Facebook’s Two-Way Conversations
While Facebook certainly found its share of critics on its way to its whopping $104 billion valuation in its IPO last week, Fred Leach, who heads up the social network’s Partner Measurement Group, vows that brands shouldn’t doubt its marketing reach.
"We have lots of evidence that shows that people really want brands in their lives and they use brands to describe themselves," Mr. Leach told Joel Rubinson on Marketing Research’s blog. "So, we see people connecting to lots and lots of pages on Facebook every single day. It’s about 100 million people connecting to a page on a given day."
Mr. Leach, who will be speaking along with Mr. Rubinson at the IIR Audience Measurement Event in Chicago May 21-23, also noted that with 2.5 million branded websites integrating with Facebook, "users are really connecting with lots of different things and they really want a rich social world. Brands are part of that rich social world. That suggests that, over time, marketers are getting more and more sophisticated at leveraging all the ways in which they can connect their marketing efforts and goals to their Facebook presence."
Regarding brands, he noted that that marketers, initially looking to build their "like" counts, are looking at fresh ways to engage and influence their fan base. Where standard consumer outreaches used to be one-to-many conversations, brands are having conversations via social media "with people who really like them" and learning from those conversations.
Mr. Leach elaborated, "So, they are doing things differently based on those conversations and taking marketing in a different direction or creating a new product based on input from fans. So, we are really seeing — whereas it used to be that it was just about counting likes and getting people connected – marketers are really evolving into having more of that two-way dialogue with their customers."
He did note, however, that which messages work better varies by brand.
"There are a couple of things that definitely work," said Mr. Leach. "One is really nice, rich photos – to have the ability to display beautiful photos on Facebook. We see that users generally like cool photography or great images from brands. And they like videos, as well. The other thing is back to what I mentioned earlier about brands finding their voice and talking not just about themselves, but about topics in which they have credibility. We see that posts that are centered around things that a brand is credible on get more people to share them. They tend to have more of that viral reach."
- My interview with Facebook about brand marketing – Joel Rubinson on Marketing Research
- Audience Measurement 2012 – IIR Holdings, LTD.
Discussion Questions: Are you more or less optimistic today about the potential of retailers and brands to connect with consumers through Facebook than in the past? Why?