Marketing Technology for Growth
Graph Search is Facebook’s debut in to the search engine market. Although CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has made a point of emphasizing that the new tool is "not Web search,” many have speculated that Graph Search is the social media website’s attempt to compete with their biggest competitor, Google, in the market for search.
One of the unchallenged assumptions of marketing is that greater personalization implies greater relevance. If brands or marketers can tap into the ever-shifting zeitgeist of their intended audience to deliver that perfect message, they’ll likely capture not only the hearts and minds, but also the wallets, of their marks. It is within this framework that Facebook CEO Mark “Zuck” Zuckerberg implores businesses to try and grasp the possibilities of the social network’s new Graph Search social search engine.
Still basking in the afterglow of Facebook’s long overdue social, or “graph search” announcement, I couldn’t help but reflect on an old saying of my high school guidance counselor: “generalists don’t get anywhere in life. If you want to succeed, you have to specialize.” In my youth, I took this advice to heart as I plodded along to obtain an undergraduate degree in history and a master’s in mediaeval history. It was only after crafting the thesis of my future Phd, “The Extent to Which the Carolingian Conception of Milites Christi Influenced that of the Franco Normans of the First Crusade,” that I took a hard moment to reflect on the sagacity of my guidance counselor’s advice. Shortly thereafter, I jumped ship back to America, and well, the rest is history. That experience taught me two things: 1) Sometimes questioning the conventional wisdom is necessary, 2) Perhaps the being a generalist isn’t so bad after all. Maybe the old saying, “Jack of All Trades, Master of None” isn’t meant to be a disparaging epitaph, but rather a guiding, aphorism.
I love data. Some new search engine usage stats from Experian Hitwise for September 2012 search got me thinking about the future of search. According to the data, there were slightly over 2 billion (2.126B) visits to the top five search engines during the week ending September 15th, representing approximately 90% (91.46%) of all search engine traffic. The top search term was “Facebook,” representing 3.28% of ALL searches. Not surprisingly, Facebook was also the number one website visited after search as well, capturing 6.62% of all post-search traffic (don’t ask me why 2X as many people ended up at the FB website as searched it; maybe this number represents the lost tribe of G+ users).
Do you ever wonder if the content you’re sharing over Facebook and other social media channels is actually reaching the target audience you had in mind? Well luckily for you, just last week Facebook revealed a powerful new social media marketing tool called “Page Post Targeting Enhanced.”
Although not a ton of information has been released about the new post targeting tool, it does appear to be highly beneficial to marketers. Until last week, Facebook posts could only target a specific audience based on two metrics: location and language. However, according to TechCrunch, the new Page Post Targeting tool allows you to zero in on a variety of different demographics including:
- Interest In
- Relationship Status
- College Grad
- In College
- In High School
This is huge news for marketers and advertisers trying to target a specific audience when creating posts. For marketers to run a successful Facebook campaign that produces results, it is imperative that they follow a simple formula for marketing success. When crafting a Facebook campaign, the first objective marketers should focus on is fan reach, i.e. greater exposure in fans’ news feeds. This is where the new Page Post Targeting “Enhanced” functionality comes into play.
With the new tool, Facebook page admins can publish various types of content to specific, highly-defined market segments. For example, if Gap is trying to promote a new fall back-to-school clothing line for high school students, the clothier will not only be able to focus on specific geo-locations, but also target directly to high school students based on age, school, and possibly gender, depending on the direction of Gap’s campaign.
This means that college students and other unlikely consumers will not see irrelevant advertising for products they are unlikely to purchase. Instead, a company’s “enhanced posts” will only appear in the news feeds of their intended target audience (in addition to the company’s Facebook Timline).
For marketers who understand the importance of content marketing, and more specifically, the power of social media promotion, Facebook’s new Page Post Targeting Enhanced tool will allow segmentation and targeting like never before. If used properly, the new tool will likely drive more relevant traffic to your Facebook page, increasing engagement with the fans that matter most.
However, it will be up to the individual marketer to determine the appropriate targeting levels for Enhanced Posts. With too much targeting, you might be limiting the reach and effectiveness of your post; whereas with too little targeting, you will likely reach out too many people who may not care.
As marketers begin to draw the fine line between what is too much and too little enhanced posting, remember that as long as you’re providing fresh and valuable information, Facebook’s new tool should be an extremely useful for your social media marketing efforts.Follow @SyneCoreDan
How did I miss it? I’ve written fairly extensively about Facebook’s motivations for some time now, but somehow never realized one simple fact: Facebook’s marketing plan for advertisers is almost entirely focused on helping influence buyer purchase decision by facilitating MOFU, or middle-of-the-funnel marketing offers. Before you write me off as a nut-job, this idea isn’t mine- it comes straight from Gogul Rajaram, product director of Facebook Advertising.
Zuck, baby, what’s up big guy WAAZZUP! (virtual fist punch…..left hanging). We haven’t heard much from you lately, so I thought I’d drop a line. Wow, what a crazy few months it’s been for Facebook, huh man! I mean with the IPO, and subsequent stock crash, or its “corrective recapitalization” (don’t worry, Zuck, nobody pays attention to those Wall Street namby pambies anyway-they don’t get visionaries like you and me. By the way, have you had time to look over that idea I sent you a few months back? No biggie if you haven’t- I’ve been swamped too).
In late June, Facebook confirmed the pending launch of Facebook Exchange, its new real-time ad exchange service that will for the first time allow marketers to target audiences on Facebook using both first-party and third-party data¹ This is a big deal for two reasons. First, if it works as intended, Facebook Exchange represents a boon for advertisers and marketers, who will be able to offer Facebook users real-time ads that are partially based on users’ off-site browsing behavior. Second, if it works as intended, it represents yet another incremental step in the infringement of user data privacy.
Imagine this scenario… You are strolling through your favorite store picking up a few items that catch your eye. When you go to the register to pay, the merchant asks, “would that be Visa or Facebook?” “I’ll go with Facebook,” you say, with a Cheshire-catlike grin. “Great,” beams the merchant. “I’ve automatically checked you in as well. By doing so, you saved 10% on your purchase today. Just tap your Facebook PassCode into the keypad, and you’re all set.” If you think the days of Facebook-as-payment-solution are far off, think again. It just makes too much sense for everyone-you, me, Facebook, and its millions of shareholders looking to make a fat profit on future earnings.