My good friend, Jeremiah Owyang had a great quote he liked to share in his presentations, stating that the days of old-style marketing, forcing your customers to your site, no longer applied. He stated that we must “Fish Where the Fish Are“, and right he was. With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, YouTube, MySpace, etc. it was now possible for companies to get into the conversations of their customers, where they were conversing rather than trying to get them back to their own site to encourage that. I’d like to suggest that even that philosophy’s evolving though, and like with the previous philosophy, Facebook’s leading the way. Now, instead of “Fishing where the Fish are”, you can bring the entire lake to your website and again, those conversations are again all happening under your own brand. Now you get to fish in your own backyard.
Last year Facebook introduced Facebook Connect to developers to enable developers to integrate the Facebook Platform right on their own websites. I’m not sure developers or businesses fully knew what was coming at the time, but it sounded good. Mark Zuckerberg talked about expanding the ability to share on Facebook to the web, and keeping the fine-grained privacy controls Facebook is known for along with that. I believe a new way of marketing may have begun with that launch.
If you get a chance, go sign into HuffingtonPost.com through your Facebook login. Look – all your friends from Facebook just automatically got imported onto HuffingtonPost.com with just one click! And you never left the site. Huffington Post gets this concept – their readers’ conversations on Facebook are all happening through their own website, and they’re enabling new conversations from that! Their users never have to go back to Facebook to converse the news they’re reading with their friends.
Another great example is Digg.com. If you log in through Facebook there you’ll notice with no effort your friends all get imported as friends on Digg. Now, every new friend that logs into Digg via those means also gets added, automatically, as a friend on the site. Digg has brought Facebook back to their own brand.
Soon you’ll start to see the same for microblogging. Whether it happens via Facebook, or via open source platforms such as Laconi.ca or WordPress, brands will begin to bring ways for you to bring short-form conversations to their sites as well, enabling you to post out to Twitter, Facebook, and others and bring those conversations back into the site. This is the way it all started, and now we’re able to merge the old marketing and new marketing into a more complete solution that brings the brand back into the equation.
There are many tools available now, and many being developed right now that are bringing that “sea of fish” back onto your own property. Tools like Facebook Connect are teaching you how to fish in that backyard pond so you can feed a multitude. Now you can swim with the best of them in your own swimming pool!