Will Facebook crack mobile? IgnitionOne's Michael Stephanblome on the future of social
Will Facebook ever be worth IPO valuation?
As with most things, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Facebook is already making progress on showing value to marketers and as that value and the revenues associated with that increase we will likely see improvement over time.
How will it crack mobile platforms?
Facebook will, with near certainty, leverage mobile platforms to deliver relevant advertising content to the 500 million users on these devices. The first step already taken is the delivery of Sponsored Stories to these users. We believe that Sponsored Story ad units are the direction of the future of Facebook advertising. Facebook has a unique ability to create opportunities for brands to leverage community engagement and commentary through these units. Facebook will continue to achieve higher levels of monetization using the assets of earned media and helping advertisers turn that into powerful paid media. This type of media will translate well onto mobile devices due to its viral and interactive nature.
With one being underdeveloped and 10 being full developed, where is Facebook on this scale in terms of its marketing tools?
It depends if you are including third-party tool providers or not. I think that there is a lot of innovation going on in the industry (IgnitionOne being part of this) that is filling in the hole and supplementing what Facebook offers. Some major brands such as GM, are cutting back on their Facebook activity. Are they making a mistake?
Facebook advertising is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Depending on your goals and how you expect to benefit from the advertising, Facebook may not be for you. That said, it is hard to argue with the number of users and the engagement there.
How does your new application work?
This solution will allow brands to automate creation of Facebook Sponsored Stories when there is a high level of activity around a post on their brand Page. This way marketers can quickly amplify a message through the effective channel of sponsored stories. The timing with these ads are so important as topics and trends are peaking faster and faster. The platform analyzes performance data indicate the most opportune time to launch these Sponsored Stories and alleviates the current need for social media managers to manually poll and monitor the brand page activities across multiple interfaces.
Can you give examples of when it is likely to be used?
An example would be if a brand posts a story about a promotion on their brand page and suddenly X people interact with the post. Depending on thresholds and analytics, the system may recognize that this is a post that has traction and would benefit from being shared wider and would automatically trigger a Sponsored Story around that post. This allows Facebook marketers to scale and react more quickly rather than relying on human moderators. No one else is doing this as part of a platform.
What do you see as the next big thing in social media marketing? I think we are just beginning to tap the possibilities for social media as a channel for marketing and advertising. We are going to see amazing things in the next year or two where we can take the deep engagement users have for these networks and make the advertising and marketing nearly as engaging. The expansion to mobile and living room screens will open up huge opportunities.
What does it mean to your business to be one of Facebook's Preferred Marketing Developers?
It shows that we have brought solutions to the market that help marketers scale and achieve efficiency, and go beyond the functionality of Facebook's tools.