5 tips for closing, not stalking, your social media crush

Guest post by Bulbstorm jack-of-all-trades Grady Owen. Stalk, errr, follow him on Twitter at @gradyowen. He’s gonna be a lawyer, ladies!

Budding social media marketing star Grady Owen

Grady Owen says: “I’m not a player, I just crush a lot.”

Admit it. You have a social media crush. Sure, some people call it Facebook stalking. Others judge you for your flirtatious tweets. But don’t let those haters get you down.

You, my friend, are a visionary. A man ahead of your time. Like the first caveman to wear a loincloth or the first dude to try yoga, you have found a unique way to pick up women.

Are social media crushes healthy? Absolutely! Just act more like Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail and less like Erika Christensen in Swimfan and you’ll be okay!

Here are five tips for turning your social media crush into something more…

1.       Manage Your Profile. Would you go to a dance club with bed hair, sweatpants, and a 1980s He-Man T-shirt? No! Then why would you have ‘em on your Facebook profile? Your profile is an extension of you and it’s important to remain presentable. Make sure to utilize the untag, delete, and privacy features. Also, avoid profanity and poor spelling.

2.       Drive Engagement. Your social media crush wants someone with a balanced and active social life. As a result, it’s probably not a good sign if you have fewer followers than the Washington Generals. Make sure to drive high levels of activity and engagement on your wall.  Who knows? You might even stir up some jealousy if other girls leave you comments!

3.       Be Selective with Check-Ins. Foursquare is a great location-based social networking tool, but don’t go crazy with check-ins! Only check-in at appropriate locations. Checking in daily at bars, strip clubs, and casinos is a deal breaker and will drive your social media crush away.

4.       Do Not Drink and Tweet. Consider this the golden rule. Alcohol and social media don’t mix! We’ve all seen it: The intoxicated man who is trigger happy with his cell phone. After a couple of beers, he feels he’s Hemmingway reincarnated, leaving what he assumes to be a lyrical ballad of tweets. The tweets are never as humorous or insightful the next morning.

5.       Meet In Person. Conversing over Facebook and Twitter will only take you so far. At some point, you will want to meet in person and see if you have real chemistry. Group functions are much less intimidating than meeting one-on-one. If the social media crush is hesitant to meet, it might not be meant to be. Time to find a new social media crush!

I know, I know. You’re skeptical. Can I really convert a social media crush into an IRL relationship? Of course! Just don’t get stuck in the Facebook poking rut, follow the five tips above, and don’t waste money looking for Ms. Right with Facebook ads.

Have you ever had a social media crush? If so, how did you close to the real thing?

Facebook advertising gets media attention but no dates

Mashable had some fun with my Facebook advertisement.

Mashable had some fun with my Facebook advertisement.

It’s been a hectic few weeks since I first revealed that I was using Facebook ads to find a date.

So hectic, in fact, that the experiment is currently paused while I field media requests, enjoy my upcoming birthday, and, ya know, do my day job.

Honestly, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by the interest from friends, industry contacts, and the media.

Media interest rolled in slowly, with Social Times syndicating the article and Valley PR Blog offering its take.

I realized that the campaign was of interest outside the marketing world when Fox 10 asked to interview me in front of the Love sculpture in Old Town Scottsdale. It seemed cheesy, but fun. The video of my interview with Kristin Anderson is below.

Media interest exploded after the lovely Jolie O’Dell covered the story for Mashable. That article led to over 2,000 tweets and over a dozen more blog posts. Some have called me brilliant. Some have called me desperate and sad. Maybe I’m somewhere in between?

Since the Mashable article, I’ve had interview requests from all over the world. Portugal’s top newspaper sent 360 visits to this website in two days. Crazy! Still no dates. But, as I like to say, with this product it’s going to be a long, complex sales cycle.

So, thank you to everyone who’s expressed interest in my story. I apologize to the many to whom I didn’t reply. And thank you to my Bulbstorm teammates who’ve been very supportive through the craziness.

Facebook advertising for the single-and-looking

Facebook interest-based PPC advertising campaign for a bachelor with flair.

This ad image is performing best, perhaps because my face is partially-hidden.

I’m a single guy with specific taste. I’m only interested in women with the potential to become my intellectual and spiritual partner over the long term.

On any given night, these women may be in bars. Or coffee shops. Or yoga classes. Or laundromats. In the unlikely case that I’m in the same place at the same time, the only filter I’d manage to apply is physical. At first meeting, a woman is like a Facebook profile with her privacy settings too high.

But, interest-based pay-per-click ads remove the privacy shroud and deliver insight into her intellectual and spiritual nature at 75 cents per click. That’s about 10 clicks for the price of a cocktail that may or may not end up splashed in my face!

Facebook marketing for the eligible single

On April 2, I launched a Facebook ad campaign designed to find me a date. As a true marketing dork, I built 9 distinct ad versions for testing purposes – 3 creative variants and 3 interest-based targeting variants.

Demographically, ads targeted single women ages 28 to 34 within 25 miles of Tempe. Interest groupings were:

  • Yoga, Bikram Yoga, etc. (max reach: 940 users)
  • Buddhism, meditation, metaphysic, etc. (max reach: 580)
  • Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, etc. (max reach: 420)

For a landing experience, I created a Facebook fan page with free contact form and welcome tab apps. (Thanks to Mari Smith’s Big List of Apps!) Yes, it’s ghetto. My html skills are weak and Facebook’s iFrame bug is weaker.

Why not drive to a WordPress page or dating site profile? Well, Facebook grants a lower cost-per-click to advertisers keeping traffic on site.

Plus, users maintain grip on their Facebook security blanket when: A) an ad doesn’t include a fishy third-party URL, and B) the landing page keeps the Facebook URL and header.

Why Facebook instead of Match?

I know what you’re thinking. Why not just use Match, eHarmony, or some other dating site? Three reasons:

    • Match is too competitive. The economy of Match favors women. As a man on Match, I’m a buyer in a seller’s market. One female friend received 86 messages in 3 weeks on the site! Personally, I’d rather attract a woman before she hits Match’s meet market.


    • Match’s interest-based targeting sucks. On Match, I can filter by any number of physical fetishes from hair color to ethnicity. But filtering by spirituality or intellectualism is relegated to clunky keyword searches. (Sorry, but spiritual not religious is too vague to be meaningful.)


  • Match is too labor-intensive. To be effective, Match simply requires too much active attention. Facebook ads are set-and-forget. At this point, I have more money than time … especially at 75 cents per click.

OK, let’s see some ad data

Facebook interest-based PPC advertising campaign for a bachelor in a hat.

My Twitter avatar is performing worst of the bunch. Time for a change?

Let’s cut to the chase. In five days, my campaign drove 30 clicks and 5 leads via contact form for $19.39. By comparison, a Match membership costs $34.99 per month (with no guarantee of traffic or leads). The upfront labor costs are roughly the same.

Here’s a breakdown of my Facebook ads by interest:


Interest Imps Clicks Leads Spent
Yoga 8,592 5 ? $3.75
Buddhism 10,630 15 ? $9.43
New Age 8,523 10 ? $6.21
TOTAL 27,745 30 5 $19.39
Yoga 0.06% $0.44 $0.75 ?
Buddhism 0.14% $0.89 $0.63 ?
New Age 0.12% $0.73 $0.62 ?
TOTAL 0.11% $0.70 $0.65 $3.88

Yes, I’m a tad disappointed that I cannot track leads by interest group. If only Salesforce had a free contact form plug-in …

But Facebook ads are just creepy …

What are the ethical ramifications of the campaign? Is it creepy to target women with PPC ads? Are there privacy implications of interest-based targeting? What about eyes romantically locking from across a crowded room?

I don’t know. Thanks to Match, eHarmony, and others, America has come to accept attraction-based singles marketing. It’s modern day serendipity when your match stumbles across your dating profile.

Facebook interest-based PPC advertising campaign for a bachelor on a hike.

Women who dig yoga also seem to dig this picture of my on a hike.

Promotion-based singles marketing is a whole new ballgame. On Match, there’s no amount of money one can invest in order to boost profile traffic.

(For about $10, you can add a “guarantee” to a six-month commitment that adds a green highlight to your profile in search results.)

The times may be a-changing. Chas McFeely is offering a $10,000 bounty to whoever introduces him to his future wife. My cost structure is more modest, but I’m essentially paying Facebook to set me up.

So, is this campaign weird? Maybe. As one respondent to my ad said, “My opinion: creepy, invasive AND cool!”

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!