Don’t get all excited. Hollywood isn’t launching a new blockbuster movie based on shadowy intrigues at Facebook. What is happening is the Washington Post Company recently launched SocialCode, a full-service advertising agency. So this is news, why? Rival publishers Gannett and Tribune already have standalone marketing units. The difference is that SocialCode is solely dedicated to helping marketers advertise themselves on Facebook. Come to think of it, I guess that is something to get excited about.
Unlike Tribune’s and Gannett’s marketing units that are designed to maximize ad dollars from local businesses (the kind more apt to buy space in a directory like the Yellow Pages) the Washington Post Company appears to be aiming for the larger brand dollars that have been steadily slipping away from print newspapers.
According to SocialCode, they are “an advertising company built on the Facebook Ads API that executes some of the most advanced advertising and marketing techniques on this highly engaged vehicle. SocialCode’s history of running ads at high volumes and experienced team allow SocialCode to effectively optimize Facebook inventory. SocialCode’s skilled front-end creative and performance-driven analytics team allow SocialCode to test faster and smarter on day one of any Facebook campaign.” In plainer terms, using SocialCode to run advertising campaigns on Facebook gives brands the opportunity to:
• Efficiently grow their fan base
• Engage fans
• Conduct message testing and market research
• Monetize fans
The venture isn’t without some degree of risk. Instead of merely having to contend with other services in local markets where they own media outlets, the Washington Post Company will now have to compete with established services from around the world. To make up for their late entry, they will likely have to lean heavily on their existing relationships with brands to stay afloat as they become established.
How SocialCode’s services will stack up against other Facebook marketing options is as yet unclear. However, as startups like Buddy Media have demonstrated, big brand marketing on Facebook can be very lucrative.
One thing is certain; the social media juggernaut that is Facebook is now very definitely a highly effective selling media.