Earlier this week the biggest social network, Facebook, finally opened up its API (Application Programming Interface for those who don’t know) to developers, allowing automated management of paid advertising campaigns, and access to ‘Open-Stream’ allowing automated news-stream management and interrogation from within apps.

Several close partners of Facebook have had access to the API for sometime, including the BuddyMedia and LivingSocial platforms.  From these early partners we have seen the rollout of  global Brand Facebook pages, including the global brands Magnum & Dove, where a global presence was delivered on Facebook through one single Fan Page using syndicated content based on the consumers location.  In addition Branded ad-supported applications have been created within the platform taking advantage of the Open-Stream functionality allowing seamless access through other applications to the users personal Facebook  information.

What does this mean for Agencies & Brands:

In essence the key advantage of the API is the ability for Brands to manage targeted campaigns at scale, globally.  Paving the way for large scale ad purchasing across numerous demographics, A/B testing on different copy and most importantly from a financial point-of-view, dynamic bid optimisation using long-tail demographic matches.

Global management of a Brands Facebook page is big plus for Brand Teams as it allows for truly global campaigns to be created, whilst still making the consumer feel like the page is targeted towards their location.  Also it allows a Brand Team or managing Agency to ensure an aligned tone-of-voice across multiple countries, effectively ensuring exponential amplification of the brand message.

Continuing on the amplification topic, attracting new fans to Pages has also just been turbo charged by allowing the matching of conversation to Brand Pages – if one or more of your friends are discussing a particular brand it is now possible to provide a link within the newsfeed through to the Brands Fan Page (Even if those friends are not members of that page – pretty clever!)  Granted this could be frustrating if all brands jumped aboard so it will be interesting how Facebook manage this.

Overall pretty excited about the possibilities of this API for future campaigns using Facebook – its always a channel, because of its scale, that is considered when planning out a campaign; now with the ability to automatically manage publications and accounts there is a new dimension to consider…

Chris (Home)

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