Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Do you know your Facebook fan?

Is the age of Facebook 'fan' over? Is it reminiscent of its poor stock performance? Or have they not yet unleashed themselves?
Social Media was meant to foster relationships. It "was" about interactivity. But do the brands that boast about their million+ Facebook fans really connect with them? Has the brand fan page become the Berlin wall. Do brands really know who is that guy, girl, dad or mom who regularly visits their page to check what they are talking about? Facebook features prevent your fans from being singled out or rewarded. In a deluge of comments on updates by brands (which I suspect are paid), finding out that loyal customer, that super fan is like searching for a pin in a haystack. When the comments are few it is still possible to "interact" (like the example below). 

But when they are in thousands how can you really appreciate your fan club and build it? The problem is both ways. It lies in the limited options given by Facebook to its page owners and a lack of creativity among marketers who manage these pages.
Victoria at Adage offers a solution through social data. She says
"The model for this transformation will be the social data "system of record." Just as an organization's accounting system is its system of record for financial data and transactions, and its HR system is the system of record for personnel and employment data, social-data systems of record will become the central repository of all social data that is leveraged across other parts of the organization."
This system is not without risks, especially with the rising concerns over privacy and data mis-use for commercial interests. It would need some creative thinking on part of social media marketers to engage their fans not just by broadcasting, but by making it more personal.