When you think of lead nurturing platforms you typically think of firms like Eloqua, Marketo, Aprimo, LeadLife, Market2Lead, Silverpop, even Salesforce.com is getting into the lead nurturing space.
Lead nurturing starts by taking many touch points and pulling them all together into one spot so you can see patterns of activity across your customer base and get a true profile of what they are doing. It involves seeing from the front end of the sale all the way to the consummation of the sale and I believe Facebook has or is planning to have some of the most critical elements all on their platform (and all for free!).
Element #1 – Advertising – like most lead nurturing platforms today they allow tracking of your ad spend online – specifically spend on Google AdWords and the conversions from online banners (CPC and CPM spend). Well Facebook Ads are already wired into the Facebook platform using the same type of tracking on the same types of ad spends across the Facebook platform giving you a picture of what a prospect is reacting to.
Element #2 – Email – the most critical element of a lead nurturing platform is email. Being able to send and receive email to someone in your database and gauge the interest of that person in the content you send them is essential. As you may know Facebook’s Project Titan is about to unveil 400 million plus POP/IMAP access emails to all their users and they also plan on enabling Facebook Pages for this same type of access. Therefore you can take the conversation you started on Facebook Ads and continue that conversation via email this will be another big step toward Facebook becoming a lead nurturing platform.
Element #3 – Events – throwing events in Facebook is easy, but taking that data and adding that to a profile isn’t. If you can take the data from Facebook Ads, combine that with the interaction you are getting via email you get another great touch point with your new potential customers.
Element #4 – Personas – from there you can compile a buyer persona with a minimal investment. A persona of your buyer that could tell you what their favorite movie was, what their favorite music was, what their favorite TV show was, what their favorite books were, even their average age and marital status with Facebook. A very powerful side benefit of being on the Facebook platform. (to learn more see my blog post on generating a buyer persona with Facebook)
Element #5 – Storefronts / Marketplace – the final part of the lead nurturing process is the ability to send a prospect who you attracted with an ad perhaps, nurtured with email, invites to events, targeted with their persona a specific offer and converted them with your product or service that you offered on the Marketplace or coming soon Storefronts. Even conduct the sale with payment options like PayPal in the future.
Bottom line – I think you need to keep an eye on Facebook as this platform develops. The rich interactions we are having on this platform is starting to make sense and as marketers start to really engage in advertising and events and adopting new features as they roll out – there will be a real need for collecting the data to create a rich profile that becomes the basis for lead nurturing on Facebook.