In the past two days Facebook has made two major feature announcements – both posing great opportunities for marketers.
From “Like” To “Send”
It’s been just over one year since Facebook implemented the popular “Like” button, enabling websites and publishers who add it to their pages to make their content instantly viral with one click. They were onto something: over 10,000 sites add this button every day and it represents a sea of change in how publishers and marketers have significantly broadened their content and product distribution.
Yesterday, Facebook took the Like one level deeper by adding a “Send” button: in the same way readers can post a website or article to their walls for fast, broadcast-like sharing, they can now target what they share with select friends and groups, rather than their entire network.
What’s The Deal?
And today, Facebook launched a test of Deals in five U.S. cities. While poised to take on the daily deal giants Groupon and LivingSocial, the network is quick to state that its new offering is different, choosing not to focus on “deep discounts” but rather on the social element of deals. “The premise here is that people come to Facebook to have social experiences with one another,” Facebook Director of Local, Emily White, told the Wall Street Journal.
The Net for Marketers
Both announcements are great news for marketers. The Send feature supports what marketers have long known: targeting yields better results. Of course, there will likely always be a place for the “Like” button; its ease of use supported by the “1-click” sharing is tough to replace. But it’s also true that customers like to control where and how they share, making the “send” button a great step forward in empowering this. Our own programs show that customers still have a strong affinity to target their recommendations to friends, as demonstrated by strong usage statistics we see for email.
Similarly, Deals will foster more reasons for friends to share, adding more fuel to the recommendation fire that makes Social Recommendation Marketing so useful to retailers and brands. Our programs have always embraced the need to provide our brands’ customers with control and autonomy over what and how they share and recommend.
We’ll continue to provide our clients with insights around which methods work best for their individual brand social graphs, whether offline and conventional, or as a part of the evolving social media ecosystem.