Because it ain’t going away any time soon!
Oh, Facebook. You behemoth communications networking beast, you! We love to hate you, hate to love you, and – bottom line – have to admit that in 2018 it’s become pretty darn hard to live without you. That statement is perhaps even more relevant when we’re talking about brands than when we’re just making general observations about how Aunt Shirley declares her weekly Facebook hiatus but inevitably comes crawling back. In fact, it’s almost irresponsible for businesses and organizations today to not at least consider a Facebook presence for brand awareness, consumer engagement and customer service.
So, cue the understandable freakout this past spring when some 87 million Facebook users realized the social media giant had exposed their raw data to a li’l political consulting firm called Cambridge Analytica and maaaaaybe influenced the 2016 election. No big deal, right? Not exactly. No one (from Aunt Shirley to big name brands) was quite sure what to do with Facebook. Sure, Mark Zuckerberg cleared it all up in a pretty entertaining Congressional hearing, but the brand still needed to drop some irresistible innovations in order to reignite the Facebook love. (Especially after another 30 million users had personal data stolen via Facebook just a few weeks ago!) Well, here they are. You decide if it’s enough.
1. It’s a group thing
Recently, Facebook began allowing company pages to join Facebook Groups. Brands could always create their own Group pages, but this new development allows you to be proactive and join – pending approval from Group administrators – existing Group pages whose interests jibe with your brand’s. This has the potential to work wonders in terms of helping your brand beat the Facebook algorithm changes, find engaged Facebook users and have the meaningful online conversations that keep your brand fresh and relevant.
2. Watch out, Alexa
A brand has some serious swagger when it shatters trust with a massive data breach and then makes the launch of its first in-home smart-speaking hardware device that literally uses a high-quality camera with AI to follow you around the room a part of its comeback. That’s right! Facebook is entering the home assistant market with Portal, a tablet-type gadget designed to make you feel “like you’re in the same room” as your closest friends. And all the brands that target you via Facebook.
3. Speaking of Watch…
Sort of a cross between YouTube and Netflix, Facebook developed Watch, a video platform that likely already exists in your Facebook mobile app (swipe left!). Watch features original shows backed by Facebook, as well as content from contributors, broadcasts from sporting events and more. Personally, I’m not sure how much success Watch can have. Um, hello? Actual YouTube and actual Netflix live in my phone, too, and are pretty awesome already. But, you can’t blame Facebook for trying, and video is clearly worth chasing right now.
4. Messenger 4 (ah, puns with numbers!)
Just this week Facebook unveiled Messenger 4, the newest version of the app that’s part of life for its 1.3 billion users. The update aims to make a simpler, cleaner experience, while also borrowing a few features from other social platforms like the ability to post videos that vanish in 24 hours (thanks, Snapchat!). What brands will find intriguing is that Messenger 4 has a Discover tab that lets user chat directly with businesses. Facebook also plans to test the option to show ads in Stories (thanks, Insta!) rather than just in the inbox.
5. Collabs are so in right now
YouTubers aren’t the only ones collabbing. Facebook just announced that it’s testing a shiny new ad format that bundles dynamic ad campaigns from two different companies in one side-by-side ad unit. Right now the format is just in testing stages with a small group of retail and e-commerce participants, but it could potentially create a lot of value by allowing advertisers to pay less for more impressions, while also pairing their products with complementary items or services… hopefully. One downside is that brands can’t choose whose content they get featured with.
So, is Facebook killing it with the innovations? Did the Zuck win you back? Is it even worth asking? You’ve probably checked your newsfeed before you even finished reading this. Facebook can’t be stopped!
Need help navigating the newest Facebook developments? Or maybe just getting a solid social media strategy in place? Get in touch. We’re happy to help!
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