Michael Jaindl is the VP of Client Services for Buddy Media, a Facebook management system that has been making a lot of news lately. The Buddy Media Platform allows brands, including Samsung (check out our Samsung USA
page), to create engaging Facebook tabs, monitor the wall, schedule posts, and more.
1. What are the top 5 things brands should be doing on Facebook?
This list will differ depending on the brand and audience, but here are 5 things all brands should be thinking about...
a) Use conversations to amplify campaigns:
The average user spends more then 55 minutes per day on Facebook and most of that time is spent on their News Feed. It’s important for brands to create conversations in the News Feed and direct fans to their tabs where they can have a richer experience and are motivated to share content. Most brands are used to creating fairly static promotional campaigns. They create TV spots, print ads, a Facebook tab, etc and start rolling out the campaign. It lasts for a few months and they take it down. Conversations, on the other hand, only last a few hours, are more dynamic, and should happen more frequently. Brands need to have conversations with their customers and fans everyday.
b) Motivate your fans to share content:
Brands and agencies need to create interesting content that fans are motivated to share. Facebook users have become very savvy and they realize that there is a negative impact to spamming their network. They can receive a negative comment, be hidden, or worst yet defriended. Just as people understand that forwarding on an email chain letter is spammy they get that sharing boring content can hurt their social cred. Just because there is a share button on a piece of content doesn’t mean that anyone will actually share it. It’s important to create compelling content that your fans are motivated to share.
c) Keep tabs simple and focused:
Most tabs have too much content. When designing a tab it’s important to have a clear goal in mind about what you want fans to interact with and share. Limit the focus on the page to one or two actions that you want your fans to take and design accordingly. The Buddy Media Platform is a great tool for managing content because it allows the page administrator to hide or show tab content in order to keep the tab focused.
d) Leverage owed, earned and paid media:
It’s important to leverage owned, earned, and paid media to promote your Facebook page. Make sure that your Facebook URL is everywhere. Create captivating or provocative ads and ask your prospective fans to “continue the conversation on Facebook”. The Field of Dreams model typically doesn’t work well on Facebook so if you aren’t promoting your page don’t expect to dramatically increase your fan base or engagement.
e) Create content specifically for Facebook:
Offering Facebook exclusive content gives fans a reason to pay attention and come back to your page. As you are designing a marketing campaign make sure that you are creating Facebook only content and a conversation calendar around that content. After you’ve created Facebook specific content use the Buddy Media Platform to “fan gate” your tabs so potential fans need to like the page before they get access to that content.
2. Companies like Zynga and Buddy Media have become an important part of the Facebook ecosystem. How is BuddyMedia enhancing Facebook and the overall social experience?
Imagine that you’re on a NASCAR pit crew and you need to use a standard monkey wrench to change your car’s tires instead of a power gun. The pit crews using the power gun will have changed all four tires by the time you’ve loosed your first lug nut. NASCAR races are very competitive and won by fractions of a second. A pit crew that uses the wrong tools has no chance of winning the race. Buddy Media offers “power tools” for Facebook through our Buddy Media Platform. The Buddy Media Platform helps brands and agencies amplify word-of-mouth marketing, monitor & moderate conversations, quickly launch/manage shareable content, and track performance through a comprehensive analytics suite. 2011 is going to be an interesting year because a lot of ground, in terms of brand equity, is going to be won and lost based on how effectively brands leverage social media to connect with their customers. If a brand or agency isn’t using the right tools they are going to lose ground.
3. The new Facebook Groups has once again brought up the topic of privacy. What are your thoughts about the new Groups and Facebook's overall approach to new features?
I love the new Groups feature. We use it at Buddy Media to share everything from interesting articles to party invites. It’s a smart longer-term play for Facebook that will undoubtedly facilitate more sharing.
4. Facebook has become the most important online social network in the world. Why do you think Facebook continues to succeed where so many others have failed?
For one, I think Mark Zuckerberg’s intense focus on product in lieu of profits has been a big factor. It’s why Facebook is more reliable than Friendster was and more engaging than Myspace. Facebook makes a lot of revenue now, but they are still a breakeven company and Zuckerberg is ok with that because his focus is adding users, increasing engagement, and improving the user experience. This focus allows Facebook to think long term without having to worry about short term reaction to product releases. A lot of users didn’t like the News Feed or photo tagging when they were released. Over the long term those features became cornerstones of Facebook and the catalyst for it’s rapid growth.
5. What's next for BuddyMedia?
We have a lot of exciting Buddy Media Platform feature launches coming up. Ensuring that our clients have the best tools to manage their social campaigns effectively is paramount. Stay tuned...