For Success, Facebook Marketing Requires Risk Tolerance

[It’s a perfect day here in San Diego at Graphing Social Patterns, we’re right on the waterfront, but us geeks, well we tweeted, blogged, and talked in a dark room]

Most of the presentations this morning have been very developer focused, I’m covering Graphing Social from the Web Strategists’ perspective: Web decision makers in corporate.

Rodney Rumford gave a Facebook Marketing 101 presentations and explains how businesses can use widgets to reach customers. Facebook gives you multiple ways to reach customers, and with them spending 20 minutes per day, the attention is there.

In the presentation from BJ Fogg who co-ran the Facebook class at Stanford, they developed applications, that they estimated totaled $500,000 in revenue from the students efforts in advertising. They give out a list of learnings on what made them successful, often it included being flexible, quickly iterating, not listening to individual opinions or getting approvals, just launching them, and experimentation. It was very clear to me that that behavior is the opposite of large brands, who want safety, low risk, and pre-written plans.

[Successful applications were experimental, embraced risk, and quickly iterated –everything big brands will struggle with]

Rodney gave the example of the where I’ve been map, and suggested that brand managers should consider sponsoring existing successful apps, rather than create their own. Rodney suggested that advertising rates were disappointing yet, suggested that interactive marketing and social ads gave more opportunity. First, define success, lay out metrics, use a multi-pronged approach (there are many different tools to use).

Rodney suggests that one of the key challenges is with the decision making process:

“Most of the people (at big corporations) who are making the decisions for Facebook are 45 or older, and are not immersed in Facebook”

For success, one should consider: 1) Outsourcing development to those that get it, such as an a successful widget development company, or 2) lean on someone in your own team who really understands this space. While strategy remains, social networking marketing requires a different mindset, approach, and use of tools.

Various pics from the event

Dave McClureRodney Rumford03032008070Stanford classTeresa Valdez Klein03032008062Rodney Rumford03032008076