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.