Archive for the ‘Facebook’ tag
Posting messages into the Facebook news feed of your most loyal consumers seems like a useful thing, right? It’s one of the reasons social media teams have put so much focus on creating and promoting Facebook pages. Now, with Facebook approaching 500M users, and with the privacy distractions fading away, this seems more important than ever. So why isn’t anybody using one of the most powerful aspects of the Open Graph protocol – the ability to send messages into the news feeds of people who have Liked something on your website?
For many brands, especially online brands, building a separate online presence on Facebook is an awkward process. Everyone wants access to the engagement and viral plumbing that Facebook perfected, and everyone wants to engage with consumers “where they are,” but the price of that is creating a less efficient path to the place you want your consumers to take action. If awareness or consideration are your main goals, then this is fine, but if trial or sales are your main goal, then having the activity take place on a site besides your own is a drag on efficiency.
So, when Facebook announced The Next Evolution of the Facebook Platform in April, it seemed like the best of both worlds had just arrived. As Mark Zuckerberg announced in his keynote, the Open Graph protocol makes it possible to extend Facebook activities to any website. Most of the initial conversation that followed concerned the power of the social plug-ins, especially the Like button, to spread content. Lost in that conversation was another, more powerful use of the Like button. As the Facebook team describes in the quote below, the Like button can create a persistent connection between you and your consumers.
When a user establishes this connection by clicking Like on one of your Open Graph-enabled pages, you gain the lasting capabilities of Facebook Pages: a link from the user’s profile, ability to publish to the user’s News Feed, inclusion in search on Facebook, and analytics through our revamped Insights product.
The key phrase here is, “the lasting capabilities of Facebook pages.” Now, if you have a website, you can get people to Like you on your own website, and still be able to post items into their news feed. Done properly, there may be no reason to create and maintain a separate presence on Facebook. We’ve built a prototype of such a page here at Modernista! and confirmed that it works as described above. Sure, there are some bugs and documentation is scarce, but that’s always been the case with the Facebook platform.
Some websites are using most of the Open Graph capabilities. For example, on IMDB, you can Like a movie, and all kinds of nice things happen for IMDB. Your friends see that you Liked a movie on IMDB.com, a link to that IMDB page goes into your Facebook profile page, and IMDB movie pages start turning up in Facebook search. Those are all nice things, but why isn’t IMDB posting information to my news feed now? That’s what happens with regular Facebook pages, and it’s technically possible, so why hasn’t IMDB or anyone else started doing this? We have some theories, but let us know your thoughts in the comments below.