Callcredit Blog

Who owns the audience?

Consumer Marketing Data Digital Services

shutterstock_141090136_facebookAlthough Facebook continues to excite the investor community (and especially following the success of the mobile product), I wonder if brands are equally enthusiastic?

With 1.2 billion users worldwide, and 24m Britons logging on every day, it’s easy to see Facebook’s leading role in making the world a more open and connected place – the network has set the de facto standard for online communications.  Reports of Facebook’s demise would certainly seem unfounded but predictions of a gradual shift of screen minutes to other social networks such as Instagram (part of Facebook), WhatsApp and SnapChat have been aired recently.

For brands who have built a substantial following, they might be wondering now to engage better with this audience.  But who owns it – Facebook or the individual business?

Take brand postings.  Facebook has admitted that organic reach of these posts is declining.  As Facebook’s feed algorithm (‘Edgerank’) continues to iterate, we’re hearing about reach rates in the low single digits meaning only a small percentage of fans are presented with postings from the pages they’ve originally liked.  Of course there’s competition for limited space but is it also a ploy to get brands buy more advertising?  Facebook is getting blunter about the fact that marketers are going to have to pay for reach.

Then there’s access to private user information such as email address to enable direct communications.  Here, Facebook is clear – no brand can access this without the express consent of each fan.

Advertising has an important role but, alone, it’s not always enough.  Brands need to devise solutions to also engage ‘likers’ directly such as capturing permissions and contact details via social interactions and attracting consumers to ‘owned’ domains.

So, who owns the fans and how can social interactions be seen in the context of other interactions customers might have – online and in store?  You do – so nurture them back!

Picture attributed to: Thinglass/Shutterstock.com

Author: Paul Kennedy

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