Why the Future of Facebook is Bright (part 2)

an interview with
Patrick Toland Chief Revenue Officer, Optimal

If you happen to be Patrick Toland, your answer to the question “So Your Facebook Developer Isn’t “Strategic”. Does It Matter?” is likely to be “of course” since he is Chief Revenue Officer at Optimal, one of Facebook’s Strategic Preferred Marketing Developers.  That said, Patrick makes a strong case for why the future of Facebook is bright for just about everyone connected with THE social network in our interview below.  (And pardon the shameless plug but why not join us Feb 9-12 at the Social Media Insider Summit where we’ll be delving into this issue and many more while trying to ignore the sunshine of Captiva Island!)

Drew: Can you provide a brief description of what your company does and how Facebook fits in?
Optimal is the leading social ad buying and analytics platform.  We specialize in helping marketers effectively and efficiently reach audiences in real-time, AND we create tools that help companies evaluate their own social presence + their competitors’.

Drew: Some marketers are beginning to question the efficacy of Facebook.  Can you provide a (brief) recent success story on Facebook that you’ve executed?
Recently, we worked with a Fortune 100 Financial Services company, that wanted to find high-value fans / potential customers through social media.  Using a combination of our analytics products and Custom Audiences, we helped them refine their target demographics and increase their fanbase by 350%, while lowering costs by 60%.  Most importantly, we found them people, who were more likely to be customers.

Drew: How has being a Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer that helped your organization?
To become a PMD, an organization needs to meet a certain level of quality, service, and support.  It also means that we have experience working within the industry we are performing sales in.  Being a PMD has been helpful for us & the entire industry because it gives partners and potential customers the knowledge that we have met a certain level of qualifications.   AND, it gives Facebook a level of quality of control because, unlike the Ad Network space in the 2000’s, we have a set of credentials, and we’re ready to work with you.

Drew: As Facebook applications have proliferated and FB usage has moved to mobile devices that don’t support these apps, have you noticed a decline in the usage and/or effectiveness of FB apps?
The usage on mobile is only natural, and although the current trends might seem to the decline in usage for FB apps, this should only be temporary situation.  In the long run, the rest of the ecosystem should catch up.  As this happens, engagement should continue to rise and occur in real-time!

Drew: Are you bullish on the future of Facebook applications?  If so, why and how do you see them evolving?
Yes, of course.  As you mentioned above, FB usage is moving towards mobile devices, and that is something Facebook understands. Applications are being built to adapt to the environment over time, and the future should continue to be promising overall.

Drew: Can you share how you see Facebook advertising becoming more effective?
Of course – the opportunities on Facebook have always been very interesting given the ability to create targeted segments based on actual information that is updated in real-time.   Custom Audiences, Open Graph Targeting are couple great examples of recent developments.  This is much better than the survey based data making assumptions of what people are interested based on what they are viewing, and we feel that everything can only improve, with better ad units, and communication all around.

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