Today, I spoke to Paul Dunay, who is an ex-Personal Branding Blogger, author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies and is the Global Managing Director of Services and Social Marketing for Avaya.  In this interview, Paul tells us why the web is the best place for marketing, how he got his book deal by blogging, tips for marketing on Facebook, mistakes people make and more.

Do you consider the web the best place for people, products and companies to build their brand? Why or why not?

Absolutely the web is the best place to build your brand for several reasons:

  • It is so much easier to build a brand these days by using the web – the web makes your brand and your message so much more portable – people can share stories of your brand, tag it and reference it later, recommend your brand to other. When you think of the offline world that type of portability for your brand message was just so much harder.
  • Because of the extra visibility that the web provides for your brand you need to be sure your brand is differentiated and the best way to do that is just be interesting.
  • By being interesting you can actually attract the type of audience you want to have – they will become attracted to you!
  • From an advertising perspective – the web is just so much more efficient – you really don’t see many companies these days building their brand using TV since the web provides a trackable, measurable source of media that TV cant compete with at a fraction of the price.


How did you get your book deal? Did the publisher come to you? Was it because of Facebook marketing?

I got my book deal from my blog – I wrote an article reviewing 5 custom applications on Facebook and the business benefit of them and Wiley reached out to me about doing a book on Facebook Marketing. So it wasn’t because of Facebook Marketing but more about Facebook Marketing that intrigued them. While we are close to this topic I would like to share with you and your audience that my blog has done wonders for my professional career. It is the single best thing I have ever done. So many things have happened for me because of my blog. I got new positions at work as a result of it, I get tons of job offers in fact I got my new job because of it, and of course I got my book deal. But most of all it forced me to crystallize my thinking and to always keep looking to push the envelope in my role and report the results in real time to my blog’s audience.

What are your top three tips for marketing on Facebook?


  1. Have a Strong Presence – A Facebook presence, like a website, is a fundamental tactic and should be on everyone’s list of must haves for social network marketing. Once you have your presence you will need a strategy for posting updates as frequently as you can with interesting content. Be sure to get your employees involved. Encourage them to become fans and drive the conversations to create a thriving community. The reason being, you will want Facebook users to be able to discover your Facebook Page through their friends’ profiles and with Facebook searches. This is the key to growing your fan base “virally”. Also keep in mind Facebook Pages are indexable so be sure to write your content with good SEO in mind.
  2. Do some Advertising – You will find that advertising on Facebook is unlike any other advertising experience you have ever had. Mainly do to the unique ways in which you can precisely target a specific ad down to the person’s profile. For example if you want to target MBA graduates that are 3-5 years out of school and working in Southern Connecticut that like Classic Rock music whose favorite food is Sushi – you can do that! There are 2 basic types of ads: Display ads and Social ads. And they can be purchased like banner ads with Cost per Click (CPC) and Cost per Thousand (CPM). And they work similar to online banner ads but try not to use them in the same way. Most Facebook users feel more comfortable staying within the Facebook environment. So try to direct them to someplace on your Facebook Fan page. With the new Facebook Fan page design, you can send them directly to a tab of your Fan page since each tab has a unique URL.
  3. Throw an Event – There are 2.5 Million events on Facebook every month! Facebook Events are a great way of getting people together virtually or in person in support of your local business, brand or product. They are also a very economical way of getting the word out beyond your normal in-house marketing list by inviting the Fans of your Page. Fans can also help you promote your Facebook Event to their friends by sharing the event if it seems of value to a group of their friends. Also don’t forget to follow-up after your event, it’s just good protocol to do so. If you had a very healthy debate with lots of questions – why not send a transcript out to everyone who attended or even those that didn’t attend. If some questions didn’t get answered because of time constraints – why not write up the answers and send them to the all attendees too. The key point is try not to take a “set it and forget it” mentality to any social presence you have. While the costs of social marketing are low don’t let that fool you. The true cost is found in the creation of content. And your key to success will be the consistent participation and willingness to engage your customers you can create by using great content.

What common mistakes do you see marketers make on Facebook? Any funny stories?

The most common mistake made by marketers is actually not that funny – it is simply that fact that they set up their Facebook fan page and don’t feed it full of content. So another tactic to consider if you already have a steady stream of rich content is using Facebook as an outpost for your content. If you already have a blog, podcast series or video series you can effectively use Facebook to attract another audience to interact with those assets. There are a variety of ways to syndicate content on your Fan page. You can use the Notes page to import blog posts to your Fan page, you can use the My application to import any bookmarks you may have made in your account, you can use the Simply RSS application to bring in all the RSS feed you may have on your company website, you can edit your links section of have a variety of blogs or websites you may want to highlight perhaps by employees or partners of your company, and don’t forget to edit your Feed settings to include the complete versions of all your blog posts so they appear not only on your Fan page but on the Feeds of all your fans.

The funny stories that I found mostly had to do with individuals speaking out against their employer and getting fired because of it – I collected the best of them and put them in an eBook called – 5 Ways Facebook can get you Fired!, which never made it to the book for obvious reasons!

Facebook has a new search engine. Why is this important for brands?

Because search is so ripe for innovation. In 2001 when Google introduced AdWords and gave themselves a business model that was a rocket ship to high performance surpassing AOL, Yahoo and MSN – marketers flocked there. I know used to buy keywords on the “Top 4 search engines” in 2002-2003. But soon after that – I single sourced keywords and optimized my pages just for Google. Now there are so many new player since we all realize that their is more to search then keywords. What makes Facebook so different is that it runs on real behavioral data rather than keywords. This means that Facebook can connect search to my social profile thereby making a truly intelligent search engine that will know where I work, and who my friends are.

Then I will be able to narrow down a search in seconds based on the company I work for, members of my marketing team, friends I have in my network and get a completely different view of the internet that I can’t get now. I call this Social Search and it should be common place soon – we should see social tools like Facebook Connect or OpenID which are already out there, used for search. Right now Google has 87% of the US marketing and 90% of the European market so perhaps Yahoo or AOL can revive their search business by going Social! For more ideas like this please check out my latest eBook called 7 Ways Facebook will Change your Life!


Paul Dunay is the author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley).  He has spent more than 20 years in marketing, generating demand and creating buzz for leading technology companies such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Nuance, Cisco and BearingPoint. He also has delivered work for American Express, Motorola, Genzyme, Novartis, Citigroup, Cendant and Ernst & Young. Paul currently is the Global Managing Director of Services and Social Marketing for Avaya. His unique approach to integrated marketing has been recognized as the 2008 Winner of the DemandGen Award for Utilizing Marketing Automation to Fuel Corporate Growth, a 2007 & 2006 finalist and the 2005 winner of the Driving New Demand award by the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA). Paul has been a featured speaker for the AMA, BtoB Magazine, CMO Club, CMO Council, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, MENG, and ITSMA his articles and research have appeared in BtoB Magazine, CMO Magazine, Information Week, MarketingProfs, and Marketing Sherpa.