Profit From Facebook Messages


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Facebook’s new Messages capability will overhaul your lead generation machine. Image by RambergMediaImages.

Remember Life Before Facebook Owned Email?

Who says mid-November is dull? Without a doubt, it’s been a busy week. The Beatles are finally playing iTunes, the Carnival Cruise ship that lost power safely limped to shore and Facebook launched its own email-esque service, called Messages.

I’m sorry, was that you there, stifling a small yawn? In a technology culture that announces each new product feature as “revolutionary” or “game changing” — as proclaimed by a t-shirt-clad tech whiz billionaire gallivanting about a stage, somewhere — who hasn’t become jaded by the social media hype?

Arguably, however, the week’s most interesting news, by far, was Facebook’s. As the New York Times paraphrased Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Messages pitch: “E-mail is too slow, too formal and too cumbersome, especially for young people who have grown up using text messages and online chats.” (Those crazy kids.) Accordingly, it’s time to assimilate email into Facebook.

Perhaps that’s true, about email being on the outs. But as we’ve previously noted, regular old snail mail isn’t dying anytime soon. Email too might be old hat — a legacy communication platform, at that — but it will be around for years and years. Or maybe forever.

Bet on Facebook for Customer Engagement

Interestingly, Facebook Messages sounds not unlike Google Wave, the conceptually challenged service that debuted in May 2009, then sank.

Except that given Facebook’s momentum, you’d do well to pay attention to Facebook Messages. The compelling part about it isn’t the latest in the Google versus Facebook conflict over who is more macho, but instead the idea that companies that use Facebook to promote themselves or support their customers get a new way to engage “friends” and followers.

While all of the details surrounding Facebook Messages have yet to be released, here’s how I imagine the upsides for any given company, such as Bose Corporation, the maker of the Wave Radio and other killer audio products.

Bose has more than 130,000 people who already “like” its corporate page on Facebook. (For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to call these people Bose’s “friends.”) Some of these followers are probably employees, but I’d bet most are customers or people who aspire to be customers. And think of the upsides: Now, whenever Bose has news to share or wants to make special offers — via Facebook — to its friends, it simply posts an update on the Bose Facebook wall. That’s great, right? Well, given that the average Facebook user has more than 120 friends, I bet only a small fraction of the Bose followers even see its announcements when sifting through updates.

On the other hand, thanks to Messages, Bose now has the opportunity to up its game, backed by CRM. Indeed, once you “friend” Bose on Facebook, the company can access certain aspects of your Facebook profile. Which savvy company wouldn’t take the next step, adding a record of each friend to — or updating existing customers’ records in — the corporate CRM system, and recording your Facebook ID? That way, the company can use the new Facebook Messages service to deliver precisely targeted campaigns via Facebook.

Customer Messaging Increases Intimacy

Today, Innoveer works with numerous organizations that capture multiple customer data points, then leverage this information to segment and run targeted email campaigns. If Facebook’s pitch is right, then Messages will up the game by offering a much more immediate and intimate experience than regular old email. Just as companies get a higher response rate when they more accurately target prospects, expect response rates to improve, thanks to using “Facemail.”

Furthermore, even if Facebook is wrong about the revolutionary nature of its Messages capability, most organizations will still find it to be a reliable customer touchpoint, useful for increasing engagement and delivering targeted messages to passionate customers. Accordingly, marketing teams that ignore the Messages opportunity do so at their organization’s peril.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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