So today the NYT posted this story:
Facebook wants to turn every member into a spokesman for its advertisers. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of the superhot social network, today announced what the company calls “social ads”.
The ads expand what has been one of the most powerful features of Facebook, the news feed, where members see a list of what their friends are doing — photos from their parties, new friends, favorite bands and so on.
Facebook now will give advertisers the ability to create their own profile pages on its system that will let users identify themselves as fans of a product. Each user’s news feed will contain items like “Bobby Smith is now a fan of Toyota Prius.”
My commentary: What a stinking good idea! Lets users (and the advocates amongst those users) show their beliefs, feelings, perhaps even needs. It could bring customer response and interaction into a whole new frontier. This will allow users show affinity between users and brands. With this, true bonds will be formed, or possibly lost using this method. I think it’s the best form of affinity I’ve seen amongst Google, Yahoo and others. And with it, brand owners would choose to place their advertising dollars here as compared to the other companies.
The brand owners and companies just better beware. If users can be advocates, they can also turn. If the companies then fail the brand promise in some way, those users will be able to express themselves immediately. Immediately. So good companies will be rewarded and companies that act incongruent with their promise will be punished. Seems fair.