Betfair and PKR each released a Facebook marketing campaign this week. These campaigns serve as examples of how iGaming sites are gravitating towards social media tools for player acquisition purposes.

Betfair teamed up with Essence to create a Euro 2012 Facebook app challenging soccer fans to predict team line-ups and goal scorers for each match. The iPhone-friendly app also allows users to access tournament betting markets with a single click.

Ben Carter, Head of Central Online Marketing at Betfair, said, “The Euro Finals App has all the best bits of our award-winning Mobile Apps including the ability to place Multiples bets and Cash Out to lock in a profit or minimise losses. The App is the latest innovation from Betfair’s Mobile team and there’s lots more to come.”

PKR, the online poker room with video game 3-D graphics, released a social media marketing tool of their own this week called the Fantasy Poker League. The app allows participants to create their own World Series of Poker fantasy roster to compete on a leaderboard among other players. The manager whose team of eight poker pros performs the best at this year’s WSOP will win an iPad 3 courtesy of PKR. Other top performers will receive poker chip sets as prizes.

Affiliate Angle

There is a bigger issue underscoring these two promotions. Both are an example of an alternative marketing strategy for iGaming firms. What do these social media approaches to player acquisitions mean for affiliates?

Most importantly, these social media strategies should not be seen as a threat. Gaming sites will always need affiliates because people will always have a life on the Internet outside of Facebook. People who think Facebook will replace Google are nuts.

Part of the appeal of these social media marketing techniques is that they are cheap. They cost gaming sites rather little and generate a ton of exposure.

The PKR Fantasy Poker League app has already attracted a ton of interest. And why not? It’s fun and it’s free. From PKR’s standpoint, all they’re giving up is an iPad 3, some poker chip sets stashed away in an office storage closet, and a few man hours from their in-house developers to build the app. It’s a drop in the bucket for some incredible brand exposure.

Affiliates should go with the grain and use these social media campaigns as an opportunity to grab conversions of their own. Rather than shying away from promoting brands that are turning to social media marketing techniques, think about how you can use them to your own advantage. For example, organizing a private league for your readers in the PKR Fantasy Poker League is one way to keep some attention on yourself and direct them to using your sign-up code.

Social media is a good thing. Embrace it. Facebook means more people spending more time online. This means more opportunities to market to potential players and increase conversions. Join Betfair and PKR and start using Facebook to your benefit.

Learn more about Betfair here and more about PKR here.

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