The internet was once a great anonymous playhouse. That's changing as the social media drives the web towards a greater degree of personalization.
And that's great news for marketers.
That's what David Fischer, Facebook's Vice President of Advertising and Global Operations, told the audience at ad:tech, the yearly conference for digital marketers.
Personalization, Fischer noted, is the reason why Facebook is growing so rapidly - 800 million registered users and counting. In fact, recently, the social networking company counted half a billion users coming to Facebook in a single day.
Fischer said this growth is primarily due to consumers desire to share information about themselves and their lives. And, he said, this the value proposition Facebook offers to brands.
" Our fundamental belief is that businesses are better off in a connected world," Fischer said. Indeed, a user "likes" a page 100 million times a day across Facebook, he added.
But how to turn that one-time like into an ongoing relationship?
Fischer, a former Google executive responsible for the search giant's online sales channel who defected to Facebook last year, offered three steps.
First, he said, you have to start with building connections. For huge brands, this is an easier process for big brands with those easily recognized logos. But even smaller companies can do it, Fischer said. For instance, Milford Nissan, in Milford, Massachusetts, spent 5,000 on Facebook ads, a relatively small amount of spend. The result was $500,000 generated in gross profit, Fischer said.
Second, engage that fan base. The idea is to let the fans tell your story, Fischer noted. He cited the example of Burberry, which took to Facebook to announce a new fragrance product. They delivered a quarter of a million samples to fans and grew their Facebook fan base by 1.5 million users.
Lastly, you want to inspire users. Facebook offers platforms, but it's up to the brand to find creative ways to leverage those tools. Facebook marketing is not a "one-off, it's an always-on strategy," Fischer said. Visual elements, like video, produce twice the level of engagement on Facebook, he added. (Intel's Museum of Me project provides a sample of how digital data can be used in a visual way.)
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