Facebook holds the key to the growth of social CRM. They hold the data about who fans are, what fans do and where fans go that can facilitate more segmented and more engaging marketing on their platform. What’s not clear is what Zuckerberg & Company intend to do with data generated by brand pages and how much access they will grant to the brands generating millions of fans, likes and comments.
The key to effectively using social platforms for CRM, loyalty marketing or one-to-one communications is understanding and identifying audience segments. Direct marketers know that the source of a name signals why a person becomes a fan. It is extremely predictive of future behavior and a critical variable for creating meaningful segmentation marketing. The same holds true in social networks. The segments form a bell curve.
People who organically “like” a brand are true believers; the right hand side of the curve. These are the people that relate to the brand, buy its products or services and talk it up among their friends. They revisit the brand page, click, like and comment. They want direct interaction with your brand and will respond to appreciation and requited love.
Part-time fans know your brand and regularly consider it but they can be swayed by promotions, messaging or deals. They know who you are but have a what’s-in-it-for-me relationship with your brand. They are the middle bulge of the curve, which will consume the most marketing time, energy and resources to reach and continuously persuade to engage. They have the potential to become important brand advocates or ambassadors.
Passing players, the left side if the curve, are deal guys, coupon whores and people who always have to get things at the cheapest cost. They play your games, take your coupons and like your page but if and only if it meets their ego and/or financial needs. Your brand simply fuels their agenda. Your brand is an incidental and passing fancy, though they are moving so quickly, they won’t even take the time to un-friend you.
If Facebook truly wants to connect the world, they need to loosen the lock on data so that brands can zero-in on and communicate with fans in more meaningful and impactful ways.