Facebook’s ticker, timeline, Open Graph and GraphRank create a feedback loop that drives social discovery, engagement, and targeting opportunities.
Here are seven suggestions on how to leverage these new features in marketing (by the way, in the graphic to the right, the word “flyouts” refers to pop-out window that opens when you click on an item in the ticker).
1. Get Onto the Graph
To participate in social story creation and promotion, you have to be part of the Open Graph.
These social stories show in the ticker each time a user performs an action in an application, and are then aggregated into the timeline.
When those actions form a social pattern, as identified by Facebook’s new GraphRank algorithm, they also gain more prominence in friends’ news feeds.
2. Go Beyond Pages
Marketers, especially brand marketers, have long relied on the fan page as their only real presence on Facebook.
It’s time to extend past this to create an experience that is truly social by design and conveys your brand identity.
Apps are more essential than ever to the latest Open Graph updates, as they are the centerpiece for story generation.
Without such an approach, you might find your messages are lost among all the real-time activity streaming from Open Graph apps into the ticker and news feed.
3. Focus On Experiences
By expanding beyond just the verb “like,” new opportunities open for marketers to bridge offline and online experiences.
Every offline experience and action that is inherently social can now be put online and be addressable.
Think about “driving a new car” or “sampling a new beer.”
Think about the verbs used when customers interact with your product, or owning your own verb (e.g., “Fedex a package”).
More important, however, is to integrate those actions and verbs into sharable and social experiences.
4. Analyze Your Audience
Dig deep into the patterns and trends of your customers and users.
Focus both on how they create stories and engage around your company as well as how their friends engage with those same stories.
Understanding what resonates, and what users ignore, is ultimately an essential step in managing your GraphRank.
A high GraphRank will build more relevance in friends-of-friends, and drive additional discovery via the news feed.
5. Use Sponsored Stories To Spread Brand Awareness
Stories that resonate best should be plucked out of the Ticker, in real-time, and sponsored to friends for greater impact via sponsored stories ads.
There is a wealth of new power to leverage in sponsoring “objects” you own (e.g. a baking brand can message out to anyone who has cooked lately via any app), as well as people who have “cooked,” “viewed,” or “eaten” their recipe.
6. Work GraphRank To Make Your Ads More Effective
Facebook is moving squarely into the field of intention-based advertising, by making explicit the specific types of connections users have to objects.
As such, coupling an understanding of what user stories drive engagement, with specific intentional verbs, is a powerful combination.
For instance, I can target in-market car buyers, as those who have test-driven lately.
While this intention based targeting may not have the same volume as a traditional campaign, when done correctly should yield higher engagement and pass-along rates.
Believe me, this is an area we’re digging very deep into, and we’ll have lots more to say and show here in the future!
7. Go Beyond The Click
Understand how your users behave once they are within your app, and not just how they got there initially.
At the most fundamental level, it is essential to understand the series of actions that drive engagement, and conversion.