For quite some time now we have been talking to clients [clients of Quango Interaction Design] about the immidiate impact that the SMB audience can see when utilizing social media channels; prodominantly Facebook. As if 50+% of the online population in the US wasn’t enough to captivate marketing manager imaginations, Facebook has taken it upon itself to push the subject.
Back at Quango we are already implimenting social media handles in identity systems because we knew this was right around the corner. The reality is that Facebook is now in the drivers seat and is making a concerted effort to not only expand their reach through better UI ['fan' becomes 'like'] into emerging markets and more topical brand association, it is now looking to arm some of those brands with tools to make it worth their while.
A recent article sent around by a colleague that was written by Ars Technica talks about a Facebook psychological study that based consumer experience on physiological reactions while viewing content. In this article they conclude that Facebook users have a more pleasing experience when diving deeper into profiles, as opposed to just reading the Facebook wall that collates the information from various feeds for them. This study is poingnant because it is hiting home what we have all known about Facebook; we go there to have a closer mode of interaction with people we want to be connected to. The same holds true with the entities that hold profiles, but are not necessarily people.
Simply put it is time for SMB to make a real standardized effort on Facebook. Users are primed and ready for this engagement, and in the end the shoppes that keep their content fresh and on target with their consumers will reap the rewards. Facebook is betting on it, in fact they are shipping out decals to be placed in store-front windows with incentives for doing so. It is not a new strategy. Citysearch has been doing it for years, and people actually found it useful. Now, Facebook will do it and prove that their content deliver method is more scalable.