“In Your Face” Internet Advertising

By on November 13, 2007

The digital revolution continues to change the face of doing business around the globe. Marketing has now taken on a whole new look thanks to the Internet social networking website Facebook. Traditional advertising just doesn’t cut in a technology driven world in which the limited numbers of TV and radio stations of the past have given way to infinite numbers of media outlets and advertising opportunities. According to David Kirkpatrick, senior editor of Fortune magazine, Facebook’s new advertising strategy relies on what it does best, connecting people. Their new strategy is to advertise by word of mouth from one “friend” to another. The basic idea is that when you purchase something on a networked website, you will be asked to give the item a thumbs up or thumbs down and whether it is OK for the company to share your purchase information with your Facebook network. When someone from your network gets ready to purchase an item, they will see the reviews from the people they presumably trust in their own network. The process also allows you to be a fan of a particular company or brand of products as well.

Why Create Your Own Facebook Fan Page?

Please visit the DotSauce Facebook Fan Page that I created to see what it’s like firsthand. (Click on “Add to my products” to be a fan of DotSauce!) If you are already convinced and would like to create your own Facebook page for your product or service you can get started by clicking here.

  • Pages are public and can be indexed by search engines
    as well as viewed by anyone without an account.
     
  • Pages include free linkbacks to your website.
     
  • You can send a shout out to everyone who becomes
    a “fan” of your product/service.
     
  • You control the content, almost everything on
    your page can be edited.
     
  • When a user joins your fan page it is announced
    on their profile’s “news feed.”
     
  • It’s free and easy!

(Great points summarized from Search Engine Journal)

It is similar to the idea of neighbors recommending a certain product, like a lawn mower, or a service, like a plumber, while chatting across the backyard fence. The theory is that people are more likely to take the advice of a friend than to trust a 30 second television ad. Facebook will benefit from the arrangement by being paid by the product companies for the reviews.

MySpace may not be far behind, according to Kirkpatrick. Right now, however, the difference between the two is that Facebook will identify advertisers differently than friends. In MySpace, a user can choose a product, band, or brand for a “friend” but there is no differentiation between real friends and products. Kirkpatrick says that “What makes Facebook different from MySpace and most other social networks is its social graph, which expresses real offline relationships in electronic form. To now attempt to inject commercial information into that social graph — and to do so without disturbing the human relationships that have allowed Facebook to thrive — is fascinating, ambitious, and highly risky.”

There are skeptics of course. Would you want to promote a company’s product for free? Probably it depends on the product. There may be less of a desire to promote general use products from large companies, than to focus on promoting new businesses or products that people are passionate about. On the upside, this type of marketing could have the effect of improving products because people will only tout the stuff they really love. This will be an interesting experiment that could change forever the way businesses think about advertising on the web.

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About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit MarkFulton.com for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.