Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What’s Facebook Announcing on Wednesday? [OPEN THREAD]

What’s Facebook Announcing on Wednesday? [OPEN THREAD]

Facebook is announcing something significant tomorrow morning. I think it may have something to do with Places as well.

Based on this week's assignment, here are some of my thoughts.

1) What are the main challenges for marketers on Facebook today? I think the main challenge is how do Marketers monetize engagement. The Fan pages are great, but what significance does user "likes" mean for the brands. I think incorporating location based services as mentioned in my previous post, can somehow drive purchase and help reward loyal consumers. I also think that Marketers do need to be careful about being too intrusive. FB is entertainment for most of us, and Brands participation in a manner that is visibly about selling product while we are in our "downtime" so to speak-can be an annoyance. Measurement also continues to be the main challenge, without purchase data-how does a brand determine its ROI or Return on Marketing and Advertising spend?

2) What is working well? I think sweepstakes, promotions and humor as a tactical approach are working well. When brands such as M&M's use their page to reinforce the brand's identity, I think "fans" appreciate the authenticity. They utilize their fan page in an engaging and fun way that keeps the brand personas alive by creating a fun, engaging user experience and this seems to be what works best. I also think the liquor brands really bring to life their offline experiences by showcasing them on their social networks, i.e Belvedere and Heineken -which tweet about their live events and posts pictures and films of the events on FB. This creates a "how can I be there" feeling in users and for those that attended, they feel as if they have had a VIP experience as they were "in the know" and part of the in-crowd. In effect, the brands create brand evangelists from regular users. Again, this begs the question, how do brands measures the impact-is it simply awareness that this most important and is gaining mindspace or keeping the brand forefront in the minds of the consumers the way to win?

3) As a customer/consumer - how do you feel about being a "fan" of a company or brand? How does this inform your thoughts about using such a page as part of a campaign strategy?

I actually am okay with being a fan. I consider myself an influencer in my social network and in my offline social circles. Being a fan does acknowledge my endorsement of a brand. I'm a True Blood fan for instance and I believe it's an awesome show. I like spreading the word about what I think is hot, what's next and new and by sharing my like's with my "social network" I actually am able to educate and inform them and as a result, they often seek my opinion. As a music lover for instance, I can be a fan on Maxwell and Sade's page and because I did respond to the 25 random things you don't know about me-most of my friends in my social graph know that Music is my passion. As such, I often use FB to inform and educate my friends on new bands and new music that I think is hot...I enjoy being able to be a brand evangelist and help expose new artists and their music. The same holds true for brands that I endorse such as Jet Blue-my good opinions or not so good -are 'heard" by my friends.

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