Manas Kumar, Thinking out Loud

my thoughts & visions for technology

How to use Facebook for Viral Marketing

with 2 comments

There are many ways to do that, however, in this post, I am going to specifically talk about 1 way you can build your database using nothing but Facebook.

Facebook has something called Facebook Connect – It’s a tool available only to advanced programmers who know how to manipulate the Facebook programming architecture to connect to it’s database and pull some specific information and use it in several ways.

Now this is not hacking. Facebook has an API (Application Programming Interface, a bridge used to connect two or more disassociated applications) that allows developers to tap into it’s database and access certain information. Facebook preserves your privacy and does not share your email address with anyone. So you have nothing to worry about.

So here’s a simple but effective recipe to virally grow your database through Facebook using the Facebook connect API.

Ingredients required

  • A website with a contact form of some sort that your customers fill out (like a registration form or a newsletter subscription form)
  • An intelligent web developer
  • A Facebook account
  • Access to the Facebook Connect API

The process

Place a well designed button on your website in a prominent location inviting website visitors to sign-up using the sign-up form. As soon as your website visitors sign up and you capture their information, redirect them to a page where you encourage them to invite their Facebook friends to sign up as well.

At this point they will be asked to provide their Facebook login details using which their entire friends list is going to be displayed on the next page.

On the next page, a list of all friends is displayed with check boxes beneath each name. Your website visitor can then select/deselect the friends they wish to send an invitation to.

Once you have made your selection, you are redirected to the next step where your website visitors can enter a short intro to this invitation. The rest of the invitation is based on whatever you want to say and is hidden from public view.

As soon as your website visitors hit the “Send” button, an invitation is sent to all their friends in Facebook (which Facebook emails to their mailboxes too).

Consider the following content of an invitation:


Dear Robin Hood,

Prince Albert has sent you a notification.

(Notification starts)

Hey Robin, check out this site. It’s pretty cool. (This is what Prince Albert typed in the last step above)

Robin, we are a new fitness equipment hire company that can offer you the latest and greatest fitness gear 50% cheaper than any other retailer in town. If you click on the link below and sign-up for our Fitness Insights newsletter, we will enter you in a draw to win a 2 for 1 movie pass. We give away 10 of these each day so your chances are pretty hot.


Now if Robin goes ahead to sign up on the above link, you have captured his info and you will ask Robin to do exactly what you asked Prince Albert to do – Invite his friends to sign-up as well. Welcome to the world of viral marketing.

Apply this and see how your database expands virally.

However, you must have good content to share with your newly signed up subscribers. If not, your list will start shrinking just as fast as it grew. Whatever you do, do it with purpose and integrity.

As a result of my sharing this, I can guarantee, at least 200 semi-intelligent web developers and internet consultants will get a revelation and tell all their customers how they can do exactly what I have described above.

PS: The world is full of followers and copy cats…but I shared this first. Why? Cause you (my readers) are worth it.

PPS: If your web developers have no clue of how to integrate things with Facebook, then you need to checkout this link below.


Written by manaskumar

August 2, 2009 at 4:46 am

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] In the early days of your exposure to social media you may come across suggested strategies that may raise a few eyebrows. I suggest you hear every suggestion with an open mind and make a judgment based on tips 1, 2 and 3. One such strategy that I have found extremly powerful is using Facebook to virally grow your email marketing database. […]

  2. Really fantastic post. Theoretically I could write something like this too, but taking the time and effort to make a good article is a lot of effort…but what can I say….I’m a procrastinater. Good read though.

    Marshall Geyser

    February 26, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: