By: Oli On: October 26, 2016 In: Marketing, Startups, Strategy Comments: 0

In its early days, Facebook adopted a marketing strategy that was to rocket them into start up growth folklore. The beauty of this strategy, was that it is so incredibly simple.

Their strategy was called, perhaps not the most imaginatively but who cares when you’re about to be as big as Facebook, The 1, 2, 3 Approach.

1. Understand

It’s all about understanding the data.

Many start-ups underestimate the value of organising and understanding their data, but in truth, without it marketing is like driving a car without being able to see through the windscreen. In case you didn’t already think so, I guarantee you that is dangerous.

Know what you’re looking at and think hard about what those numbers are telling you.

2. Identify

The next step after you are happy that you understand the data, is to look for opportunities for growth. It’s all well and good having a grasp of the numbers and what they mean to you, but what can you do about it?

A real life example of this is when Facebook first decided to make users’ profiles public, they expected to receive a huge surge in traffic as a result of profiles being made available to be indexed by Google.

But it didn’t work.

Enter the 1, 2, 3 approach. They set out to understand what the problem was and why they weren’t receiving any love from Google.

What they found was that the Google spiders were not crawling with any regularity and were completely missing profiles.

On investigation it appeared that Google couldn’t find the newly publicised profile pages because the only way to access said profiles was by going on a wild goose chase of clicking on internal links.

This made it almost impossible for the crawlers to know where the profiles were, never mind index them for the SERs.

Inadvertently they had told google spiders that profiles didn’t matter!

3. Execute

So for step 3, they now had to act on what they had discovered.

They built a new directory page listing all live profiles and linked it to the home page that Google was used to crawling.

Facebook’s traffic rocketed by 100x in a matter of months.

To conclude, Facebook understood that they were not getting enough traffic from search engines, so looked for the opportunity. The opportunity lay in the way their site was being indexed by google so they came up with a plan to execute on their findings.

Simple as 1, 2, 3.

What is it that:

  1. You’d like to understand about your data?
  2. You’d like to be able to influence your potential customers or stakeholders to do?
  3. You think you could do to make this happen?

Drop me a line if any of this rings true. Until then, onwards.