After a fantastic discussion with Justin Kistner on Friday, it opened my eyes to Facebook and its opportunity to expand our reach and online conversation. To date, we've really been working our strategy like this:
We utilized a blog as the centerpiece of our social media strategy, driving content outwards to be amplified by social media… and then driving traffic back to our blog, site and conversion. Not only did the model perform well, it also enabled us to better control our medium and content. After all, we didn't know what the future of Facebook was going to be, whether they'd give us the boot… and we didn't really have an opportunity to convert from within Facebook.
Not anymore. The evolution of the Facebook platform as well as the incredible adoption rates have made Facebook a destination of its own. Just as we think about our conversion paths through our blog and site, we must also begin building conversion paths from within Facebook. We still need our blog and website… but Facebook is no longer a pass-through medium, it's a destination.
This isn't impossible. In fact, since all applications are built with embedded frames (iframes), your site is easily replicated from within Facebook in an optimized 520 pixel wide frame. We did this a while back for Wild Birds Unlimited… developing an integrated store location system within Facebook that was actually powered from the core platform outside of Facebook! The toughest part, honestly, was ensuring the entire platform was secured with SSL.
So, as much as I hate to admit it, we need to begin thinking differently how we're using Facebook, advertising within Facebook, and how we're wanting to convert likes into customers. In fact, today, we cut off our autofeed to our Facebook Page so we can begin the conversation there! We'll start developing more robust integrations and conversion on that side of the wall instead of trying to push so hard to get people out of Facebook (when they don't want to leave) and back to our site.
BTW: Our nice diagrams were built using a new client's tool Mindjet… an incredible tool for mind mapping, project and development design along with tight integrations to Microsoft Office!