“Your friend audience tends to be bigger than your brand audience,” said Extol co-founder Andrew Beranbom. Facebook chose to leverage its Open Graph — or map of relationships among its users — to give marketers a more organic means of reaching out to potential customers.
Jesse Pujji, CEO and co-founder of Ampush, shared four things that Facebook shows marketers about their audiences:
1. Authentic Identities
People use Facebook to connect with their real-world friends online using their first and last names.
Facebook shows relationships between people, including which of a person’s friends are the most influential and on what subjects.
3. Interests, Attributes
Facebook users reveal details about themselves by “liking” certain brand pages or by listing a book, movie, or group as an interest in their profile details. They can also reveal bio data like age, location, and marital status.
4. Real-time Activity
Likes, comments, and shares are valuable currencies on Facebook. Likes are self-explanatory; shares tend to be positive; the key to understanding comments is to dive in and see if they are positive or negative.
Facebook’s strategy of “word of mouth marketing at scale” is a revolutionary concept — and one that makes some users concerned for their privacy.
The panelists agreed that not all likes are created equally — there should be some kind of filter to keep a joke on a user’s wall from being misinterpreted.
The scale of these activities is also small relative to the overall size of the social network, the panelists said.
Other features, like the Facebook “want” button, were less likely to take off. The panelists took a poll of audience members who had seen it versus those who had actually used it, and didn’t get a lot of hands for the latter.
In the future, social search will play a larger role. People will be able to type in the name of a baby product and see what their friends who are parents recommend, or walk into a Starbucks and use their phones to see what their friends have ordered and liked in the past.
For now, added Pujji, marketing success on Facebook depends on “how you enhance the user experience with those four things.”