Sunday, 29 January 2012

Best practice for international Facebook Pages?

Working on a Facebook campaign for a European brand with a number of outlets in various countries,  targeting reasonably hip, affluent urbanites in UK, Germany, Russia, France and Italy, my colleagues and I had a debate around what would be best practice for a Facebook infrastructure. Do you have a European Facebook Page? Or individual country Pages? Or individual outlet Pages Or all?
We agreed that it all depends on the behaviour of customers. We came up with a few 'rules':

  1. If, for example, the UK customers will be travelling to outlets in other countries, then a European Page that provides information on the outlets in other countries, would make sense. 
  2. If the customers mainly go to their domestic outlets then individual country Pages would be the best option.
  3. If customers are visiting their local outlets and tend not to travel more than 20 miles, then local Pages would be best to serve their needs. 
  4. If customers are domestic and international, then it would depend on the number of outlets in each country. If there is less than 5 in each country, then a European Page, in English, with translated and geo targeted status updates, would be the most cost effective away to serve the customers needs. When the number of outlets increases to above 5 per country, then we would start thinking about having additional country specific Pages. 
I guess it's all common sense really, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Facebook Deals on the way out?

It looks like it could be all over for Facebook Deals. Speaking to Facebook on Friday about rolling out a campaign based around Deals for one of my clients, I was quite surprised when they said that Deals was a 'test' and that it hadn't been that successful and that they weren't sure what was going to happen with the service.

I remember the large dollop of hype that surrounded the launch last year, with brands like Argos and Debenhams as launch partners. I really had high hopes for it.

From my discussion, it seems that the main barriers to up take are:

  1. Implementing Facebook Deals by, say, a supermarket or restaurant chain, requires significant investment in a back end system that monitors, tallies and verifies the Deals taken by customers across all stores.
  2. All checkout and front of house staff need to be trained to process the Deals.
  3. Brands need to go through Facebook and support Deals with a significant amount of advertising.
I guess you could argue no 3 might be the big sticking point and that maybe Facebook hindered adoption by not making it free, like other elements of Facebook. However, I reckon the implementation and fulfilment barriers are pretty huge for most brands. And I haven't come across many [any] case studies of brands using Deals effectively. 

It's a shame Deals might be switched off as I thought it was a really nifty idea. Oh well, back to sending out downloadable coupons:)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Great use of Facebook Timeline

An awesomely cunningly use [IMHO] of Facebook Native timeline app that compares 'normal you' and 'smack head you'.

My highly talented colleagues in Israel were behind it - although I saw it on PSFK first.Facebook Timeline Ads Show Your Clean Vs. Drug-Addicted Life

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Cool Augmented Reality use in Facebook

I came across this strangely addictive Facebook app, called PopCam that uses augmented reality in a fun way: you catch popcorn in your mouth using your computer's camera. It's from a popcorn maker called Orville Redenbacker.

I like it not just because it's from a company named after a green duck that wished it could fly, but because its really simple, there are a couple of steps to play the game and because you don't need an AR tag on your for it to work - which IMHO was one of the barriers to take up.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Why I don't really like LinkedIn

I always used to think I didn't really like LinkedIn because I didn't quite get it. But I was listening to an Inside PR podcast from December and one of the guys [Martin Waxman I think] said that he didn't like it didn't have the same altruistic feel of things like Facebook and Twitter.

Then it struck me. The reason I didn't like LinkedIn was very similar. In that, I always felt it was too salesy. People use it to pimp themselves and make mercenary connections with people that may be able to do something to advance their career. It kinda reminds me of The Apprentice.

Don't get me wrong, I do use LinkedIn. I just don't like how it feels.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Engagement v eyeballs in social media

2011 was full of debate around how you measure the ROI of social media. Talking to clients and colleagues in different marcomms disciplines, the debate seemed to polarise into two schools of thought.

  1. Engagement: Social media is about engaging with customers, prospects and other audience groups, with the main business goals being around loyalty, customer service, reputation management. This school is usually backed by PR professionals and creatives. KPIs are around actions such as Likes, Comments, and sentiment.
  2. Awareness: This school sees social media as a way to reach a lot of eyeballs, sell them stuff and generally use social media as a direct response channel. This thinking is often championed by media buyers, direct marketers and CRM specialists. KPIs are around views, reach and if possible, sales. 
Personally, I don't think one school is right and the other wrong, but I do think social media naturally lends itself to the Engagement way of thinking. The most popular social channels are all about having conversations with audiences rather eliciting a direct response to an offer. [I am slightly biased as my background is PR.] If given the choice, I would always take engagement actions [Likes, Comments] over static awareness numbers, like views. [I still believe it is better to have an engaged audience than a large passive one.] 

Having said all that, in 2011, I saw more and more people wanting more from brands in social spaces than just a conversation. They want brands to provide something of value. This could be information, interesting content, or the offers and promotions the direct marketers use. 

IMHO, 2012 is going to see more and more brands moving to an approach that combines engagement and direct response, particularly if social shopping takes off. Brands will need to provide offers, deals and things of value to its social audiences, as well as holding two way conversations. People running social media campaigns will need to learn from all marcomms disciplines and devise campaigns that have engagement, awareness generating and direct response activities.