Historically, brands have struggled with the ROI of their Facebook marketing investments, but the Open Graph provides significant new marketing opportunities. Brands can engage with consumers both on and off of Facebook, broadcast consumer stories across Facebook and drive awareness and word of mouth (WOM).
Below are five ways that Facebook’s Open Graph enhances your marketing:
1. Moving beyond the “Like”
Brands can now create interactions with consumers that are contextually relevant. For example, a wine distributor can enable users to “recommend” or “taste” a wine, a fashion brand can allow users to “want” a pair of shoes or “own” a dress.
Savvy brands are developing strategies to leverage Open Graph actions aligned with their brand and create opportunities for relevant consumer engagement.
2. Shifting the Facebook focus to the Consumer Timeline
While the Brand Timeline is an important tool for consumer engagement, comScore research shows that these pages reach only 16% of fans each week. Consumer Timelines are where the majority of interaction takes place — making them incredibly valuable to marketers. Consumer stories about brands are now broadcast front-and-center on the Consumer Timelines as well as in the News Feeds and Tickers of their friends, creating virality.
Brands need to develop strategies to claim real estate on the Consumer Timeline and they need programs to foster consumer stories through the Open Graph.
3. Gaining unprecedented insight into consumer demographics
With Facebook, marketers can understand who is sharing stories about their brand, as well as reach (impressions), engagement (clicks) and conversions. Marketers can also see aggregate demographics of friends that engage with stories, enabling them to optimize campaigns. For example, marketers could see that females dramatically outperform males on a campaign and reallocate ad budget accordingly. The deep insights through the Open Graph enable brands to optimize marketing campaigns both on an off of Facebook.
4. Replacing Facebook Ads with Sponsored Stories
Sponsored Stories are significantly more relevant than most advertising because friends are endorsing brands and providing social context. Facebook research shows that recall of messages increases by 50% with social context. Sponsored Story results are significantly higher with a 46% higher CTR, and a 20% lower CPC than Facebook Ads. Additionally, Sponsored Stories are the only mobile ad unit on Facebook. If Sponsored Stories play out according to Facebook’s plan, more and more brands will switch their Facebook ad dollars to Sponsored Stories.
5. Facilitating the convergence of owned, earned and paid media
With the Open Graph, brands can engage consumers across all owned assets (website, blogs, social networks, and more) and foster creation of earned media (stories). This earned media is then broadcast across Facebook to amplify awareness organically. Brands can further amplify the reach of these earned media stories by purchasing paid media (Sponsored Stories).
With Facebook, brands will be able to implement strategies to test the impact of the convergence of media types.
Brands need to start thinking now about how they can incorporate Facebook’s Open Graph into their current marketing initiatives and future plans.