First//Look: Hulu (beta)
Buzz Friday for December 14, 2007

Facebook Beacon, one month later

facebook_logo.jpgWhen I posted my original Inside//Out video on Beacon, I couldn't have known how vehemently anti-Beacon people in this social media space would react. Well, Facebook took notice of the opposition and Zuckerburg himself apologized to users on the matter asking for patience and thanking users for their support.

When I asked people outside of this microcosm if they knew about Beacon, I couldn't find one who did. They all had Facebook profiles and most thought it was an interesting idea to share activities in one network. We're all in the echo chamber and have to remember that a) we're the first line of defense/adoption and b) we're *way* ahead of the normal John and Jane consumer out there. We're all working in unchartered territory, Facebook needs to beta these things better in the future with some community participation instead of unleashing them. Facebook messed up, acknowledged it, made changes to respond and have a pretty good solution in place on their end (minus a few caveats).

On the marketer side, however, we need to make sure we ALWAYS allow people to opt-in to services like this from now on. If we use an opt-in, confirm it with people and let them opt-out, we're giving people full control of what's transmitted to third-parties. These are basic email marketing practices and can be adopted for situations like this.

So what's changed? Check out this video which gives a look at what changes are in place as well as their progression to get where we are today.

[Feed readers, please click through to the post if you cannot see the video.]

Here is a re-post of my diagram explaining how Beacon works:

Click to Enlarge
  1. Marketers apply for and install the beacon code on their site
  2. Marketers then set up actions on their site to send information with Beacon
  3. Beacon looks on the user's local machine to see if they have a valid Facebook cookie, if it finds one, it sends the data to Facebook
  4. When users log in to Facebook, they are presented with a message asking to allow the data to be pulled in
  5. Users can automatically allow all, request to authorize each or deny all on a site-by-site basis
  6. Update: Facebook now allows you to opt-out of all beacon messages (data is still transferred to Facebook if the marketer sends it)
  7. If approved, the message is added to the users timeline (mini-feed) and is presented to their friends on the main landing page

Guidelines for marketers:

  1. Make sure that you are allowing people to opt-in to use Beacon to push information to their profile. This is permission marketing 101.
  2. Allow them to opt in to each action you hook Beacon up to (if there are three places you are using it, that's three opt ins).
  3. Add some explanatory information every time information is sent, as you saw in the video the notification Facebook uses is seen only briefly. Give people a short reminder and allow them to opt out quickly.
  4. Only use beacon for things that will add value to the user on Facebook. Hold off on the mundane things and focus on items that add value, reduce the time spent re-typing it on Facebook or hook into an application the user already has installed.

All of that said, would you recommend a client use it? If you are a marketer, would you implement this right now? Are you waiting for something more from Facebook before you step in? What is your most important takeaway from this experience?

iTunes.jpgTo help you stay on top of what is happening and to filter the myriad options, you can now subscribe to the Techno//Marketer podcast on iTunes. Get updates in real time when new videos become available.

podcast-logo1.gifIf you use another podcatcher you can grab my podcast RSS feed here.

You can watch this and other Techno//Marketer videos on your video channel of choice:

bcove.gif dailymo.gif rev.gif ms.gif
blip.gif goo.gif y.gif yt.gif

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , , , ,

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.