One of Facebook's core missions is helping users share their lives and their favorite things, including brand products, music, movies and more. This type of sharing got a lot easier last fall when Facebook launched Open Graph, which lets users post activities from around the web to Facebook in real-time.
Frictionless sharing is getting a lot attention from users, and it's changing how brands approach advertising on Facebook.
The concept relies on a new breed of Facebook applications that integrate directly with the content, helping users share the songs they listened to on Spotify or the article they read on the Washington Post. The combination of new apps and sharing data are increasing the accuracy of the Facebook Like, helping advertisers engage with their audiences and deliver better-performing ads.
Because the new breed of apps measure actions and mentions, they make it easier for marketers to measure when people are talking about certain brands, activities, news stories, or other content. This improved insight into the social graph gives marketers a far greater picture of users' interests, helping them shape relevant ad experiences that can be used to drive engagement.
Facebook advertising, when done correctly, allows brands to develop meaningful relationships with consumers. Once the relationship is established, future engagements will create "sparking opportunities" for the user to engage with the brand. Sparking opportunities, such as Facebook's Sponsored Stories, are crucial for driving influence among friends and creating favorable testimonials. When users say they Like a brand, product, or piece of content on Facebook, they are publicly endorsing that item to their friends via the News Feed.
These are the kinds of activities that help brands cultivate 1-to-1 relationships with consumers and their networks on a relevant level. Because the endorsement comes from a friend, consumers are far more likely to see the ad as relevant, and thus to engage with the ad. This is the kind of strategy that drives what we call "word of mouth at scale," and it's a key tactic for brands utilizing the Facebook platform.
By engaging with these opportunities, consumers show and tell brand marketers what they find important. When coupled with frictionless sharing, such advertising lets an advertiser know exactly how many people are receptive to their brand or message on Facebook, helping them leverage that audience and drive greater engagement.
More shares and Likes will increase ad accuracy over time, helping advertisers deliver even more relevant ads to their target audiences. The surging amount of data gathered from outside the network also opens up opportunities for Facebook, including the opportunity to build a recommendation engine that matches users with products that appeal to their interests.
If you're a Netflix user, you're familiar with the way the company's algorithm recommends movies and TV shows based on content you've already watched and items you've rated. The recommendation engine becomes more accurate over time as users continue to input data, resulting in highly relevant content that appeals to the user. Facebook could function in a similar capacity, and because its data extends well beyond one content category, the platform can make more accurate recommendations.
Frictionless sharing enables consumers to discuss more easily what's important to them, even as it helps marketers understand what interests their target audiences. We're already seeing brands utilize this data to deliver more relevant messaging, and the ability to match ad to consumer will only improve in time. Frictionless sharing data will soon be part of every social marketer's arsenal.