We are the Facebook generation'the ones who obsessively refresh our News Feeds, discreetly thumb through photo albums during morning meetings, plow through group chats, and communicate in likes, comments, shares, and statuses. We're fueled by social, inspired by visual, and entirely transfixed by real-time, real-life, right-now communication. Mark Zuckerberg's recent announcement of Facebook Home'the free app for Android that transforms the mobile experience into an all-encompassing News Feed'has teenagers squealing, social enthusiasts buzzing, and marketing nerds dreaming of the exciting possibilities. Facebook Home isn't a 'Facebook Phone,'? as early buzz had suggested; it's an app that integrates with your current device to make social the key component of your day-to-day activity. So, whether you're reading today's headlines from the New York Times, working out with a Pandora playlist, or responding to work emails, you'll see a constant stream of Facebook chats, statuses, photo albums, birthday messages, and more. What's in it for me? Facebook Home is loaded with exciting social capabilities. Coverfeed'a mobile-friendly, highly visual iteration of the News Feed you know and love'is one click away (seriously, you don't even have to unlock your phone). Coverfeed gives you instant access to status updates, photos, and relevant links'it allows for easy scrolling (or stalking, if that's your thing), and it updates constantly so you're always in the loop. For the social animal, Coverfeed is like your best friend, love-to-hate enemy, and creepy uncle rolled into one: you'll never miss a beat'but you may be a bit too informed'and having instant, 24/7 access to Facebook may be hazardous to your health (and productivity). Another exciting feature of Facebook Home is Chat Heads, a function that allows you to chat with friends from anywhere on your phone. No more clicking on the Facebook Chat app to load recent conversations'now, your coworker may pop up on the side of that Buzzfeed article you're thumbing through, or your mom may check in while you're scrolling through AMP's blog. This may be dangerous'no more hiding in your copy of 50 Shades of Gray on the Kindle app, or taking a break to edit that big presentation for work. You'll constantly be in the social loop. custom essay writing services What's in it for Marketers? Facebook Home is the new baby of the Android world, and marketers are itching to understand what's in it for them. Though there is no ad space on Coverfeed (yet), Zuckerberg is excited about the possibilities as he strives to make Facebook a 'mobile-first company.'? More Data Right now, we can be excited about the access to more data. With Home, Facebook has access to a wealth of information on consumers'GPS tracking, phone usage habits, text information, and more'which should be able to greatly inform mobile marketing strategies. Still in its early stages, mobile marketing has yet to truly benefit from informed, targeted ad placements. Facebook Home should be a game-changer in this arena, and Zuckerberg could champion the effort to bring smart marketing to mobile. More Visibility Facebook Home will also allow brands to increase their social visibility. Home will allow for your brand's message to reach consumers quickly, efficiently, and frequently. Engagement with fans will also be sleeker'Coverfeed places a large emphasis on the visual'so there's an incentive for marketers to develop content that's bright, engaging, and stimulating. More Integration With Home, integration is the name of the game: chats are seamlessly woven into apps, and your home screen is a constant flow of photos, updates, and messages. Bottom line: social comes first'and apps and hardware are secondary' but they all exist harmoniously in a world that's intuitively driven by interaction. Marketers should take heed and join the conversation accordingly. When posting on behalf of your brand, don't be spammy. Start a conversation that deserves a 'like'? or comment'one that creates conversation, not clutter. For brands to thrive in this mobile world, we need to adapt. Android users can start playing with Facebook Home today. For the iPhone devotees, Zuck has said that Home should eventually make its way to Apple territory. Either way, it's an exciting time for mobile marketing. We're on the brink of something big.
Ah, the hashtag. In recent years, this innocuous symbol has taken the social web by storm: it has a beloved'and downright iconic'presence on Twitter, and it's hard to look at an Instagram feed, Pinterest board, or YouTube video without ignoring the barrage of hashtagged comments. We're even speaking in hashtags'weaving a new vernacular to the beat of every #fail, and providing a layer of complexity to each #winning moment. In short, hashtags are awesome. #sorrynotsorry. So, when Facebook announced they were jumping on the hashtag bandwagon, we weren't surprised. With this move, Facebook joins the ranks of other social media behemoths in a mission to better understand the desires and engagement habits of its community members. The announcement comes on the heels of RadiumOne's recent finding that nearly 75% of social media users are using hashtags to share relevant ideas and contribute to trending topics. Not to mention hashtag usage has already spilled over to Facebook despite the current lack of significance. From a marketing standpoint, we wish there was a 'love'? button for the new Facebook hashtag. It's a game-changer in terms of tracking the conversations surrounding your brand, capitalizing on earned media, and gaining new consumer insights on Facebook. Here's what you need to know: Beyond the 'Like'? Until now, we've measured Facebook engagement in likes, comments, and shares. But marketers are aiming to move beyond the 'like'? and embrace new metrics to define success. Hashtags will be at the forefront of this push for richer measurement, adding a new dimension to understanding a brand's social presence. Beyond 'liking'? to show approval or commeting on a single post, consumers can use hashtags to initiate or join a conversation and to find others who echo our sentiments. For marketers, hashtags will allow for a more organized look at the buzz surrounding our brands. What are people talking about, and are there any relevant conversations you can/should join? New Earned Media Possibilities Your News Feed is cluttered with sponsored posts and paid advertisements, and you're sick of it. Right? In recent years, we've become particularly good at tuning out these paid strategies, and marketers are becoming increasingly concerned with finding new avenues for engagement on social media. The hashtag should provide a potentially fruitful new possibility for brands'the ability to expand viral reach without paying to do so. Create conversations through branded hashtags, encourage community members to post with the hashtag, or join conversations relevant to your brand. You'll be able to greatly expand your Facebook presence and reach entirely new audiences. Leverage It Up The Facebook hashtag provides yet another opportunity to leverage your social strategy across multiple sites. Have you coined a popular hashtag on Twitter? Bring it to your Facebook community to encourage enhanced conversations around your brand. You can also use hashtags for cross-channel promotion, encouraging users to share relevant content with their different social sites via the hashtag. Do you currently live-tweet with a hashtag, or Instagram event photos with a hashtag? Keep doing what you're doing, but don't forget to share on Facebook as well! Take Advantage of Graph Search The announcement of the Facebook hashtag means bigger and better things for the new Graph Search. In its current state, Graph Search relies mainly on 'Likes'? and profile details to dictate its search results. But hashtags should allow for a more comprehensive understanding of community members. For example, I may 'like'? One Direction's fan page (ironically, of course. Ok, maybe a little non-ironically), but I probably won't have much interaction with the page beyond the initial 'Like.'? Hashtags, on the other hand, will give more insight into what I'm really prioritizing on Facebook. Which conversations have I joined? What buzz-worthy content am I sharing and why? With hashtags, my thoughts and ideas will be catalogued, and it will be easier to find like-minded users. Graph Search just got way more exciting. buy college research papers It's time to embrace the Facebook hashtag. In the process, you'll develop a relationship with your followers, join relevant conversations, and better understand the sentiments surrounding your brand. A #winning social media strategy, if you ask us.