Why the Future of Facebook Looks Bright (part 3)

an interview with
Erica Barth Vice President of Products & Partnerships, Resolution Media

Just any case any of the digital / social agencies out there are panicking because they aren’t among the 12 Facebook designated as Strategic Marketing Development Partners, I have one word of advice: don’t.  While this designation is a coup for those 12, the rest of us will be just fine and so will our clients when it comes to providing Facebook-related services.  Part of the reason I can say that with such certainty is that these SMDPs offer self-service solutions that are available to all who seek them, including major digital agencies like Resolution Media.

I talked with Erica Barth, VP of Products & Partnerships at Resolution, about this issue, which we will be talking about again and in greater detail at the upcoming Social Media Insider Summit.  Erica remains bullish on Facebook as a powerful advertising vehicle especially if you are customer-centric.  Enjoy.

Drew: First, please provide a brief description of what your company does and how Facebook fits in.
Resolution Media, an Omnicom Media Group company, is a leading digital agency with operations in 40 countries. Resolution helps brands bond with evolving audiences by providing services in the areas of paid search, search engine optimization (SEO), digital behavior analysis, social media, mobile, local and other complimentary services.

Drew: Can you provide a recent success story that you’ve executed on Facebook?
We used Facebook to generate awareness for a client’s new online product by promoting their organic page posts to mobile and desktop Facebook users.  In particular, mobile newsfeed ads were very successful, generating over 60% of all the “Page Likes” for this initiative.  Overall, Facebook was one of the largest drivers of traffic to this client’s new online product.

Drew: Do you think not being a Strategic PMD has hurt your ad buying and or application development skills?
Resolution Media partners with Facebook PMDs to buy Facebook media on a self-serve basis using the PMD’s technology platform to streamline management, optimization and reporting.  We do place importance on the standing of the API vendor with Facebook, but also look at other factors when selecting our technology partners such as technical support, training, global scale, etc. However, speed-to-market on supporting changes to Facebook’s platform and overall innovation in the space are very critical as well.

Drew: Have you noticed a decline in the usage and/or effectiveness of Facebook apps?   
We help our clients support the promotion of their apps from a media perspective and we haven’t seen our advertisers move away from leveraging them.  However, the biggest limitation we see in driving results today is apps that aren’t developed with the consumer at the center to ensure relevance and a great user experience.  In our experience, simple and entertaining apps tend to perform the best.  It’s really important to understand consumers’ behaviors on different channels and make sure your content and advertising strategy align to those in order to drive success.

Drew: Are you bullish on the future of Facebook applications?  
When done well, one of the greatest strengths of apps is that it’s a great way to develop content quickly and with limited investment, as opposed to a microsite or other channel that could be more time intensive. Limited mobile compatibility and Facebook’s focus on Timeline can make it challenging to maximize traffic to an app, but expect this to continue to evolve as Facebook continues to expand its products to reach both mobile and desktop users.

Drew: How do you see Facebook advertising evolving?   
Facebook has moved in the direction of having its ad formats tied very closely to the organic content that is published, which should help increase the relevancy and effectiveness of Facebook advertising as long as advertisers invest in a solid content strategy that is appropriate for this type of channel.  I think understanding how audiences are evolving and want to be engaged with on each social channel is the foundation that is needed to make any sort of paid amplification effective.

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