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October 4, 2011 / jasonpinto

One Big Theme at DMA 2011 – Facebook!

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I had the chance to attend the DMA 2011 conference in Boston yesterday. I won’t lie — I enjoyed my time there!

I’ve been to a lot of trade shows over the past year in the role of  vendor/exhibitor. Thus, it was quite interesting to be on the other side… to be walking down the aisles feeling exhibitors desperate to make eye contact with you or to tickle-your-fancy with a clever opening line. I also enjoyed simply being an attendee because I was actually able to attend some of the sessions.

While there were a lot of key points and trends floating around the conference, I will say that Facebook stands out among the top. It may sound ridiculous to label Facebook as a “trending topic” in the world of marketing. However, I still think there are plenty of B-to-B companies (and a lot of B-to-C companies, too) that have doubts as to how Facebook can help them.

There were a number of points made yesterday that should help companies decide whether they should be spending marketing resources on Facebook. Here are a few of them.

Reporting Enhancements

Facebook is launching a number of enhancements to their Page Insights tool. For example, they will be including a new measurement labeled “People Talking About This”.

That measurement will include the number of Likes, Facebook user comments around the brand, RSVPs, Places check-ins, “@mentions” and photo-tags. Along with providing that information to the owners of Pages, Facebook announced that regular users will be able to see them as well. That type of exposure should certainly cause all Page owners to find ways to increase awareness and engagement around our brand.

Recognizing the Potential Reach

Yes, it is true that many of Facebook’s 800 million users primarily use that social network to stay in touch with friends and family. However, a decent percentage of the interactions and content postings on Facebook could absolutely include product recommendations, brand perception comments, links to specials/discounts/events, etc.

Thus, companies must realize that in order to capitalize and increase the word-of-mouth opportunities that are inherent in 800 million people talking all day in the same place, they must be there too! This includes listening for happy fans and unhappy customers. It includes posting and promoting content that people will want to share. It also includes treating the audience there as a special one with a lot of power.

Some Plain Old Facts

Statistics can really only tell part of a story. But in the keynote address at DMA 2011 yesterday, Grady Burnett of Facebook shared a number of them that should cause businesses to take notice. Here were a few:

  • “30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month”
  • “There is a 2x increase in engagement when users are shown [Facebook] sponsored stories”
  • “68% more likely to remember an Ad when associated to a friend’s name”

Moving Forward

There is no doubt that Facebook will continue to evolve as a social network. But it already has a tremendous and (willingly) captive audience.

Businesses need to be there to reach those folks. But Facebook must also continue to identify and create ways so we can all fully utilize its potential.

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