Will You Still "Like" Me Tomorrow?
At the TechCrunch DISRUPT conference in New York last month, Facebook's advertising chief Carolyn Everson revealed that brands are receiving 50 million "likes" on Facebook every single day. And the truly astonishing figure is this: Those 50 million likes represent just 5 percent of the more than 1 billion "likes" per day that Facebook has been generating since the "like" plugin for Web pages rolled out one year ago. In other words, 50 million “likes” a day is just a starting point, with an enormous amount of room for growth.
Those staggering numbers surely warm the hearts of many a brand marketer, for whom such recommendations are "the holy grail,” as Everson puts it. But marketers ought to be nervous, too, as they consider how (on earth) they’re going to continue to earn the admiration and affection of all these hordes.
Look: The “like” button has truly become a killer app for brand marketers, because it’s more than a one-time high-five from a current or future customer. It’s an “opt-in” that Facebook has made incredibly easy for users to enact (and that, in the same stroke, has turned the Facebook Newsfeed into the easiest-to-use RSS reader in the world). Every “like” adds a subscriber to whatever messaging a brand wishes to convey, delivered in a medium used by a full 50 percent of Facebook’s 500 million users
every single day.
The communication channel that is opened up with a “like” not only comes with a near-guaranteed view-through, but also deposits messages within an environment that’s highly curated. While email inboxes overflow with all sorts of unsolicited and unwelcome messaging, no one gets into a Facebook newsfeed unless they’ve been invited. Getting admission into this well-tended garden of content is a privilege—and it carries a stern challenge for content marketers.
Brands that have just started to think of themselves as publishers will need to get comfortable going even further. They need to start thinking of themselves as “friends.” Within the confines of the Newsfeed, branded content will appear alongside snarky status updates, puppy/baby snapshots and all manner of shared personal news. If they want to blend in, marketers will have to steal a page from the neighbors and do everything they can to entertain and delight while they inform.
That’s a tall, tall order.
But we’re up to it.
Kyle Crafton is McMurry's VP of Digital Business, overseeing a suite of interactive products that teach today's marketers to focus on strategy, leverage quality content and utilize a myriad of mediums to their success. Prior to McMurry, Kyle worked for the Daily Racing Form in New York City, managing the company’s three websites—DRF.com (horse racing news and data), StatFox.com (sports handicapping) and Head2Head.com (fantasy football).