It seems everyone is talking about tracking Facebook these days – and all the major vendors are getting on the bandwagon to make sure they have offerings for their clients to be able to track Facebook – mainly applications, ads or business / fan pages. With Facebook now starting to surpass Google in traffic, it certainly seems like a good place to start focusing on advertising – and if you’re advertising you need to be tracking.
However I have wondered about who we’re marketing to on Facebook. Yes, people over the age of 35 are now a growing demographic and so it’s no longer just for the college set anymore. But when I think of my own Facebook usage I have to wonder how effective all this marketing on Facebook is. My friends and I use Facebook to keep up with each other in our busy lives and most of us use ad blockers. So who are companies targeting?
Some of the smart companies on Facebook have tied together Twitter and their Facebook pages, and have started giving free customer support this way. That’s a fabulous way to gain and retain customer loyalty. Tracking marketing initiatives on Facebook really has to go beyond the ads now because so many folks are becoming savvy about ad blockers. However having a fun and engaging Facebook page, or building an app, gives you a greater chance at reaching a wider audience. And of course all these different initiatives need to be tracked and analyzed in order to both understand the ROI and improve performance.
Many enterprise class vendors are throwing their hats in the ring and providing solutions for tracking in Facebook – with Omniture seeming to have the most complete solution so far (see Eric Peterson’s article “Facebook Analytics: Part II – Vendor Solutions“). A web development company in London called Webdigi also offers a solution for tracking Facebook fan pages through Google Analytics. I’m sure it will be only a matter of time before Google comes out with their own integrated offering as well.
Bottom line Facebook right now is hot – with the amount of traffic it gets these days, you can’t help but want to get in on some of the action. However where Google the best model was ads, with Facebook you need a different approach. Don’t get me wrong, ads should be part of your marketing mix on Facebook, but they cannot be your only marketing vehicle. Having a dedicated team to manage a Facebook page that is both engaging, informative and helpful for your target audience is key, and if you can also develop a fun app to throw into the mix more power to you!
These days online marketing and analytics go hand-in-hand and with Facebook quickly becoming the hottest place to market online, it should be no surprise it should also be the hottest place folks want to get metrics and data. You can’t have a successful campaign without understanding how well it’s performing, and constantly improving it over time as you gain insights through your data.
So is Facebook Analytics hot? I think it’s smokin’ … what are your thoughts?