Our tips to making the most of Facebook Connect as a marketing and data capture tool.
Just as brands and organisations swiftly came to realise the explosive potential of Facebook, so too did Facebook come to realise the opportunities that lay in making the business of simple, joined-up marketing that bit easier for them. Enter Facebook Connect.
Launched in 2008, Facebook Connect (also known as Facebook Login) is, in its rawest form, a set of APIs that allow Facebook members to log onto other websites, apps and mobile devices using their Facebook identities. Once logged in, users can post updates to their Facebook page via the third-party site or app, and connect with friends away from the blue networking giant. For example, use Connect to log in to a shoe store online and you might see a column telling you some of your friends have done the same, or that specific friends ‘like’ the brand. If you make a purchase or leave a review the platform might post an update to your Facebook page, telling them about your activity.
Facebook connect as a data capture tool
- With a single click marketers have access to a huge amount of user information (just think about all the intel on your Facebook profile), making it an excellent tool for data capture, as well as enabling marketers to personalise their approach accordingly. This is becoming vital in the digital sphere; according to recent research by Janrain, 75% of web users claim personalisation is increasingly important to them.
- Connect helps marketers get branded content on Facebook without having to advertise on the site. If your website has Connect functionality, your visitors can post newsfeed stories, photos, events and articles onto Facebook – for all their friends to see – without leaving your site. Connect is not an advertising product, but it can accomplish the same goals as one.
- Connect gets customers in quickly, meaning they’re more likely to stick around. A huge part of our digital life revolves around passwords and usernames, and the prospect of form-filling can be off-putting. In fact, a recent survey indicates that up to 92% of respondents will leave a website during the sign up process, and 80% of those that make it past the post give false information. Facebook Connect bypasses this with one click.
Five marketing musts for using Facebook connect
Make connecting as easy as possible
That means including big, obvious connect buttons on your site. A few very brief, clear lines explaining the advantages of connecting can help convince the unsure.
Request extended permissions
This one is vital. If you ever want to contact a user ever again, you must ask for extended permissions. There’s no point encouraging users to register with you if you can’t get in touch with them, is there?
Build in basic community features
If you implement Facebook Connect, make sure you enable peer viewing. This will allow users to see which of their friends have connected with your site, providing a common bond between individuals, creating a sense of validation in their choices, and ultimately increasing their chance of returning to the site.
Use the invite feature
It’s surprising how few Connect-using companies don’t leverage any sort of invitation feature. With just a few clicks satisfied customers can select friends to take a look around, thereby promoting your business for you.
While Connect is well-understood in the marketing world, many ‘civilian’ users aren’t as clued up, or are wary of sharing their information. Be sure to provide several options for registering with your site (including traditional info forms) so you don’t deter the uninitiated.