Blogger’s Note: This is Part Two of my analysis on the latest additions to Facebook. This section will address the Media Partnerships, Gestures, and Color. Click here to see Part One of this post.
In the last blog post, I hopefully calmed some of your fears on the new Facebook while giving you some realistic action items to implement.
Hopefully, you’ve already started to see that Web 2.0 is very quickly becoming a thing of the past and Web 3.0, or the semantic web. The difference is that in the past, someone would expect to find everything they need in a search engine. Now, users should now expect their internet to give them what they want without typing in anything.
The other big lesson is that ROI takes a back seat with these tools in favor of increased engagement. If you think these tools are going to help you measure results, you’re missing the point. Get your employees and customers talking about you as much as possible, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised about what happens to your business.
In addition, there is a new social media war between Facebook and Google+. The new changes pretty much gave Foursquare the final knockout blow and Twitter will become more like a complementary tool to either network, rather than a competitor.
With that said, here is a look at the rest of the changes Facebook made and what they mean to you.
Why? – The new partnerships are part of the Apps section of your new Timeline. Facebook wants your profile to be stickier, and is doing so by having three components that it believes will keep you on the site: news, video, and music. The main headliners for each section respectively are Yahoo! News, Netflix, and Spotify. However, there are several other options to choose from depending on your tastes. Eventually, Facebook will offer suggestions of what you might like based on your previous selections, similar to how Amazon recommends certain products.
What Does This Mean? — Brands will have a very effective method of market research. They can even receive recommendations based on the user sharing their app with Facebook friends. A brand can also get to know their customers better by seeing what they’ve liked, recommended, or used in the past. These partnerships are going to drastically change the advertising agency. If you were surprised by what Leo Burnett could do on a cell phone, just wait and see what happens with Facebook.
Action Item — Create targeted advertisements — The real advantage of the partnerships is going to be targeted advertisements. While some of you roll your eyes at the thought of being bombarded by more ads on Facebook, you probably wouldn’t be too upset if you were to find an ad linked to a Groupon, or another site of that nature.
Why? – Facebook apparently did some internal research, and found out that many users didn’t want to “Like” everything because they felt like it gave an endorsement. Gestures are now a more versatile version of the Like button. Pretty soon, the verb will supplement a “Like.” The main buttons will be Read, Want, Watch, and Listen. However, developers will also get to create new buttons that can be clicked on Facebook. For example, instead of saying you “Like” a new song by Jay-Z, you can now say you “Listened” to it, which lets you share with your friends what you’re doing without endorsing the song. Remember, the Like button isn’t going away; it’s just getting an addition.
What Does This Mean? – If you’re into social analytics, you’re going to have a blast. There’s now a more customizable method of engaging users without necessarily endorsing it. The other positive is that because developers will get to create their own buttons, there will be more content sharing (which is the ultimate goal in all of this).
Action Item – Use these buttons as a way to gauge your customers’ interests, but DON’T use it to measure ROI — In the old Facebook, companies would try to get as many Likes as possible in order to send out news to their fans. This is great, but with the Subscription function, the Like button can be saved for people who actually like the product or service. However, a company would be sadly mistaken if it thinks that the Like button is still its solution to almost everything. Instead, the company will need to take the time to figure out which buttons work best for its overall mission or if it needs a developer to create a new button. Is it better to say that I “Want” a Burrito Bowl at Chipotle or would an “Order” button better fit my needs? However you choose to use the buttons, resist the urge to measure ROI. These buttons are not ROI tools; they are for exposure and engagement. Use them to bring more traffic to your website or keep a dialogue going with your customers. Trying to assign a metric based on these buttons – at least for now – is like asking a grade school student to take the SAT. There will be a time to measure success, but not for the first several months while everyone is adjusting to the new Facebook.
Why? – In case Timeline didn’t finish Foursquare off, this app certainly will. Color works on smartphones and allows users to share pictures and video with anyone in your proximity. It also determines where you are based on your phone’s GPS or Bluetooth. People can connect with you socially without “following” you or becoming your “friend.” The point of Color is to connect with new people over your phone and share your activity. Everything you make public on Color is displayed to people within 100 feet of you.
What Does This Mean? – If your business involves bringing people into a specific location (I’m talking to you, restaurants and stores), this app is just what you need.
Action Item – Offer incentives in exchange for users publishing their presence at your business (the Foursquare strategy) – Foursquare’s main appeal is that a user can check into a place once or several times to become the mayor and receive an exclusive deal. The same strategy applies here. The difference between Color and Foursquare is that a person’s action is shared with everyone who has Color. As a business owner, this should seem like the perfect opportunity to get some free advertising and bring in anyone who’s in the area.