Pranks + Facebook Marketing = Glorious Results

My friends and I have started a tradition of pulling pranks on each other for special occasions over the last few years. It started with a few fun photoshopped pictures posted randomly on their Facebook page and has escalated into creating fake businesses and social media presences for them. Here are a few to note:

http://www.drdannycox.com – (A wedding prank)
http://www.ruboutthebumps.com – (A bachelor party prank which went viral via Reddit)

Fortunately, my friends are great sports about these types of jokes. Typically, they pay me back for my efforts.

Steve’s Daiquiri Palace Birthday Prank

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A few months ago, I started plotting my next prank for my friend Steve. It would be hard to top his bachelor party prank but I was looking for something creative to do. My plan was to create a fake business for him and advertise the heck out of it on his birthday (March 31th) within the city of Cleveland.

At that time of brainstorming, I was experimenting with Facebook advertising. Facebook Ads has emerged as a very cost-effective means (compared to Google Adwords and Bing Ads) to advertise on the internet.

A Facebook Ads campaign can be incredibly targeted, especially within a region. I plan on discussing this further in a future blog post. These Facebook ads were the main channel that I utilized for marketing Steve’s new (fake) business.

The plan

The plan was to create a fake business for Steve and market it to the Cleveland area on a 50-dollar budget (and my time). The fake business would be called Steve’s Daiquiri Palace and it would specialize in a variety of non-alcoholic daiquiris. He would plan to open 4 locations around the city of Cleveland, Ohio.

To help market the business, I would create the following:

  • One-page (‘90s themed) website (http://www.athristforsteve.com)
  • Facebook business page
  • A paid Facebook campaign targeting Cleveland, Ohio which marketed the website

The Marketing Creative

Website: http://www.athristforsteve.com

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Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/stevesdaiquiripalace

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Paid Facebook Ads that Ran on March 31st:

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Results:

Here are a few metrics from the campaign. While they aren’t “viral” type numbers, the impact of Facebook Ads can be seen below.

Google Analytics

Athirstforsteve.com got about 300 visits to the website from March 30th to April 1.

Paid Facebook Campaign

The paid Facebook campaign ran on March 30th and was targeted toward people aged 18-65 in Cleveland, Ohio.   The 50 dollar spend yielded the following results:

  • 165 clicks to the website
  • About 10,000 impressions
  • 5 likes

You can see how far 50 dollars went in terms of reach with Facebook Ads. And remember, since these were parody ads, legitimate ads can fare even better. It’s hard to find another online channel that would have that much impact within a targeted area.

I would highly recommend trying Facebook Ads for your business to see the type of worthwhile results you can achieve. They can be incredibly effective in targeting people by different ages, preferences and demographics.

The ultimate result of the campaign was a lot of laughs and amusement. It will be tough to top this one next year!

Special thanks to Linton Lewis, Margie Pandora, Danny Cox, Anthony Fabiano, Bronson Arcuri, Fritz Harrell and Emily DiMatteo for their contributions to the prank.

About John Sammon

My name is John Sammon and I have a passion for web site design and internet marketing.

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