Facebook Trying to Become Pinterest? The Want Button.

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The other day I was reading an article about Facebook wanting to include a want button in addition to their like link or button.  The want button is supposed to be able to be clicked if the person actually wants the item or has an interest, like they want it or want to buy it.  Although this sounds like it could be great for shopping and finally helping to target Facebook users into sales, it may actually make your ads less targeted to an extent; however it may also help you to hit a more targeted audience with your ads to market again to later.  I’m going to break it out into the good and the potential bad about Facebook featuring a want button.

The Good:

1.  Targeting based on groups of friends to figure out who has the most interest.  This is great for a Marketer to know because you can start to target based on interests and things groups of people have in common that click on want.  Once you have that you know what types of sites to recruit for Affiliates, who to target based on media kits and which types of sites you’ll want to go after to gain more interest with Media Buys.

By using the Facebook want button, here are some of the things you can find out what the group of people who clicked want have in common with each other.

  • schools – education level, if they went to the same, where the schools were located in the country, ivy league vs. non, etc…
  • work – where people work, what types of companies your product’s fan base work for (size, location, etc…), if you have entrepreneurs vs. 9 to 5’s and executive vs. non based on titles.
  • gay or straight – By scanning interested in you can discover if you are attracting gay people vs. straight and what percentage is bisexual or doesn’t want to say.
  • relationship status – You could discover what percentage of your fan based is married, dating people, single, etc…  Crossing this with gay or straight and gender can be a seriously powerful targeting tool.
  • male or female

2.  What region of the country the wants are in to show demand (which already exists but now product based regional demand).  This is extremely powerful because you can tell where you should run your offline ads, etc…  It can give you a much larger insight than just relying on broadcasting and orders in if you haven’t already advertised and collecting shipping data.

3.  Target based on demand and social triggers to push ads and coupons for a deal or product.

4.  Upload a datafeed of products to push them through a widget into Facebook based off of wants and keywords, then set up a PPC bidding to show the product and price and position based on the demographics above.  (They would need a quality score.)

5.  You could include a buy now after you hit want and take the person to a comparison shopping section on Facebook where people can shop by price, review and rating on the store.

6.  If you have a shopping or ecommerce tab on your Fanpage, you now have a good idea for what is trending on Facebook and can list those products first and hopefully generate more conversions.

The Bad:

1.  Ridiculous items that people cannot afford.  People may click on things that they cannot afford but want.  Versace gowns, million dollar cars or even iPhones and technology that not everyone can actually afford but seems like a legit want.

2.  Fake wants because it’s funny or an image or joke.  People click on things they want as a joke because they think it is funny.  Look at the voting sites that have things like interesting, useful, funny, etc…  People just click regardless of what the actual purpose or article or image is about.

3.  Abuse of the button because people don’t understand what it’s for.  Some people, probably a bunch, will actually just click on the button giving you a ton of bad and false data and bad info to target ads with.  This could be a huge issue for Facebook.

4.  Facebook is still for playing and socializing, not shopping.  Even though people want, if you can buy space or show an ad to buy a product after the want button is clicked, people still want to socialize and play, not leave and shop.  I think that selling clicks on ads or on a revenue sharing basis after someone clicks want is a huge opportunity and I would definitely test this.  It could also cause legal issues though if a manufacturer or retailer generated the interests that caused the wants and someone else jumps in because they have a bigger budget or a better marketing team and monetizes it.  If it is a small company this could be devastating to them.

5.  Can want point to the store where the person can buy it or where it was originally found?  If it doesn’t point to a product where it can be found, or if it cannot take people into a price comparison shop on Facebook, it becomes somewhat useless, except for the demographic information it can collect.

6.  Abuse from stores asking for more wants for social triggers for SEO. If this becomes a social trigger, which it probably will, large stores and people with huge budgets can place these on their sites and remove smaller companies chances of ranking, especially based on products and long tail keywords which they rely on.  Using want as a social trigger for shopping results in the SERPs will definitely skew the results and hurt a lot of small businesses.

I love the idea of a want button, but am also very skeptical about it.  This post is just opinions and nothing in it is a fact.  It would be great for you to pitch in and let me know what you think is good or bad or if you would try using the Facebook want button for advertising, etc…

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