Welcome to the last piece in our series about the complementary relationship between consumer advocacy and Facebook’s Open Graph.
In part one I took a look at the increasing impact of social marketing via Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) communication, and how Facebook’s platform is helping shape that trend. By amplifying the opinions of your brand advocates specifically within their networks of friends, this combination essentially creates favorable and organically viral brand exposure.
Part two touched on method, reviewing the importance of Facebook real estate and the Owned Media → Earned Media → Paid Media model. This M.O. enables marketers to drive more meaningful consumer engagement with already-established digital touch points — such as brand website, customer forums or social networks – to get consumers spreading the word. Ultimately, marketers can invest in that what they already know to be highly effective, spreading word of mouth recommendations at scale across owned and paid media.
In today’s conclusion I’ll cover the marketing benefits of this coupling.
Facebook’s monthly active user count is a staggering 900 million. If the platform were a country, a population of that size would rank it the third largest in the world, exceeded only by China (1.33 billion), India (1.17 billion).
In other words, it is the one place from which seemingly everyone is accessible. This means that by leveraging C2C sharing and the Open Graph protocol in tandem, marketers can not only tap into their audiences in a culturally and contextually relevant way, but also the audiences of those audiences (a.k.a. friends of friends).
According to Forrester, 80% of all B2C and B2B purchases involve some form of word of mouth (WOM) recommendation during the purchase cycle, and so it is through this boost in consumer-driven awareness that marketers can actually harness the power of opinion.
True (and Continuous) Relevance
It is widely known that friends trust friends and peers more than they trust advertisers (92% trust recommendations from friends and family, 70% trust online reviews according to the latest Nielsen numbers). And so it is by fostering consumer messages about brands through Facebook’s Open Graph — messages that are then seamlessly endorsed and published to Facebook by everyday users — that marketers can attain the level of trust and ongoing social context needed to remain top of mind.
This continuous relevance works with the endless reach mentioned to drive a larger number of relevant interactions and, at the end of the day, more clicks and conversions. According to a study by Facebook and Nielsen, recall of message increased by 50% with social context as compared to an update without social context.
Lastly, a WOM strategy compounded with Facebook’s reach and relevance will provide brands with an unprecedented amount of valuable consumer data. First of all, brands can now track measurable campaign ROI – from impressions to clicks to conversions — to optimize their marketing programs. On top of this, they can track influence of their customer advocates, including shares and reach, giving them valuable insight into social influencers. Further, with data from the Open Graph, marketers gain unprecedented access to demographics about their customers, as well as their customers’ friends. With this combined collection of information, marketers will be able to invest in the prolonged visibility of the most successful consumer stories through Facebook’s Sponsored Stories.
Despite all of the changes in consumer behavior and social media, the R in ROI still stands for return, and at the end of the day, that’s what all marketers want to see. The greatest thing about approaching a C2C social marketing strategy through the combination of WOM and Facebook’s Open Graph is that it has the potential to make that R grow organically and continuously — simply because it’s backed by consumer honesty. It’s true Return.
Stay tuned for upcoming product announcements from Extole that will help brands harness the power of Facebook’s Open Graph to socialize their customer experiences and tap into the incredible power of word of mouth.