While marketers adjust to the merging of social networks and email platforms, they should keep an eye on the new messaging option from one of the biggest social media companies around—Facebook Messages debuted on Nov. 15.
The launch received much fanfare, but marketing vendors report that their clients aren't yet being impacted by the new platform. With that in mind, vendors interviewed for this story think marketers should be paying attention to the developments. Those providing advice include:
- Laura Atkins, a founding partner of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based anti-spam consultancy and software firm Word to the Wise;
- David Daniels, CEO of Spring Lake, N.J.-based marketing research firm The Relevancy Group;
- Ken Johns, senior vice president of digital strategy at Pittsburgh-based advertising agency Brunner;
- Stephanie Miller, vice president of digital messaging at Indianapolis-based marketing software provider Aprimo, which is being acquired by Dayton, Ohio-based data warehousing and business analytics corporation Teradata;
- Sandy Pochapin, marketing manager for Newton, Mass.-based email database service provider FreshAddress; and
- Tom Sather, director of professional services at New York-based email performance management company Return Path.
What can marketers do now about Facebook Messages?
1. Ignore Facebook Messages?
While marketers are telling vendors they aren't seeing @facebook.com signups for their products and services, vendors say that not having a strategy in place to deal with the new messaging platform is chancy.
Still, in a Nov. 15, 2010, blog entry—“Fbox: The Sky Isn't Falling"—Atkins said:
- Marketers can decide not to allow consumers to sign up for email with a Facebook email address.
- Or marketers can have consumers do the work, by requiring them to sign up for newsletters through their Facebook accounts and treat the marketers like any other “friend.” Facebook's "like" button can also help marketers gain access to the inbox, she says.
2. Create a messaging strategy specifically for Facebook Messages. This means: