Branded Virtual Gifts on Facebook Pages Opening New Doors for Viral Advertising

While branded virtual gifts have been part and parcel of the advertising offerings of large Facebook platform application developers (and Facebook itself) for a long time, Facebook’s redesigned Pages product is allowing businesses and brands to integrate virtual gifts in their own Facebook public profile pages in new ways.

Now that Facebook Pages can have application tabs, brands are developing custom virtual gifting applications, installing them as a tab on their Facebook Page, and promoting the gifting tab from the stream.

For example, check out the new Bud Light page that allows users to send friends gifts carrying the Bud Light logo. When you send a friend a virtual Bud Light, the gift will appear on his or her wall with any message you choose to include. This will then be seen in the updates on all of his or her friends’ home pages, potentially putting the brand in front of a large group of people every time a gift is sent. This creates a huge opportunity to drive traffic to the Fan page, which is mostly comprised of videos of Bud Light commercials and a list of free wallpapers.

The Bud Light virtual gifts are currently centered around holidays and special events, with the initial rollout carrying a St. Patrick’s day theme. There are also gifts for graduations and birthdays, as well as a few just for fun. Buddy Media, who developed the application, says new gifts will be added based on the season or special promotional events in hopes that Facebook users will consistently send the branded gifts and keep the Bud Light name rolling through their updates.

Using virtual gifts to deliver brand messaging is proving to be an effective tactic in social network advertising. The best thing about branded virtual gifts is they’re a rare form of advertising that people actually like to receive. For a deeper dive on how virtual gifts can fit into your marketing plans, check out our Facebook Marketing Bible or Agency & Brand Edition. Also, see our previous coverage on other brands doing branded virtual gift campaigns in Facebook: