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The new york times and facebook

November 26, 2008

With many brand owners scratching their heads wondering how they can achieve success using social networks, the New York Times looks like a beacon of hope.

So proud of its success on Facebook that it issued a staff memo detailing the results of a campaign it ran the day after the election.

The Times made the smart decision to “own” the conversation of the day.

It roadblocked Facebook’s home page and reached 68.3 million individuals.

It provoked lively discussion with more than 34k comments shared and grew its fan base from 49k to 164k (the goal for year end was 100k).

In addition, Facebook users gave more than 400,000 NYT gifts to their friends.

This is great work from the marketing team at the Times. They were super-strategic in their approach; they had goals, used content as assets and understood the importance of sharing and conversing on a social network. They allowed the brand to become “the glue” that connected people together.

Most important of all was timing, they picked a historic moment when the context was perfect for the brand to be an essential part of the conversation.

So following on from this- here are some thoughts for brands thinking about working with Facebook.

1. Where is your added value?
2. What content are you giving people to share?
3. How do you work with Facebook’s established gifting and commenting structure
4. Do you have goals?
5. Do you want to recruit fans?
6. What are you going to do with and for your fans?

Posted by Ed Cotton

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