3 Key Themes from the Facebook Marketing Developer Conference

This post was written by Chad Walters and originally appeared on Socialware’s blog.

[These notes are based on attending] the Facebook Marketing Developer Conference in April, an event for companies like Socialware that participate in Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD) program. The PMD helps developers like us create products that make social marketing easier and more effective.

The author heads up Socialware’s engineering department and focuses on the IT-specific details discussed by the Facebook product, partner, and marketing leaders who spoke to us. But I was also struck by their repeated emphasis on cooperation across the whole Facebook ecosystem.This is important because it helps Facebook, Socialware (and other developers), and our clients deliver the best experiences for end users. It may sound touchy-feely, but if we do it right, everybody wins.

Connect, Tell Stories, Think Holistically

Three big messages stood out to me as I listened to the speakers from Facebook. All of them tied into the idea of connecting people and firms across the ecosystem.

1. Build for connections. Your company’s Facebook Page is like “mission control”—the hub of your efforts. The challenge is to figure out how to build connections with the individuals who have ties to your company, and do it in a way that encourages them to push out your content to their friends. That means you need to post content that’s timely, visual, consistent, and engaging, and you need to focus on the people who have the strongest ties to you. When the people who visit your page find your content meaningful, they’ll share it with their friends.

It sounds simple, but developers need to do the heavy lifting so that users can take really lightweight, easy actions to interact and share—and so that client firms get business value from that engagement. That’s true whether developers are focused on Pages, Apps, or Metrics within Facebook.

2. Make stories. Having a presence on Facebook is about more than selling ads, creating Apps, or even having an active Page for your business. It’s really about getting people to share your stories. If you focus on quality and building for connections as in point #1, you can then use many different highly targeted ads within Facebook to get individuals to be your fans.

Basically, there are no good gimmicks for this. People are people, and you have to create valuable experiences for them that build relationships and loyalty through many lightweight interactions over time. The challenge for us as developers is to create and integrate technology that makes all of this easier and helps firms use social interactions and social data to achieve better business outcomes.

3. Deliver holistic solutions. This is a big focus for Facebook as it works with developers in the PMD. The program includes developers who address different parts of the Facebook experience—Pages, Ads, Apps, and Insights. Facebook wants everything to be well-integrated, both from a technical perspective and in terms of the narrative angles mentioned above. The point is that all the players in the ecosystem—Facebook, developers, and clients—will continue to create a great user experience that Facebook’s users can trust, enjoy, and get value from.

Firms in the financial services industry will only get more involved in this ecosystem as time goes on. We’re pleased that our membership in the PMD will help us share with Facebook the technical and commercial developments that we’re seeing in the industry so that everyone can benefit.

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