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Facebook Is The New Mall

Written by: Cheryl Morris, VP Marketing

Last month in an article from VentureBeat, Nanigans was quoted comparing Facebook to the mall:

“Facebook is the new shopping mall, where people have a place gather, socialize, and then occasionally browse for shopping. Facebook readers aren’t in search mode, per se. But if an advertiser can inject itself into a Facebook user’s reading stream, it can foster brand affiliation, which can lead to a purchase down the road, even offline, especially if the product is targeted and relevant.”- Dan Slagen, SVP of Marketing

More recently, I was in Minnesota last week for a family wedding, and one of the recommended activities for “out-of-towners” was to visit the Mall of America much to my delight.  As I meandered through the mall, which is large enough to hold 258 Statues of Liberty, a few observations became apparent. During just 2 hours of walking around I saw:

  1. Entertainment & events
  2. Shopping and sales
  3. Pictures being taken
  4. Conversation

As I continued to walk and observe the general atmosphere, the similarities that Facebook shares with the mall became unmistakably apparent.

What is Facebook for these days anyway?  From what we’re seeing here at Nanigans, it continues to be a place where people live and share their life with those that matter most to them. To review the similarities between Facebook and the mall:

1. Entertainment & Events: While the Mall of America boasts roller coasters and amusement rides, the offerings also consist of comedy clubs, movie theatres and events for people to participate in or attend, something we see quite often on Facebook both from people sharing out status updates and from advertisers.

2. Shopping and Sales: This is the obvious one, of course people go to the mall to shop, but it’s now becoming quite common on Facebook. Industries including Travel, Gaming, Financial Services and of course Ecommerce are offering users opportunities to exclusive sales and new products. As targeting and ad units have continued to advance in the past 12 months, so has user activity and advertisers ROI performance.

3. Pictures Being Taken: Imagery, imagery, imagery! While we’re used to seeing pictures being taken at the mall, whether it’s friends/family being together, a wedding (very interesting to see), or anything else, imagery is taking over the web and mobile with Facebook seeing 208,300 photo uploads every minute!

4. Conversation: Something that is constant at the mall is conversation. Whether while walking, sitting, eating or shopping. Just as it is in the mall, on Facebook we continue to see stories being shared and conversations happening around day to day happenings, marriages, relationships, new home purchases, news and everything else under the sun.

As an advertiser, think about Facebook from a more holistic standpoint, try thinking about it like the mall. It’s not just a place where people “stop by” but rather a consistent place of convergence where lives are being share and people are becoming more comfortable with the experience every day. There’s a place for advertisers within Facebook’s community of over 1.1 billion, and it’s a very prominent one.

If you’d like to learn more about performance marketing on Facebook and/or our concept of predictive lifetime value, feel free to contact us.

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