In his first public comments since Facebook went public, CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed disappointment with the company’s recent performance and hinted at new search and mobile strategies. But here are three concrete ways Facebook can make members, advertisers and shareholders happy again.
Wall Street already likes Zuckerberg’s seemingly new approach: Shares of the company rose three percent in after-hours trading Tuesday. But Zuckerberg only said what he has said all along:
- Facebook has no immediate plans to develop a smartphone
- Facebook will be a dominant player in mobile advertising
- He will leverage Facebook's 1 billion members to go toe to toe with Google in search
But looking at the bigger picture, Facebook is leaving loads of potential revenue on the table -- revenue it could tap with relative ease.
Make Better Use Of Data
You know how you assume that every time you click "Like" that Facebook gets another nugget of information to better target ads at you. Not so, according to an AdExchanger interview with Gokul Rajaram, Facebook's director of product management for ads.
Rajaram replied “not at this time” when asked if Facebook plans to use that paticular data to target ads.
There are probably more than a handful of Facebook investors out there who assume that Facebook is using one of the world’s biggest banks of marketing data to improve ad targeting.
Improve Mobile And Try Mobile Banner Ads
Facebook upgraded its iOS app to much fanfare a few weeks ago, and Tuesday, Zuckerberg promised an ambitious Android upgrade. Hopefully it’s more ambitious than the iOS app,
After playing with it on both our iPhones and iPads, we found the new iOS app is slightly faster but not much of an improvement over Facebook’s previous, often-maligned app. Zuckerberg needs to offer a better app to keep mobile users happy.
And he needs an aggressive advertising strategy to keep advertisers happy. Zuckerberg is resisting calls to add banner ads to Facebook's mobile app and is instead relying solely on sponsored stories. That tactic is clearly aimed at minimizing member complaints, but he may need to risk some flak if he wants to reach ambitious mobile-revenue expectations.
Tap Into Video Advertisements
Facebook is second only to Google’s YouTube in user-generated video uploads, yet the company seems more than happy to concede video to Google. YouTube has leveraged revenue from its most-watched ads and this week launched a new mobile app that makes it easier for people to share their favorite videos on Facebook.
"Unlike everybody else, it’s something we haven’t talked too much about. We probably need to focus and build a lot of stuff on the consumer side, if we want to do something,” Rajaram told AdExchanger. “I think, so far, we haven’t talked much about the advertising side of video."