Facebook Missteps: Sponsored Stories & The Omission Of Permission

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I can be a Facebook supporter (some may say apologist), but today I have a bone to pick with it.  

Where others frequently attribute shady intent to everything Facebook does, I see a company legitimately trying to balance the needs of users with the demands of advertisers who fund the free service. Consumers love Facebook, so much so that Facebook now accounts for one of every four page views in the United States, yet you and I pay nothing for it. Or it is more accurate to say that while we provide no cash to Facebook, we do, in fact, pay with our time, attention, data, permission, and clicks (which Facebook converts into cash).

But even Facebook supporters can and should question when the social network takes a step that pushes the envelope of best practices in permission marketing, and I believe it has done just that with Facebook's new Sponsored Stories product. What I find frustrating is how tantalizingly close to perfect the model is, yet the omission of a single feature makes all the difference.

Here's how Facebook Sponsored Stories work:

  • You post a status update about a brand, such as a check-in, like, or a piece of praise.
  • Because that signal of affinity is so ephemeral within the news feeds of your friends (or perhaps may never even be displayed there), the brand can now choose to pay Facebook to turn your status update into an ad. 
  • Your friends (and only your friends) will then see your status update in the right gutter of Facebook.com, along with your name and profile picture.
Read more

2010's 25 Top Posts On The Forrester Blog For Interactive Marketing Professionals

Now that 2010 is in the books, I wanted to share the 25 top blog posts made on this blog this year. In the interest of transparency, these are not the 25 most viewed blog posts, but they're close. I did some editing of the list, since some of the topics we addressed on The Forrester Blog For Interactive Marketing Professionals are not as relevant today at the beginning of 2011 as they were when first posted throughout 2010.  

What follows are the most visited, relevant, and helpful blog posts of this past year, made by me, Nate Elliott, Sean Corcoran, Melissa Parrish and Shar VanBoskirk.  I hope you enjoy the reading, and thanks to everyone who visited, commented, tweeted, printed or emailed our blog posts in 2010. We appreciate that you find this content valuable, and please consider becoming part of the conversation here on the Forrester blogs or in the Forrester Community For Interactive Marketing Professionals.  

 

Read more

2011 Social Media Predictions: Now Social Media Marketing Gets Tough

Social media does not make marketing any easier. Although it is a powerful tool for marketers to reinforce their brands, energize advocates and strengthen relationships, it is also yet another marketing channel that requires attention, investment and innovation. And much like the Web 15 years earlier, this is a channel that challenges the status quo and defies easy metrics.

In 2011, social media marketing doesn’t get any easier. Although the medium is maturing, that maturity brings with it a host of new challenges for marketers. Primary among those challenges is that social media is becoming an awfully cluttered and noisy space.  As more people adopt social behaviors and more marketers increase their social media budgets, it is tougher than ever to cut through the noise, reach an audience and make an impression. In addition, Forrester is seeing a marked increase in the number of people worried about privacy in social channels, and this concern is growing most significantly in boomers and seniors.

In our latest report, “2011: Now Social Media Marketing Gets Tough,” the entire Forrester Interactive Marketing team (plus a number of professionals who contributed in the Forrester Community) came together to predict the future and guide marketers on what these changes mean.  The report includes predictions such as:

Read more