Last week I was in Katoomba, Australia (you probably haven't heard of it and that is the point here) and River Deep, Mountain High, the outfit that was taking us climbing and abseiling in the Blue Mountains was running a Facebook promotion. If you get 10 of your friends to Fan their Facebook page, River Deep, Mountain High will give you a coupon for $350 AUD, roughly $300 US. That is a $30 CPF, or cost per fan. In 1:1 marketing terms, a fan is the rough equivalent of someone who has opted into an email list, and a CPF is the equivalent of cost per email to acquire relevant mailing lists.
Now why would a small business pay $30 for a CPF? When someone is a fan of your business, not only do all their friends get notified that they now like your business, but you can send them newsfeed posts that show up on their Facebook home page, just like when one of their friends posts a status update. But there is a contract here: it is very easy to "hide" messages from a Fan page or to "unfan" the page. So your messages need to be short, relevant, and actionable, such as:
This small San Francisco gym is posting a message for free that its fans found relevant. In the past, they would have had to send an email for this that would need to be formatted nicely, delivered via a costly service such as VerticalResponse or ExactTarget, and subsequently ignored by the majority of receivers that rarely open vendor emails let alone personal email.
Transpond is introducing "Fan Required", a new feature that requires a Facebook user to become a fan of a fan page in order to use an interactive feature such as watching a new music video or clicking through on a coupon. In the past, marketers have often asked for an email address in order to access exclusive content. This new Transpond feature will incentivizing users to join the evolved version of the mailing list, the Facebook fan, and they can now be messaged on their Facebook home page instead of via email.