As you know (from my previous post) I was up in NYC for Facebook’s Marketers Conference Wednesday! My favorite quote of the day from Walmart’s, Wanda Young. And apparently, she didn’t tell Facebook she was going to mention that. But it’s the honest to god truth! Here’s my synopsis of the changes and what that means for us as marketers, PR professionals, advertisers, entrepreneurs, etc ….
Overview Brand pages and their stories are the core of the redesigned user experience with brands. This is primarily due to the Facebook finding that fans are 2x as valuable to brands than the average consumer. Big, medium or small businesses it’s time for you to harness social media to make a splash!
New! Brand Pages are a now your brand’s canvas and you’re the artist!
The brand page is the essential place for businesses to build connections with people. Facebook pages allows brands to express their identity and tell their unique stories on Facebook.
Now, the page is more visually engaging than ever with a cover photo and thumbnails for your profile picture, photos and custom apps. The shift to a smaller profile picture is to maintain the continuity of the brand (and it’s logo) throughout the Facebook experience. The cover photo should be used to create illustrations around specific programs, products or events.
To maintain control of page content, marketers can anchor or pin the most important content at the top of the page and/or make specific stories and photos larger through the feature button on posts. Heritage brands can also feature milestones that highlight key events in brand history thus making the brand more personal and elevating its credibility (i.e. first store opened, product launch, etc). Lastly, brands can launch offer posts, which are special deals delivered to user’s inboxes and/or shared with friends with just one click.
What this means for your brands The brand page is now a creative canvas from the cover photo to pinned posts to milestones. Marketers will need to create innovative, compelling content for users to share and become ambassadors for brands across their personal social networks.
New! Fans (and potential fans) can see how their friends engaged with a page
To leverage the power of “friend” recommendation and drive engagement, users will see stories about how their friends are interacting with a page throughout the page’s timeline.
Facebook also introduced new ways users can interact with brand. The first being a new messaging feature for fans to engage in private conversations with brands. Additionally, page administrators can decide whether or not they want to feature community member posts through the “approve” or “disapprove” buttons on each post. All posts will live on the same page versus two separate tabs.
Applications will still be visible on the timeline but will now be in the top navigation base as thumbnails instead of below the profile picture as tabs. Developers will now have the opportunity to build apps in a “narrow” or “wide” canvas (specs in attached pdf). Note: “Like” or “Fan” gating will still be available.
What This Means For Your Brands Fans will continue to be brand advocates and it is more important than ever to focus on their opinion. Facebook has enabled a variety of features to improve the user experience and prompt more connections and conversations with brands.
New! Advertising Opportunities (for brands with deep pockets I assume)
Facebook is now focused on creating stories versus creating ads. This derives from the way users interact on the platform and engage with information from friends and trusted sources. Users want to see how others have commented, liked and shared content. So, page stories will now be featured in ad units instead of marketing messages.
There are now four Reach Generator placements designed to deliver your stories to a wider audience. Brands who have tested reach generator in beta have seen a 5-10x increase in CTR and 140% increase in the “people talking about” metric.
Those placements are as follows:
- Desktop Newsfeed
- Right Hand Rail
- Mobile Newsfeed (coming later this year)
- Log Out Page (coming later this year)
What This Means For Your Brands Similar to the new brand pages, the focus should be on creating content that will prompt users to engage and discuss at a larger scale. If the content is unable to prompt discussion it will likely not appear in the four key ad units.