As marketers and communicators, we’ve long known that the more we know about people, the better our chances of success. The right message delivered at the right time to the right person stands a much greater chance of generating a reaction than something irrelevant.
To coin a more recent social medial cliche, we are talking about context.
As media become increasingly digital and therefore accountable, there are plethora of ways to understand and identify patterns of habits through activity (and a lack of activity) around certain contant. However, in this increasingly social world, these are number, faceless statistics.
At Brazen, we call these HARD metrics, things which are simply numerical in value which contain little indication of sentiment or emotion.
In walks Facebook and its social graph.
The social graph (upon which Facebook’s Advertising Platform is built) presents the significant human angle to analytics – the missing piece so to speak. That we can now select and understand people’s personal and lifestyle preferences means that we can have a previously untold picture of WHO not WHAT the person is.
The Open Graph
Now that the Social Graph has become the Open Graph (i.e. 3rd party services can now connect to your Facebook profile data), we are entering an area where the web experience can be a totally customised one – and one which you may well not even realise is personalised until you see someone else’s version of the same site. I expect to see a huge increase in 2012 in the number of sites personalising your website experience as a result of being able to access your social graph, introducing content and products that are more relevant than ever before. The right product to the right person at the right time.
The Trust Issue
Facebook has to continually battle trust issues for good reason. Without the trust of its users (i.e. the respectful handling of sensitive, personal information), they lose the virtual tons of lifestyle information customers pour into it and Facebook loses a revolutionary way to provide insight for advertisers.
In some way, one might argue that in collating all this social data, Facebook’s more sinister data gathering role is actually helping to bring about a better experience for web users. But this will only work as long as trust prevails.
For 2012, get your head around how you could personalise your customer’s web experience just by looking at what information YOU give to your Facebook profile. It could be the most creative thing you could do today!