Square integrates Facebook Ads into expanding “Customer Engagement” suite
Company adds another marketing channel to its growing CRM toolset.
Local commerce platform Square announced this afternoon that it was integrating Facebook advertising into its growing CRM suite that it calls “Customer Engagement.” Facebook Ads now join email marketing as part of an expanding toolset layered on top of Square’s core payments and POS services for local businesses.
One of the features of the Facebook integration is that Square can match online ad targeting and in-store sales (and vice versa), so that there’s a completely closed loop — at least hypothetically:
[W]e’re launching Facebook Ad Integration to help you target customers on Facebook, get new customers in the door, and increase sales effectively at an affordable cost. Now your Facebook Ads results and Square sales data are integrated, so you can connect your Facebook marketing budget to actual sales and understand exactly what your customers respond to. We will also be adding support for other social channels in the coming weeks.
Note also that the company says that it will be “adding support for other social channels in the coming weeks.” That probably means Instagram first.
The Facebook integration is similar to two others announced not long ago: AdRoll and Constant Contact. In each of these cases, there’s a default ad that can be edited or pushed as is to Facebook, thus simplifying the process of Facebook advertising adoption for local businesses.
Below is an example back end screen featured in the Square blog post.
As a public company, Square has underperformed many Wall Street analysts’ expectations. Many see the company still as a commodity provider of POS tools. However, Square has been slowly expanding its capabilities and is now a more fully realized marketing and loyalty platform for local businesses. It will continue to expand these marketing services with the built-in advantage of POS integration — so the company can tell which ads or marketing messages result in actual sales.
Social media (though not necessarily social ads) is one of the top three or four marketing methods that local businesses favor and believe are essential for online marketing success. The others are websites, SEO and email marketing.
The company Square is trying to become is a more compelling and valuable one than the company many Square investors think they own. The challenge for Square, of course, is execution: does the product perform as promised?
But conceptually, at least, it’s doing a lot of things right.