Facebook marketing case study
Posted by laracaine
Since the smoking ban was rolled out across the US, UK, and much of Europe, the face of smoking has changed inexorably. On the one hand, science tells us that the act of inhaling a paper tube of tobacco leaf, tar, polonium-210, arsenic, formaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide is a very unhealthy thing to do. On the other hand, careful marketing and generations of film stars and celebrities have reinforced the message that there is something undeniably cool about lighting up and exhaling a few seductive tendrils of bluish smoke. It is not surprising, therefore, that those with an aesthetic attraction to the art of smoking have responded to the smoking ban in force. The result is Vaping, and it has taken social media marketing by storm.
Vaping is a simple concept. Users buy bottles of liquid nicotine and an assortment of paraphernalia that can be anything as simple as a ready-made pipe to a complex array of wicks and coils that can be self-constructed into a vaporising device. The pipes themselves come in an array of styles, from handcrafted wood to found objects to elaborate steampunk inspired designs. The real money, however, is in the different flavours, which are known as juice. In the US these can sell for up to $30 a pop despite costing virtually nothing to produce, and the trend is spreading to the UK. The sheer variety of possible flavours is what makes this so attractive for Facebook as a marketing platform. For instance, UK based company Vape-It has a weekly ‘Free Friday Flavour’ for everyone who ‘likes’ its page (for example Peach Lemonade). Rewarding people for visiting Facebook sites with free gifts or prizes has proven to be a great way to find and keep followers, and the idea of a small, local, off-the-radar company accessible by a Facebook page has huge marketing appeal.
The small company Vape-It uses Facebook to update followers about changes to their main website, to provide links to new products, and also for their own market research purposes. For instance, just like larger companies like Marmite smaller companies can use the tactic of opening up social media debates into the best flavours, the best ways of using a product, packaging preferences, and gaps in the market. This activity, which is incredibly low cost, allows fledgling companies to interact closely with their target audience whilst learning a considerable amount about their market’s preferences.
In this way a small company or new brand is able to have comparatively high levels of marketing visibility whilst directly gaining from the audience exchange.