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Facebook Groups Mindshare


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Facebook Groups Mindshare

  1. 1. 11/10/2010 Facebook Groups: New CRM? Facebook Groups: New CRM? Written by Lyndon Morant & Ciarán Norris
  2. 2. 11/10/2010 Facebook Groups: New CRM? Facebook recently launched Groups, a tool that enables you to “group” your friends with other like-minded people and then filter who receives what messages, photos, and other content. In short Groups enables you or a brand to segment your friends and its fans and tailor all subsequent messaging. All you need to do is simply tag a friend or fan to include them in a Group. It is a major move away from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg‟s original vision of breaking down privacy barriers; in his words: “The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly”. Each Group will have today‟s Facebook experience but with bespoke content: info page, a wall, photos, notes, etc. Facebook has added a new „docs‟ tab, which replaces notes and resembles a wiki page; some are suggesting that this feature quietly challenges Microsoft‟s Word and Google‟s Documents. Furthermore, Facebook has added email integration into their platform, which accelerates its desire to become tomorrow‟s main communications hub. How will Group‟s effect brands? At the moment Facebook has made it clear that Pages remain their main “open” brand platform while Groups is mainly for consumers. However, brands can create “Groups” via proxy individuals and characters pages (e.g., Alexander Orlov representing Compare the Market). In such scenarios brands could replicate their CRM models by establishing various groups for different customer segments; e.g., a credit card company could create a “premium” Group for its most valued customers and create bespoke, exclusive content for that audience. Facebook has also updated their Open Graph API with the new Group functionality so brands could manage brand Groups off-site. Brands should note that at the moment Groups lacks the robustness of most CRM platforms; in fact people can be added to a Group by any of their friends, with no option to accept or decline this action. Furthermore Group members also receive notifications of all actions within the community, and can‟t stop people re-adding them if they choose to leave; to such unwitting audiences brands need to be careful that they are not perceived as spammers. Long-term the Groups will evolve to include more features and functionality. Brands need to evaluate their objectives and monitor this evolution to assess when and whether to embrace Groups. In the meantime we would recommend that at a minimum brands monitor Groups that are set-up around their brands, and engage constructively where value can be added.