by 2.8 million Facebook members, and the activity within the application has doubled, making it the network’s #1 genealogy application.
Along the way, the team has been testing promotional methods, advertising strategies and lead-generation techniques to learn what role such social networking applications can play in their subscription marketing efforts. They’ve even begun developing co-branded applications with partner companies that want to offer family-related content and activities.
World Vital Records was able to augment and rapidly grow its existing social marketing strategy by incorporating a cool Facebook application. By understanding the value that Facebook brought to their business, and by getting there quickly once they opened up their platform, World Vital Records was able to launch itself into the world of social media/marketing.
Check out the full article that concludes with eight tips from Allen on how to build a successful Facebook application and monitor its revenue- and lead generation capabilities. As direct marketers, we predict that this will continue to be a big part of our future!Have a great week!