What the #@%! is a “Zuckerverb”?
This past fall at the annual Facebook developers’ conference (F8) Mark Zuckerberg announced a revamp of the site and that he was "helping to define a brand-new language for how people connect."
"When we started," he explained, "the vocabulary was really limited. You could only express a small number of things, like who you were friends with. Then last year, when we introduced the Open Graph, we added nouns, so you could like anything that you wanted.” Specifically, he went on to say that “this year, we're adding verbs. We're going to make it so you can connect to anything in any way you want." It was all part of "building this language for how people connect," he said. Although Facebook is officially referring to the verb + noun construct as a “gesture”, the media coined the term “Zuckerverb” as a more descriptive moniker for this new social language.
In a nutshell, the announcement of the Zuckerverb enables consumers to connect with objects on the Open Graph in a much more expressive and natural way than ever before – allowing brand marketers to create an even closer alignment between Facebook and their brand. This new construct is poised to leave the “Like” button in the dust. Think about it – “Like” is so limiting. What if you “love” it, or just “tried” it…but aren’t quite ready to commit to “Like”? We’re not suggesting that Mark and his Zuckerverbs are going to totally reinvent the way social consumers engage with each other and with brands. We just think that allowing marketers to create a new social language that connects objects with any verb creates a much more engaging brand experience.
So how does it work?
Brands connected to the Facebook Open Graph can now choose their own descriptive verbs to associate with any of their open graph objects (products, brand page, events, store locations, etc.) Let’s take a look at what the real difference is between the simple “Like” and this new language:
Old Way: The Static “Like”
New Way: The Zuckerverb
How are marketers using this today? Since the Zuckerverb announcement in late September, several publishers and entertainment brands have embraced the new language - allowing Facebook users to announce to their friends what they’re “reading”, “listening” to, “watching” or “eating”. Check out a few examples below:
Washington Post: Their social reader app allows Facebook users to tell their network what articles they’re “reading”
Spotify: lets users share what they’re “listening” to with their Facebook network in real time
Why should CRM marketers care about the Zuckerverb? Aside from the overall “cool” factor, there are significant CRM opportunities for brands who can create a Zuckerverb language that’s natural and engaging for consumers:
- Advertising: Interested in who just “tried” your product? You can target those people with Facebook media that offers incentive to purchase again, or to refer a friend.
- Commerce: these Zuckerverbs can also offer insights into consumer purchase intent. If a consumer has just recently “wished” for something, they may be ripe for an offer that pushes them over the edge to purchase.
- Targeting: we’ve talked about engaging your Facebook audience with relevant content based on what they’ve “liked”. Now you can target that same audience at a much more granular level – based on what they’ve “tried”, “listened” to, “wished for”, etc.
Despite the obvious engagement and targeting opportunities, marketers have only begun scratching the surface of what’s possible in the new land of the Zuckerverb. As Facebook continues to push farther outside of their own domain and deeper into brand sites, we expect to see more savvy social marketers innovating around the endless Zuckerverb possibilities. So next time you see a customer click on one of your “Like” buttons, think about what you wish they were really telling you – and then start working on your Zuckerverb strategy.