Did Facebook Pave The Way For A New Kind Of Digital Marketing?

With Facebook recently turning the big 1 0, there has been talk of it reaching it’s peak. Valued at $150 billion and connecting 1.23 billion users, half the worlds Internet connected population, is this really true? 

More and more teens are moving away from Facebook and over to mobile messaging apps, with video sharing features like Snapchat and Kik. These apps allow users to share content with whom they decide, for just a number of seconds. However, searching Instagram using #Kik or #snapchat will demonstrate a large number of teens using the site (now owned by Facebook) to publicise their Kik or Snapchat details to find more users to engage with.  

A few years ago, there was talk of the death of the brand website. Facebook’s rise to the top meant marketers were more keen on spreading the word via their pages on the social networking site. While this is still the case, marketers are now also considering whether there’s another route to take and whether their attention should be turned to apps such as Kik and Snapchat.  

Smart marketers should know, it’s doesn’t have to be one network or the other, giving your entire brand identity to Facebook isn’t a good idea, not with such a huge range of social channels – Twitter, Vine, Pinterest, Snapchat, the list goes on. The hashtag – a marketers dream- can be used as a cross-platform to connect conversations. Connect them to where you ask? Well this is where it gets clever. Rather than drive traffic to the brand’s Facebook page, some marketers are reinventing their website as a social hub, a destination to link cross-platform social engagement into a deeper interaction, where they can collect data on what’s driving their customers. 

So, far from websites suffering due to the rise of social media, they are actually now destined to become the branded social hubs of the future.  Ordinarily social teams run social engagement while the web team runs the website, which means different views on the type of experience the website should deliver. Therefore it’s within the brands best interests to have one team focusing on both of these areas. 

Providing these brands deliver social experiences people want to connect with, brands can start to harvest social login information on their website. If a brand wants its customers to engage with them they need to have something of value to exchange with them. In other words they need to offer things such as applications and campaigns that entice their users to interact and enable the brand to collect information, such as competitions, quizzes and gamification. These allow brands to build CRM programs full of social data gained from the branded social hub on their website. 

So congratulations and happy belated birthday to Facebook who seem to have paved the way to a far more interesting way to market digitally. 

Photo (cc) Neeraj Kumar. Some rights reserved.