Nearly 1.2 million likes for a Facebook page that launched August 19? It must be Charlie Sheen, right? Ashton Kutcher? Lady Gaga? Nope: Try Crock Pot Girls.
But was this explosion the result of a sudden interest boom in slow cooking, or something else?
Facebook marketing and relationship marketing consultant Mari Smith, author of upcoming book The New Relationship Marketing, and Sam Goldfarb, general manager of Facebook marketing service Tradimax, did a little digging and unearthed some interesting nuggets.
Smith noted the rapid growth of the Crock Pot Girls page in a post on Facebook:
There is much speculation on the Net as to how these fans came about. Is it a bot? Is an affiliate marketer behind the page? Is it a corporate campaign, created by Crock Pot? Who knows? I’ve spent some time digging around myself and reckon that some interesting tactics plus ads may have jump-started the page, then it took on a life of its own and is now legit. It appears that three moms from Texas got together to share Crock Pot recipes and inspired legions of fans to do the same. Now, the gals are busy building out a website to support the fan page. If anyone has other info, I’d love to know.
She also posted links to posts by udandi and Tarte Advertising Blog, both of which reached the same conclusion that Goldfarb reached after hearing from several Facebook marketers via direct message: The Crock Pot Girls website was registered August 26 to Internet and affiliate marketer Chase Shelby, who also owns such domains as ChaseMarketingProfits.com and StephenvilleInternetMarketing.com.
(The Crock Pot Girls website was down at the time of this post and displayed the message “Over the past few days we have had some issues with our website and we are working hard with our hosting company to get these issues resolved. We are currently moving over to a dedicated server to help with the large amount of traffic that we are experiencing.”)
Even more of a coincidence: One of the three mothers who started the page is related to Shelby, according to Goldfarb.
Kris Holt of Scribbal investigated a little further and discovered another Facebook page, We Don’t Like the Crock Pot Girls, which claimed that some Facebook accounts liked the Crock Pot Girls page without the users’ knowledge and saying that its mission is “Exposing the truth about the Crock Pot Girls and directing people to trusted sites with better content.”
Readers, do you think the Crock Pot Girls page is legit, or a crock?