This is part two of Social Media Integrations of 2012 where I discussed the hopeful future use of QR codes in advertising and beyond. Now I will discuss the integrations I would like to see made at Facebook.
The Most Needed Facebook Update Ever: Facebook Integration of Events, Places, Pages, and Communities
The third item on my integration wish list is for Facebook to merge their data sources. Right now information comes from far too many places:
Facebook Place Pages are fed into the Facebook database via Localeze. These are pumped in automatically and often are duplicates of a business or brand page on Facebook. While Facebook does have an internally mechanism to claim a Place page, having duplicate pages does dilute the activity and invites confusion to users . This also seems to confuse business owners, as I don’t often see place pages claimed by businesses! Granted one can claim a place page and then have it combined to their actual Brand page, but it’s not all that simple.
In addition, ANYTIME an employee of your company adds that they work for a company, THAT creates a new page. Even if they misspell the name or capitalize differently than the “official” brand page, or like with DragonSearch have one with an added period, you get a new listing! ( Note to self: MUST claim the “extra” pages!)
Facebook Community Pages are often created via the Wikipedia database. There is NO way to currently claim or own one’s community page and the only mode of control is that a brand is encouraged to keep their Wikipedia information current so they can control what Facebook pulls in. I won’t go into how difficult it can be to actually get past the Wiki admins and have one’s edits accepted, but I can tell you that I am not a fan of the Community pages. It’s especially concerning when Facebook Community Pages do seem to trump Official Pages in searches on Facebook. Heaven help your business if the community pages gets there first and Facebook assigns the Community page your vanity username!
Facebook Events: While you can make an event off a Facebook page, you can also promote your event on Zvents and Eventbrite. Both of those data bases also feed into Facebook as events and then, guess what, you get duplicate event listings! I don’t like the options that are left: either ONLY use Facebook for your event listing and ignore any customers or potential promotional reach by keeping events solely on Facebook or risk confusing the heck out of everyone and having three mediocre looking events rather than one strongly attended event. Granted, I think the Zuck and Facebook crew would like us to ignore anything that is NOT on Facebook, but then why would they let the event listings sites add their data? An official brand page should have a method of claiming and combining their event listed with the data fed in. Really!
Between People, Places, Pages, Community pages, events, apps, and causes, it is possible for a brands Facebook presence to be literally ALL over the place and that means that the conversations are so much harder to leverage. So, to Facebook: if you want to keep controlling the social media pie, I have one word: INTEGRATION
In fact, that word might just be my personal theme of the upcoming year. Let’s continue to use the web as the amazing tool it is and bring everything together: social media, branding, advertising, social experiences, reviews, opinion, blogs, etc. Maybe these are just pipe dreams, but I know if it was easier, I would be quite grateful! What do you want to see from social in 2012?