For those of you who have not played with Home yet on an Android it really is pretty cool. It’s like a slide show of screensavers that are made up of your newsfeed. The posts are vibrant, alive and engaging. The ads are another story – no doubt they are sometime annoying. This is especially true (for me) if they are for some time-sucking game that fit into the following catagory: my locker neighbor from high school is spending all his time at working trying to get to the next level, and apparently needs me to be his Cato, or Hutch, or Joe Biden. I know I am digressing about terrible game ads. But the ads do have a negative impact – right now. They will get better and brands had better pay attention.
My prediction is that the biggest impact of Facebook’s new Home operating system is that advertisers will gain an ability to enable immediate action. What is going to happen in the next six months is that home will have a click-to-call feature.
This click to call integration will allow immediate tracking of sales conversion from Facebook ads and bring data collection into the stratosphere. It will also take away any buying friction that was existent in the old model. Brands can significantly optimize this if they make ads that don’t suck and if they allow user to take action.
My advice start designing ad programs that include click to talk capability and remember that using user-generated content has proven head and shoulders above everything else for driving engagement. This will be true for driving buying actions as well. In the next six or 12 months Home is where the money will be.
The best way to ensure ads on Facebook home and mobile are working is to make them subtle and leverage user generated content. Seeing something your friends are talking about is a lot more powerful than something a sales guy is talking about. So look for click to call soon on home and mobile and think of creative ways to collect user generated content at events, promotions, and sponsorship programs that already exist – that’s how to really drive ROI home.