Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Innovation in Marketing - Facebook launches "promoted" posts

Facebook recently launched a new feature - where one could promote their post of Rs 99 in India or $7 in the U.S. In return for the money, Facebook ensures that the 'promoted' post remains at the top of the 'wall' of all 'friends', thus increasing the likelihood of your 'friends' and 'subscribers' seeing it.

This is definitely opens a new avenue for companies who want to advertise to their 'fans' - but this could also turn people away from Facebook, and customers may choose not to follow a particular business.

Facebook's new feature solves one of the problems noticed by the users:

"Every day, news feed delivers your posts to your friends. Sometimes a particular friend might not notice your post, especially if a lot of their friends have been posting recently and your story isn't near the top of their feed," wrote Facebook's Abhishek Doshi in a post announcing the test.

Stressing the need to promote a post, Doshi adds, "When you promote a post – whether it's wedding photos, a garage sale, or big news – you bump it higher in news feed so your friends and subscribers are more likely to notice it."

However, I don't think individual users like you & me will be the ones who will pay to promote their posts on Facebook, instead it will be the companies which have their Facebook pages who will be paying to market their products/services on Facebook. Companies will be able to target their messages to their customer - who have 'liked' the company's Facebook page. If Facebook offers access to the data analytics on how the 'promoted' posts are faring - then it will make it even more attractive to advertisers.

Facebook should ensure that users can turnoff the promoted posts - if they don't want to see it at the top on their wall. Giving control to users is the key to success. Else user walls' can get swamped by promoted posts & crowding out the real posts from 'friends'.

This opens up a new challenges & opportunity for advertising over social media. If Facebook executes well on this, then Facebook can become a serious competitor to Google.

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