Wednesday September 7, 2011 :  ONLINE GAMBLING GROUP BETS ON MORE RELAXED FACEBOOK RULES
 
Betfair to increase its marketing investment in social networking
 
The publication New Media Age reports that internet gambling group Betfair will increase spend on Facebook activity following a relaxation of the social media site's rules on gambling brands.
 
Betfair has said it plans to boost spend as it increasingly uses the site to engage with its relevant demographics. Previously, brands were limited to four posts per week and had to get Facebook approval on updates, but this has been relaxed in the UK so that there is now no limit, and no prior approval is necessary.
 
The gambling group has expanded its brand campaign, fronted by high-profile ambassadors including former England cricketer Michael Vaughn and ex-footballer and pundit Lee Dixon. Each ambassador ran a take-over of the Betfair Facebook page alongside a paid-ad campaign, helping to grow the number of ‘Likes' significantly.
 
Ben Carter, head of central online marketing services for Betfair, said he was among a group of gambling brands working with Facebook on the relaxation of the rules.
 
“There is loads of opportunity for us and it is what we have been waiting for [for a]  long time,” he said. “We had a page for a while but we have been limited by not being able to build the engagement or content. We will certainly increase spend but we will work with Facebook to understand what it means for gambling brands. The way to use advertising cleverly is influenced by social data, but these are disconnected at the moment.”
 
The relaxation of the rules also means brands can launch free-to-play apps. Carter said the apps Betfair plans to launch will aim to be a utility for customers in order to add value to the Facebook presence.