Agency executives expect more advertising dollars will flow to Facebook and Microsoft's Bing under the social-and-search partnership.
Marketers agreed that the Facebook-Bing deal should make the phones ring a bit more often in the companies' ad sales department. ClickZ reached out to agencies last week to gauge their reactions to the social-and-search marriage forged Oct. 13.
Two immediate consensus opinions: Brands will want to increase their "likers" via Facebook.com ads or other measures, as such Facebook users will be appearing in socially contextualized Bing search results. And companies with large Facebook presences - such as Coca-Cola (14.2 million "likers"), Red Bull (9.6 million), and Wal-Mart (1.7 million) - will be inclined to increase their Bing paid and organic search efforts.
Reggie Bradford is CEO of Vitrue, a social media company that made waves in April when it valued the earned media $3.60 per Facebook "liker." He said the Bing deal extends the reach of "likers" into the search realm and likely raises their dollar-value worth.
"We haven't had the chance to look at it in that context yet, but certainly from an earned media standpoint…that should put a multiplier on [the $3.60] number," he said. "It only enhances the value."
Interestingly, the CEO also pointed to research by The Nielsen Company, which found that Facebook.com ads appearing with users' friends outperformed promos on the social site without them. "Advertising is more impactful and gets a higher click-through rate when you see that your friends have 'liked' a brand," Bradford said. "It's a real reason to drive [brands] to get more people to 'like' them.
Here is what four other marketers had to say about the Facebook-Bing deal:
Chris Tuff, social media director at ad agency 22squared: "Those with an existing Facebook presence are more likely to concentrate efforts and media dollars on Bing. To those brands without Facebook presence, Bing will be seen as an area on which they need to concentrate. The reason why many brands invest time and money in Facebook is because they [or their agencies] understand the power behind 'friendsourcing' purchase decisions and brand opinions. This deal brings the same mentality to search…Given the direct and timely effect this deal will have on social search, Facebook ads will become a higher priority for brands in 2011."
Kevin Barenblat, CEO of social marketing company Context Optional: "Including 'like' buttons in search results certainly makes search and social more complementary, and Facebook may see a bump in spend from search marketers as a result of its influence on search engine optimization. That said, media buying is only one of the many ways that brands gain [likers]. Sophisticated social marketers also run [liker]-only promotions through Facebook, add 'like' buttons to content on their site and leverage Facebook social channels to grow their fan base, all of which become increasingly important in a world where search and social discovery intertwine."
Harry Gold, CEO of Overdrive Interactive and a ClickZ columnist: "I am not sure in the short term this is really a thing that will have a direct impact on paid media. It is more a case where 'likes,' 'tweets,' and 'shares' are becoming more and more the 'popularity score' of the Web and a particular page…So instead of keyword density or links driving a page to the top of Bing results - the amount of 'likes' and/or that page's popularity with your particular friends will drive that page to the top of the results. So now there will be double value in Facebook engagement ads that get people to 'like' your fan page and your content out on the web because it will build both social connections and SEO octane in Bing."
Mike Lazerow, CEO at digital agency Buddy Media: "This is another step in Facebook’s efforts, similar to Facebook Connect, to make the Web more social by expanding its reach beyond Facebook.com, and a big step in terms of Facebook's search strategy. For marketers, social search will increase the reach of the sharing and connecting that occurs on Facebook.com by allowing Bing users to see how their friends have interacted with the brands or products they are searching for. This could make Facebook marketing initiatives and related ad spends even more appealing to brands."
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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