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How to be clever on Facebook

By: Jennifer Miller, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 27 Aug 2010

For the most part, coporate/museum Facebook pages are pretty much the same: conversations among visitors or inserted opinons. However, there are those out there that are coming up with clever ways of engaging with their audience, you just have to do a lot of sifting. How could we apply these ideas to our Birds of Paradise exhibition currently in development?

For the most part, Facebook appears to be much of the same through standard conversations, opinions, wall posts and the like, but having a look around, I’ve noticed a few websites that use some very unique and fun ways to create conversation and engagement with their audiences/customers. Some of the most unique Facebook pages that I’ve come across included, of all places, Victoria's Secret. Below are some of the Facebook pages that stood out to me as rather clever and that we could learn from for Birds of Paradise.

Victoria’s Secret All Access iPhone app Barcode Scanner:

This is an i-phone app. that gives the user the ability to scan a barcode. Once you scan the barcode, the user now has access to “secret” knowledge. For Victoria's Secret, this secret information was women in underwear. But for Birds of the Paradise, I can see it used for getting song or dances for specific birds or behind the scenes tid-bit-videos. As it turns out, this isn’t exactly new, but I like the idea of how it can be applied.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 20 Questions on Facebook:

SFMOMA has several features that I found to be both clever and effective. One of their Facebook pages used several interactive methods to create dialogue while promoting their events by using the simple game of 20 questions. I’ve read a few of these games and the dialogue between the Museum and audience and between audience and audience was really fun. The Museum would select a piece of art and the game would start- the winner, in one game, would win a signed book from a guest lecture who would be speaking at the Museum. The winner had to arrive the day of the event to pick it up. Often, the conversation would continue after the game had already been won.
 

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Cross-face puzzle:

The Face crossword puzzle is a new one I’ve seen that puts a fun spin on the traditional crossword puzzle. Rather than the traditional squares, they had the faces of artists and you would fill in the name of the artist. This created a fun dialogue between people who were stuck to those who laughed that they didn’t know any of them. SFMOMA also uses “Pic of the Day,” which is, I believe, a randomly selected photo and a conversation is thus begun, but I don’t see this used quite as often as the 20 questions.
 

20% off SFMOMA Museum Store for Facebookers

New feature at SFMOMA and looks to be a promotional experiment, by inserting the word 'FACEBOOK' in their promotion code (online store), you received 20% off your purchase. This was only available for one day, but a good example on how to use Facebook to engage that specific audience.
 

University of Pennsylvania's Guess Where...:

The University of Pennsylvania uses this ‘game’ to create dialogue, have some fun, and even show the unusual or lesser known areas around campus. They will take a photo somewhere on campus and everyone is to guess where it’s from. There is some conversation among the students. Most of the conversations happen in one day, so these are quick things. But you certainly get to know about some of the campus.

Red Bull's What’s your favorite way…

One of the most populated comment boards I’ve seen was from Red Bull with over 4,000 comments. The question was simply: “What’s your favourite way to drink Red Bull on a Saturday night?” (dated August 7). Very simple question towards the audience, which is good.

Red Bull's Stratos.

This is an interesting way to use comercial marketing using Facebook. Talking with Lynda, it looks like they've embedded their website into Facebook. I am just blown away at this usage and how they appear to take the some 8 million 'likes' as a serious audience that extends beyond the opinions and jokes.

Coca-Cola on Facebook

Coca-Cola has so many applications going on, that it’s difficult to keep track, yet, from what I can see, they are not heavily populated (despite the 10 million ‘likes’). This might be due to the tabs going down into a pull down menu. I would argue that if you don’t have all your tabs up, ask if you really need them, I’ve noticed that there is a significant decline in popularity with tabs that fall into the drop-down menu. Not to say that some of their ideas aren’t bad. A simple application of sending someone a card as a nice “pick-me-up" is Ahhh Giver. Rumble Bug is a game to fly the bugs through all five levels. By becoming a fan of Coca-Cola, visitors have access to Fan Downloads such as screensavers, wallpaper, and emoticons. I have seen a tab (which appears to have been taken off), where you can download an Ocean image or rather, cartoon that you can insert your face and use this as your profile picture. This was to bring awareness to Ocean conservation, but appears to have been a temporary thing.

What are some common elements?

Of the relatively popular sites, there are a couple of common methods used to create dialogue and audience pnarticipation.

Logo Submissions:
Audience will take a picture of your logo on trips they’ve taken, unusual locations or their own set ups. These can be found on both Starbucks and Coca-Cola, where their logos are very distinctive and very well known. These applications can be found in their photo or video albums (Coca-Cola has also a tab for it). SFMOMA has their own tab for “stickers,” but it’s the same thing

Video Inserts:
I’ve noticed a very handy application is to insert videos into the Wall text itself, rather than the side under the video section. As a user myself, I tend to click on those because they’re right in front of me. I don’t have to browse or go search for them. These can be found on all types of sites including Coca-Cola; SFMOMA and Google for example.

About Jennifer

2 comments

Lynda Kelly - 5.12 PM, 01 December 2011

here;s another set of facebook successes: 5 Brands That Are Surprisingly Successful on Facebook.

Lynda Kelly - 4.10 PM, 07 October 2010

Here's a really interesting Facebook project: Kate's Month at the Museum. According to the page Kate is "... spending 30 days living inside the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Here's what it is like."

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