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I attended one of the keynote speeches for this past Tuesday’s DMA 2012 session from David Fischer, VP Business & Marketing Partnerships at Facebook, and it was so great! Keith Wilson, our own VP of Agency Product and Display wizard, and I agreed that the speech was not only a celebration of social advertising, but also of Facebook itself. Good thing we really like Facebook.
Being that the DMA was a conference for direct marketers, the focus of the presentation was about how to use Facebook to really engage and connect with customers. Over the last few years, Facebook has widely been accepted as a marketing channel, and a legitimate way to participate with customers. The tool doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. In fact, more targeted and refined features are growing by the day on the platform.
Rightfully so, Facebook has a tremendous reach with their numbers recently passing the milestone 1 billion mark. Today, 1 of 2 people online signed up for an account. To think about it globally, 1 of 7 people in the world has a Facebook page.
It’s not just about reach; Facebook’s engagement numbers are equally astounding. Every day, 2.5 billion content items are shared each day, with 300 million photos uploaded and 2.7 billion Likes. Even more interesting than the vast volume of engagement per day, is the QUALITY of content sharing. Users are sharing everything in their lives from the most profound to the every-day mundane. It’s not uncommon to see a coffee date and a birth announcement next to each other in a newsfeed. The moments we have in real life, are the same that we share on Facebook. Essentially the lines between our offline and online selves are becoming increasingly blurred.
That said, using Facebook is a no brainer for direct marketers.
Facebook advertising is based on audience targeting, which has historically been the most valuable aspect of marketing with Facebook. The advantage of using the platform to advertise is the amount of user information. It’s super easy to segment your audience based on gender, age, marital status, location, and even interests, and serve your ads to the most qualified audience. Not even all mighty Google AdWords can get that refined.
Recently, Facebook has gotten even more advanced with targeting with two new tools: Facebook Exchange (FBX) and Custom Audiences.
The Facebook Exchange  allows for advertising re-targeting by extracting users’ online behavior off Facebook. Advertisers can now re-target customers who have already shown some interest in the product or service. It’s a real time bidding service for ads – BIG TIME.
Custom Audiences  enables advertisers to marry information on potential customers with Facebook data. It allows you to take your own CRM database, compare it to Facebook’s data, and then create custom target audience clusters. Boom, instant better targeting.
The one thing all direct marketers are focused on is ROI. Facebook not only makes it easier to drive qualified traffic through targeted ads, but traditional word of mouth marketing is insanely powerful. Using Facebook Offers and Coupons is a great tool to capture that channel. When an offer or coupon is claimed on Facebook, it is automatically shared with the recipient’s network. This creates incredible social currency, with ¾ of claims resulting from the share and not the original targeted ad.
Facebook’s new tool, Collections , seeks to expand brand discovery. It’s essentially an online catalog that lives on Facebook with the addition of the Want button. In my opinion, it’s basically Facebook’s answer to Pinterest for brands. Still, it’s an exceptional way to create brand awareness, buzz, and yet another way to increase engagement with customers.
Facebook is in a constant state of reincarnation, always looking two steps forward to make both the user and marketer experience better. Personally, I am always excited when Facebook announces new additions, features, and interface modifications, so this session was very interesting for me. I hope my recap was just as compelling!
Check back for more recaps and thoughts from this year’s DMA Conference.
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- State Of Paid Search Report: Q4 2012 – Highlights  - January 22, 2013
- Facebook Graph Search – What Does The Search Agency Think?  - January 18, 2013
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- The Search Agency 2013 Predictions: Earned Media  - December 27, 2012
- The Search Agency 2013 Predictions: Paid Media  - December 26, 2012
- Search and Destroy Ep. 8 – Searching For: Online Shopping Trends, Tech Baby Names, and Content Marketing  - December 13, 2012
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- Apple’s iPad Mini, The NY Marathon & The American Spirit  - November 9, 2012