Mike Murphy, Chief Revenue Officer of Facebook, gave a great presentation about social media and the opportunities to engage users.
Here are my notes from his talk:
- Facebook is the 7 th most popular website in the United States .
- 10 million users and over 50% of them sign in daily.
- The value of social networking is that it allows users to do everything they want online, all in one place (how about a federated search?)
- Each person has less than 1% of access to the total facebook user base— it requires confirmation to see beyond your network -- privacy control is spectacular
- People are real on facebook—it's not a fantasy world like other sites. You are the representation of an actual person and your activities are geared toward interacting with real people who you know.
- The next feature coming out will be the ability to load photos directly from your cell phone to your profile.
- Why did YouTube sell for $1.65 billion? The share button. Technology is the easy part— it just requires bandwidth and storage space—the sharing feature allowed for the distribution of millions of videos to millions of users. They creating a community rather than just hosting content. (Which of these are we doing with our databases and online resources?)
- NBC sued YouTube over Saturday Night Live sketches – they should have been excited that people were talking and sharing content and would probably tune into the show again—YouTube helped make them relevant.
- They have had three graduating classes and find that alumni still use their accounts, but less frequently. They are considering how to evolve the product for the post-college user.
- Web/Internet policy (and direction) is being changed by those who grew up with it, rather than by those who built it.
- A Proctor & Gamble Executive stated that this is the “let it go” generation. In terms of marketing—let the big brain message go—allow the user to do and think what they want.
- “Studies show” that this is the most generous generation of all time—they care about social causes and the environment . (Hmmmm, you would not know it from MTV's My Sweet 16)
- They are open to sharing opinions—they will respect you, if you respect them
- Social media = active sharing online. FB enables users to share social opportunities.
- The way they talk with friends is a blend of pop culture and serious life matters—lots of focus toward making decisions.
- The old school way people got news was via Walter Cronkite (the one voice that was respected). The next wave was through expert opinions, such as a variety of magazines. With this generation it's through friends-- friends determine what's news, what's important, and what's cool.
- The Great Shift --- if you remember traditional media, you're on the outside—digital media is the thing now—they are net natives—grew up with it, we're all immigrants.
- People are interested in what other people are doing- they want to be aware.
- Why are people transferring time away from real life activities and into social networks? It's generational. Users say it's a short cut—they scout people before attending college or class—it is not a replacement for bars, sports, clubs, etc, but a replacement for the small talk—you already know what people did over the weekend or what's new, because you don't have to ask.
- In September (2006) they received 700,030 unique complaints from users when FB launched a new “feeds” feature. Essentially it collates the updates of all your friends on to one page. The aim was to quickly allow users to see at a glance, what's going on in their social world. They hoped to enable users to spend less time on the site, instead of jumping around between profiles, they could get updated on everything all in one place—but the opposite happened, people started spending more time online.
- Facebook responded in less than a week with stronger privacy controls.
- Even though they got bad press—it could have been worse:
- Worse if we made changes, there was no response, yet they were upset.
- Even worse if users didn't notice the changes.
- And still worse if users didn't care that the changed occurred.
- Because they were so outraged, it shows the impact of the tool.
- FB blew launching the feeds because:
- We didn't focus on educating our users about the privacy issues.
- We didn't tell the community that it was coming.
Why should marketers care?
- Find ways to share the idea of your product
- If a user is interested in you, they look
- If a user likes it, they will engage
- If they love it, they'll share with friends - that's the home run
- Users create a personal brand
- Find ways to get the user to be defined by your brand
- Friends influence purchases and activities
- You have to give the user a reason to care/share – find a way for them to endorse your product – turn 1 impression into 1000 impressions
- Become part of their experience—learn from it
- Listen without fear—they care, they will respond and will appreciate that you asked
- They don't like to be told what to buy – they want to find out for themselves
- Advertise to the group—not to the individual
- Leverage the benefits of influence (peer pressure?)
- People say they don't hate advertising, they just hate ads that suck—good companies make it work—make it relevant.
- Find a way for users to love your offer, your product, your brand, or your company, and they will endorse it— that's the mutual value of sharing.
- Big is the enemy of cool.
- Interesting example with Chase Credit Cards—they have a sponsored group, which students can join. Within this group they can pool their credit card points—choosing to donate them to a cause or charity or to buy a new big screen TV for the frat house. (An idea I have: what if we could offer $.50 off on a certain coffee product within our café, if they are a member of our facebook group? Push that message and other similar incentives strong in January when they come back from winter break. Grow the membership and once we have them, we can use the FB group to push our agenda (classes, software, events, research help, etc) as well as other frequent discounts, offers, and maybe even a Member's Only event.)
- Users care about what their friends are doing—find ways to make them passionate about what you're doing –offer events and opportunities for participation—get them talking about you.
- Social influence = endorsements = free advertising
- innovate -> promote -> listen -> innovate -> promote -> listen <repeat>
- Companies say their intranets sucks— asked FB to help them build something more interactive. They declined, but said, they all know each other very well because they all use Facebook—it creates unique interaction between staff.
- No copyright protection abroad, so every country has their versions of FB that look and work the same way. They have great penetration in all the English speaking countries though, so focusing on that.
- FB does not provide research for companies about products, interests, or trends—that's not our business—however they look for ways to provide a conversation between a company and the user. Facebook allows companies to purchase sponsored group memberships.
- The company is run by seventy-five 22 year olds. Starting out, they hired smart people and let them figure out what needed to be done. Once the product was right, then they focused on the business side.
- The youth was thirsty for leadership
- Mike Murphy, was the youngest executive at Yahoo! and is now the oldest at Facebook (he's in his 40's.)
- Two people have hacked the site and they hired both of them.
- They allow engineers and software programmers to build the projects they want, they decide what is cool, what needs to be done, and where it should go next. They frequently have hack-a-thons, in which teams stay up 24 hrs working on a project and the best ones get added to the system.
- Half the time, they develop applications that are not used for the intended purpose—rather than correct user behavior, they build around how people want to use the features (OPAC and database vendors, please read this statement!)
I asked afterwards: Why are you shutting down library and departmental accounts? (And exampled the problem.)
“Hmm, not sure, sounds like a good idea, let us get back with you.” So Stay turned – if they are really as responsive as they claim, they'll see the value of libraries and other campus service entities.