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Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’: How to Be a Facebook Marketing Superhero

If you thought your business’s Facebook page was the coolest one out there, check out what Marvel is doing for The Avengers and think again.

It’s safe to say Marvel is spending a ton of money on all kinds of advertising for this movie, social media included. I joined the Avengers fan page on Facebook in late 2011, shortly after the first trailer for the movie was released. Now boasting over 1 million fans, the page is my go-to spot for Avengers news and promotions.

Why? Because Marvel knows how to make full use of Facebook and to reward fans for following the film.

Avengers assemble!

Avengers assemble!

We don’t all have the budget that Marvel does, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn by example. Here are a few Facebook marketing tips gleaned from Marvel’s The Avengers fan page:

Post regularly, but don’t spam.

Marvel posted every couple of days back in late 2011 after the first trailer came out. Now, as the movie release date approaches and buzz is sky-high, there’s new content every day, sometimes every few hours.

Fans won’t visit your page unless you actively post on it. How frequently you post will depend on what kind of business you are and what content you have to offer — just make sure you post often enough to keep your fans interested, without over-saturating their newsfeed.

Share interesting content.

Marvel posts movie posters, trailers, TV spots, and behind-the-scenes photos, as well as special announcements, discussion questions, and references to the comics. All those photos and videos also create a visually appealing page.

Posting regularly is important, but just as important is sharing something your fans actually care about. Mix up the type of content you post (status updates, links, images, etc.) to give your page variety and interest.

Encourage discussion.

Most of the material Marvel shares is accompanied by a question. “What’s your favorite scene in this new trailer?” “Do you think the Avengers make a good team?” Hundreds of fans “like,” comment on, and share every tidbit Marvel provides.

Give your fans a reason to engage with your content. When fans interact with you and with each other, they will become more invested in your brand and spread that passion to others.

Offer exclusives to your fans.

Some lucky Facebook fans (myself included!) attended early screenings of the film.

Some lucky Facebook fans (myself included!) attended early screenings of the film.

The Avengers hits theaters in the U.S. on May 4th, but fans of the Facebook page were offered a chance to see a free screening on April 14th — three weeks before the rest of the country. Marvel also recently ran a contest in which colleges and universities could compete for an early screening of the film.

Reward your fans for following your page by giving out exclusives and freebies. You might try a Facebook-exclusive coupon, contest, or giveaway to draw people to your page and keep them there. Just be sure to check Facebook’s rules for such promotions before starting anything.

I’ve probably spent more time on Marvel’s Avengers fan page in the last few months than on any other brand’s page in recent memory. Are there other Facebook fan pages that impress you? What else is important when maintaining a Facebook page? How excited are you for The Avengers?

Image credit to 1upLego, ukdavew, and Mandy Kilinskis.


Rachel Hamsmith

When not writing for the blog, Rachel is a data entry specialist at QLP. She spends most of her free time consuming a variety of geeky TV shows, movies, and books, as well as funny cat videos and other Internet oddities. Otherwise, she moonlights as an editor for a literary magazine and tries to spend as much quality time as she can with friends and family. You can also connect with Rachel on Google+.

Comments

  1. Cybernetic SAM

    Awesome post Rachel! I am not really an Avengers fan but I see how clever they are with their promotions and ads they have been everywhere. You would have to live under a rock to not know what this is! Great job!

    • Rachel

      They are definitely pushing advertising *everywhere* — which I’m totally okay with, seeing as I am obsessed with the Avengers at this point. :) Thanks, Sam!

  2. Jaimie Smith

    Rachel this was a cool post! I am not an Avengers fan, but the takeaways you can get from their facebook page are so true.
    As a person on facebook, I agree that that it gets annoying when companies practically take over my news feed, but it is also nice having something to read from thiings I am interested in. So having the perfect amount of statuses, links, and photos is definitely helpful of having a lot of fans and getting positive feedback.
    Good job Rachel!! :)

    • Rachel

      It’s definitely tricky to find a balance when posting on Facebook … I think Marvel can get away with posting a ton of content these days because the hype for the movie is so high and fans are so desperate for the film to come out. Or maybe that’s just me, haha. ;) But there are other brands that post just as often but that I’ve blocked or ignore because the updates get to be too spammy for my tastes. As I said, I think a lot depends on the type of business, how many fans they have, and what kind of content they have to offer. But Marvel’s doing it right, in my book. :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Jaimie!

  3. Amy Swanson

    The morning radio show that I listen to posts things throughout the day that more often than not I’ll click on and check out. They share just about everything, so there’s always something that I’ll want to see what the comments say. Finding that right amount of sharing and engagement is crucial! Too much and people will block or unlike you, too little and people forget you exist. Glad to hear Marvel has this balance figured out :)

    Great post, Rachel!

    • Rachel

      It sounds like the radio show knows what they’re doing! :) Your point about wanting to see what the comments say is something I like to do too — when a brand gets a good discussion going, it’s always interesting to read other fans’ thoughts as well as the company’s.

      Thanks, Amy! :)

  4. Jenna Markowski

    Interesting post, Rachel! I hadn’t really noticed the extensive marketing of The Avengers until you mentioned it a few weeks ago, but now I see it everywhere! I’m pretty sure I get ads for their Facebook page among all of the other crazy weird ones beside my news feed. It sounds like their page might be worth “liking”!

    I think the most important tips here are offering exclusives to your fans and sharing interesting content. Offering an exclusive offer or inside information is a great way to get someone hooked and click the “like” button, but unless your brand is offering consistent, compelling content that fan can just as easily click “unlike” after the exclusive offer ends. However, if the brand offers more than just a one-time offer, that fan is more likely to stick around.

    • Rachel

      You’re totally right about offering exclusives — you have to keep delivering AFTER offering that exclusive if you want your fans to continue engaging with your brand. There’s at least one brand I started following because of an exclusive that I may just “unlike” now because it doesn’t really post any other content, which is too bad.

      Thanks for commenting, Jenna!

  5. Jen

    I think marvel is doing a great job promoting the Avengers movie. I’m not a fan on the FB page, but it sounds like it’s worth checking out!

    I like that you broke down everything they are doing right on Facebook, other companies could certainly learn a thing or two from them, nice post Rachel. :)

    • Rachel

      It’s definitely worth checking out! Lately a lot of photos from the red carpets of various premieres for the movie are being posted on the FB page … so that’s super fun. And full of attractive people … ;)

      Glad you liked it, thanks Jen!

  6. Mandy Kilinskis

    AVENGERS FOR THE WIN.

    And the Avengers Facebook page for the win.

    I, too, have been spending a lot of time on that Facebook page. It seems like every time that I log onto Facebook, there’s something new to look at and interact with. I feel like their initial posts were fairly banal (which SHIELD agent appears at :41 of the trailer?!), but if it gets fans commenting and watching your content, then more power to you.

    • Rachel

      Yeah, some of their discussion questions are a little silly, but at least they’re trying! :) Better to make an effort to involve fans in the discussion with silly questions than not at all, I say.

      AVENGERS WIN ALL OF THE THINGS. May 4th cannot come soon enough! Thanks for commenting, Mandy :)

  7. Jeff Porretto

    You know, despite these marketing blitzes and social media efforts, what has made me want to see this movie? Word of mouth. Specifically YOU telling me how amazing it is. Maybe because somehow I became “old fashioned,” and Facebook doesn’t do much for me, but I always felt that a friend raving about something is still the best form of advertising.

    • Rachel

      See, from my perspective, advertising on social media such as Facebook doesn’t stray too far from word of mouth marketing. Did I see a new trailer on the Avengers fan page? You can bet I’m posting that thing on my wall, or on a friend’s wall, or somewhere completely outside of Facebook. In short, I will be raving about it somewhere. :) Heck, Facebook is the only reason I’ve even seen the movie and am able to recommend it to you, since that’s where the fan screenings contest was conducted.

      I totally agree that word of mouth marketing is still the best marketing out there. But Facebook and other social media are just another extension of word-of-mouth for me. That’s my two cents, anyway. Also, I’m glad I convinced you to see the movie! :D

  8. Jill Tooley

    I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS MOVIE NEXT WEEKEND!!!!! :D

    With that being said, Marvel seems to kick ass at all things marketing lately, and their social media is no exception. I wish I’d signed up for updates earlier so I could’ve snagged tickets to that special screening (SO jealous)!

  9. Eric

    Give ‘em enough to keep them interested, but not enough to damper their curiousity. TDKR (and the films that preceded it) have also done likewise, and after seeing the box office figures roll in from opening weekend? I’d say the folks behind “The Avengers” did something right.

    I think the best takeaway, and easily the most successful, comes in offering exclusives. Chances to purchase advance tickets, or tickets to an earlier show, etc. They’re not technically giving anything away for free, nor are they losing money. If anything, they’re allowing themselves to make even more. Fans are happy they get to see it sooner, etc., and the production company still gets their big bucks.

    Neat article!

  10. haley

    I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS MOVIE NEXT WEEKEND!!!!!
    With that being said, Marvel seems to kick ass at all things marketing lately, and their social media is no exception. I wish I’d signed up for updates earlier so I could’ve snagged tickets to that special screening (SO jealous)!

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