[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Real-time Facebook Conversations – what could it mean for business?

One of the great rationales for corporate social media participation has been the ability to ‘hear’ what real live customers are naturally saying about your brand. In media terms, this can mean having a millions-strong team of para-journalists available 24/7.

It’s arguable that for a long time, Twitter has had the market cornered on real-time news. The list of major news stories broken via Twitter includes the 2009 New York Hudson plane crash, the death of Osama Bin Laden and the Boston Marathon bombing.

Likes vs retweets

Earlier this month, Twitter got company in the form of Facebook with the announcement of two APIs aimed at allowing news organisations to tap into public posts.

The public feed API displays a real-time feed of public posts for a specific word. The keyword insights API tallies the total number of posts that mention a specific term during a specified time period.

Initially, the APIs are only available to a select group of media partners including BuzzFeed, CNN and British Sky Broadcasting. Over time, Facebook intends to make it available to other media organisations and is in discussions with some Preferred Marketing Developers.

More than meets the eye

Whilst only available to media at the moment, this announcement presents a range of possibilities for businesses in the future.

With the ability to mine and measure real-time conversations on specific topics, marketers can get not just a more complete picture of campaign results, but also develop new ways to quantify spend.

For example with these APIs, marketers could assess the real appetite for a new product, adjust campaign messaging or add a quantifiable measure to sponsorship spend analysis based on the conversations of more than a billion people worldwide.

Steve Hibberd has over 15 years digital marketing experience and is currently Co-founder & CEO of Tiger Pistol. Steve has a passion for Social Marketing, and works closely with key industry stakeholders in both Australia and the U.S. on developing product to make success on social easier to achieve for small business owners and marketers across the world.

Fundamentally, the introduction of these APIs has the potential to cement Facebook at the heart of every marketing strategy – not just in terms of acquisition, but also reporting and research.

How would you use these new Facebook APIs if they were available to brands?

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