Update: My favorite take on this story yet: Yes, Randi Zuckerberg, Please Lecture Us About `Human Decency’ and if you’re curious about the details of Facebook privacy settings, Marketingland has a nice write up on the details: How Facebook Tagging Helped Make Randi Zuckerberg’s “Private” Photo Go Public
I may have been a bad blogger here at 4realz over the past few months, but have been working away on some projects with the Dun & Bradstreet Credibility team that are just now coming to fruition… and so I thought I’d share some of what’s been keeping me so busy. While working with D&B Credibility, I’ve hired a social media outreach team, created and updated numerous social media profiles (such as our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and WordPress accounts), helped develop strategies with the business development team, played numerous ping-pong games, and spearheaded a project that’s near and dear to me: CredibilityLIVE.
Built based on my experience running Spinnio events, we designed CredibilityLIVE to be a series of monthly events where business owners will get a chance to learn from experts on issues around credit and credibility. I’ve had the chance to have extended discussions with our first three speakers: John Assaraf, Robert Berkman and Paul Chaney, and can positively say that they’re all fascinating people who will be sure to host informative and interesting conversations!
To take part in the first event with John Assaraf, you need only show up at CredibilityLIVE at 11am PST and use the Facebook chat widget to ask questions!
Interestingly, organizing this series has been a lot more time consuming than any Spinnio endeavor to date… and included rebuilding the platform from the ground up. The new platform has all the stuff you’d expect from a company like D&B Credibility, with an integrated registration system, white labeled video streaming, well thought out watermark design, and a top-notch marketing/PR campaign… (plus lots of testing!).
There are already over 600 people registered for the first (FREE) event with John Assaraf where he’s going to be talking about how business owners can use the latest in brain research to help reach their potential! Please, please consider joining us and if you know someone who would be interested, don’t hesitate to invite them! (It’s free, remember!)
By the way, for some interesting insight into what’s got me so excited to be working with the Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp team, check out this interview with CEO Jeff Stibel by Ben Kuo of SoCal Tech. In the interview, Jeff gives a nice overview of the process of raising $200M to buy and grow the small business unit of D&B and the crazy hiring going on out of our Malibu office.
Is Facebook evil?
I’ve been thinking about what Chris Messina is saying a bunch lately… and there’s more than a bit of truth to it… although it reminds of the bullet I bit when I started “going mac”. The debate about Facebook having too much control over the internet is nothing new… and only going to get stronger as more and more sites adopt their technology.
So, I guess the real question for someone doing interent marketing becomes are you going to try to go out on your own or use the tools facebook gives us even though there’s an “evil” element to it? Is it worth the extra effort?
In adding the Facebook Recommendation Widget to RCG, I decided to try something a bit different and add it to the footer (along with the social scope plugin widget).
Does it work there? As kind of a “one more thing”…
My hope is that if someone makes it through an article, but doesn’t know what to do next, something in the plugin will catch their eye and keep them clicking articles. Your thoughts?
And you probably should pop over to a RCG article, like this one: Everybody LOVES Bank Fraud to see the recommendation plugin in action.
The default “like” button didn’t work so well within my P2 theme, but I was able to get the recommendation plugin working with almost no effort at all… and it rocks!
It not only shows the number of folks who are sharing each article on my site, but will make personalized recommendations to you for articles based on the articles that you’re friends are sharing! So slick!
To get it launched on 4realz.net, all I had to do was
- head over to the recommendation generator page,
- fill in some basic information,
- click the “get code” button
- copy and paste the code into a sidebar text widget
It’s so darn easy, I decided to post it in this blog post!
According to the story, Sheryl Sandberg (FB’s COO) drew a funnel and described how Google does a great job delivering customers at the “point of sale” but that point-of-sale ad spend represents only 10% of total ad spend. The idea being Facebook sees the big win being helping business the ability to target people before they’ve actually made a decision to buy or sell. It’s much more of a relationship and branding play.
To make the connection to real estate, I gotta take us back to the same Agent Business Cycle diagram I’m been harping on lately… and comparing the business that is generated by agents from their sphere to the business generated by reaching consumers directly.
Google does a ridiculously great job generating business at the point of sale and that’s where money is being spent today just as most online real estate marketing money targets reaching ad spends that reach consumers directly. However, in real estate, the majority of business is *not* generated by reaching consumers directly. It never has been and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon. The majority of business is generated by agents who know how to work their sphere… and for that business case (i.e. the case for increasing one’s reach or sphere), I don’t think there’s ever been a better technology or tool than Facebook.
As Sheryl demonstrates, the folks at Facebook not only “get” this, but they’re building the tools that will help not only help you reach this sphere, but also the ad platform so they can make millions (billions!) in the process!
Greg Vincent asked the seemingly obvious questions as to whether agents should use Facebook Ads to send consumers to their post about a listing or a page on their website featuring the listing.
The answer is neither.
I’ve been buying Facebook Ads on-and-off for quite a while and have seen no evidence to suggest buying ads on Facebook makes any sense at all. Facebook is super-quick to take down non-performing ads (i.e. ads that people aren’t clicking on), and I just can’t image that the typical listing has any lasting value for consumers. If, and only if, Facebook someday figures out who is likely to move to a geographic area AND lets you target those people, I might change my mind.
Looking from a larger perspective, at just about every presentation I’ve been giving over the past few months, I’ve been harping about how Facebook makes so much more sense as a sphere building tool than as a tool to reach your next client.
If you’re curious why I make the distinction between reaching consumers directly and building your sphere, check out the Agent Business Cycle diagram. Based on countless interviews with agents (as well as my own surveys), I feel comfortable saying that the majority of agent business is generated from sphere building activities (whether they be reaching into an agent’s community or connecting with past clients)… and Facebook is the ultimate sphere building tool.
Used “right,” there has never been a social network that will help you to reach new and relevant people (i.e. friends of friends/fans/followers) so easily, but when used “wrong,” Facebook will quickly take just about all your influence within your network.
So what do “right” interactions look like on Facebook? If you’re brand new to the idea, I recommend checking out Networking Engine Optimization, but in summary, you want to be creating content (and promoting content) that will get people to interact with your business page. More than any other factor, it seems pretty clear that Facebook determines the relevance of something by looking at the interactions of their friends (whether it be comments, likes, new fans, wall posts, etc.).
Create a page with no interactions and expect to have a relative “black hole” in Facebook in the same way that a website without any inbound links is essentially a black hole to Google.
After writing my last post on why I think the ability to promote posts on Facebook is going to be huge, I realized I didn’t capture the “why” very well… We already know that Facebook recently passed google.com in terms of raw traffic, and yet the industry around turning that traffic into real business is still in the infant stages… So, here’s my attempt to summarize where things currently stand between Facebook and Google:
Here’s how to think about this table:
- Google is best used to target search traffic, while Facebook is best used to target friends of existing fans.
- Google’s algorithms are optimized to figure out what you’re going to like (or click on) based on what other web searches are clicking on… and the industry around that is called SEO. Facebook’s algorithms are optimized to figure out what you’re going to like (or click on) based on what your friends are click on (I’m calling this NEO).
- You can use Google’s Adwords to buy targeted search traffic, which is relevant because you can surmise someone’s interest (or intent) based on the keywords they entered into Google’s search box. You can use Facebook’s Ads to buy targeted traffic, which you can make relevant by buying terms that are related to your business page.
- With Google, the most effective strategy for increasing the relevance of your website is to generate backlinks from other relevant and quality sites. With Facebook, the most effective strategy for increasing the relevance of your business page is to generate quality engagement from your existing fan base
- With Google, you can increase your relevance by sending paid traffic to more relevant pages on your site (i.e. not your homepage) that are likely to convert at higher rates. With Facebook, you can now send relevant people (i.e. friends of fans) to posts that are likely to convert at higher rates and having higher levels of engagement.
In web traffic, it’s all about relevance and Promoted Posts are Facebook’s way of letting your pay to improve the relevance of any given status update by sending more (and hopefully relevant) traffic to the update!
Facebook is rolling out all kinds of changes to Fan pages today… but it wouldn’t surprise me if the MOST interesting change flies under the radar for just a bit. What is the most interesting change? The one I’m seeing is that you can now buy an ad for an individual status update!
Here’s the screenshot I get when I click on the “promote” button:
For those of us following changes to Fan Pages, this really shouldn’t be a surprise (I actually mentioned this change when talking about the future of Facebook at a recent Leading RE conference in Vegas)… But here’s why it’s interesting.
When thinking about how to approach Facebook marketing, it’s all about Status Updates! I got some polite ribbing from the Roost guys at the same conference when I mentioned that agents should just roll their eyes at SEO and/or Tab “solutions” when on Facebook, but I’ll stick by my guns on this one. Don’t bother with any Facebook unless you’re planning on doing the hard work of generating status updates that will get people to interact. Anything else on Facebook is just work avoidance.
Why are status updates so important? This has to everything to do with Facebook’s recommendation engine, or as I like to call it, NEO. Again, I’m gonna stick by my guns on this one as as well and say that going forward networking engine optimization, or optimizing content for the social networking algorithms, is going to become a huge industry similar to SEO today. So, if you want to get an idea of why these “promoted posts” are such a big deal, it has everything to do with the ability to get more activity on your status updates… even if you have to pay for it!
I went ahead and bought an ad to point to a FB status update and was thrilled to see that by default, FB point ads at the “friends of fans.”
In my early exploration of NEO, I was calling the concept FOF Marketing because the social networks do such a great job helping people reach the “friend of friends, friends of fans and/or friends of followers”, so thought it was a bit catchy… However, I don’t think FOF tells the story behind the concept as well as NEO.