As social networks have evolved, so have the ways people share, consume and discover information. The consumer has now become a brand’s most influential stakeholder, wielding the ability to influence friends and peers significantly more than advertisers. This shift in power has caused a corresponding transformation in social networks and how brands use them to engage with and market to consumers. Facebook’s Open Graph, for example, is a formidable force that is changing the way brands and consumers interact.
Historically, brands have struggled with the ROI of their Facebook marketing investments, but the Open Graph provides significant new marketing opportunities. Brands can engage with consumers both on and off of Facebook, broadcast consumer stories across Facebook and drive awareness and word of mouth (WOM). Brands can also buy Sponsored Stories to improve performance of their advertising on Facebook.
In this “Five Ways Facebook’s Open Graph will Impact Your Marketing” series we will first outline the 5 Ways:
1. Moving beyond the “Like”
Brands can now create interactions with consumers that are contextually relevant. For example, a wine distributor can enable users to “recommend” or “taste” a wine, a fashion brand can allow users to “want” a pair of shoes or “own” a dress. Brands can interact with consumers across all touch points (website, ecommerce storefront, and more) to create these contextually relevant stories, which are then broadcast via Facebook to the Consumer’s Timeline, as well as their friends’ News Feeds and Tickers.
2. Shifting the Facebook focus to the Consumer Timeline
While the Brand Timeline is an important tool for consumer engagement, Consumer Timelines are where the majority of interaction takes place, making them incredibly valuable to marketers. Consumer stories about brands are now broadcast front-and-center on the Consumer Timelines as well as in the News Feeds and Tickers of their friends, creating virality.
3. Gaining unprecedented insight into consumer demographics
With Facebook, marketers can understand who is sharing stories about their brand, as well as reach (impressions), engagement (clicks) and conversions. Marketers can also see aggregate demographics of friends that engage with stories, enabling them to optimize campaigns. For example, marketers could see that females dramatically outperform males on a campaign and reallocate ad budget accordingly.
4. Replacing Facebook Ads with Sponsored Stories
Sponsored Stories are significantly more relevant than most advertising because friends are endorsing brands and providing social context. Facebook research shows that recall of messages increases by 50% with social context. Sponsored Story results are significantly higher with a 46% higher CTR, and a 20% lower CPC than Facebook Ads. Additionally, Sponsored Stories are the only mobile ad unit on Facebook..
5. Facilitating the convergence of owned, earned and paid media
With the Open Graph, brands can engage consumers across all owned assets (website, blogs, social networks, and more) and foster creation of earned media (stories). This earned media is then broadcast across Facebook to amplify awareness organically. Brands can further amplify the reach of these earned media stories by purchasing paid media (Sponsored Stories).
Brands need to start thinking now about how they can incorporate Facebook’s Open Graph into their current marketing initiatives and future plans. As part of this series, we will take a deep dive into the impact each element will have on marketers. Stay tuned for our next post, Moving beyond the “Like.”