January 13, 2016

What to Do When Your Brand Can't Exactly 'Pay-to-Play' on Facebook

As social media marketers, we've heard that Facebook is undoubtedly moving towards a 'pay-to-play' model for businesses. But what exactly does that mean? And what exactly does that mean for your brand?

It means that Facebook has changed its algorithm to limit the reach of organic content posted by brand pages in an effort to encourage businesses to invest media dollars in paid Facebook advertising and post promotion. Facebook is going head to head in competition with Google to lead in online advertising revenue, which means we can only expect organic reach on the platform to continue to decline as this initiative evolves. That said, the reality is that not every brand has the room in their budget to invest in media dollars on Facebook.

So, how do you break through the barriers of this potentially threatening algorithm change with your organic content?

Be Real

Approximately 63% of consumers say that they are highly annoyed with repeated, generic advertising messages. For Millennials, that percentage is higher. As a result, consumers crave authentic communication and transparent relationships with the brands they love or are interested it. Establish a human voice with your Facebook content. Use the language that your audience uses and responds to. This approach will help you break through the clutter of other annoying posts pushed out by brands who haven't gotten the memo yet and will help you more easily engage in a two-way conversation with your audience.

Jump on Real Time Moments

Similarly to being real, be relevant. One of the best ways to gain traction with your organic content is to join conversations about viral internet topics that your audience is already discussing and searching on Facebook. When it makes sense, act fast and find ways to naturally insert your brand into these conversations in a fun and interesting manner. When you do this, be sure to use the most popular hashtags and key phrases that your audience is using.  Creating real time content shows that you're actively engaged in the Facebook community and culturally relevant conversations, as opposed to simply pumping out evergreen content on a predetermined schedule. Not only will your reach exponentially increase, your audience will appreciate it'leaving them wanting more. It's proven to ring true with our own social media work at AMP Agency.

Here are some great examples of other marketers and brands that get it.

Like the time that Twix lit a fire under #TheDress debate:

  L_999B.tmp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And when Arby's asked Pharrell for their hat back during the GRAMMYs:

Let's not forget about the time Oreo saved the day during the Super Bowl XLVII power outage:

Shares, shares, shares

When you're relying on organic reach, shares are your best friend. A share extends beyond a like, not only in the expanded reach potential it holds, but also in what it says about the way your audience is engaging with your content. When someone shares your content, they are really saying 'I enjoy or related to this post so much that I wish I had made it myself. I want everyone else to see it and enjoy it as much as I did.'Your ability to relate to your audience is key here.   For example

When Bud Light read their audience's mind:

L_EAE3.tmp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or when Forever 21 shared #WordsofWisdom with their millennial audience, 75% of which would like to travel abroad as much as possible:

L_6928.tmp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designing 'sharable'? content is where you'll need to think very critically about the psychographic profile of your target audience. Think to yourself, 'Is this message something that a member of my target audience would actually feel, say, or think themselves and want to share with their friends?'? Also don't forget to ask, 'Does it tie into my brand's core messaging in some way?' It's important not to lose your brand essence or voice in trying to be relatable or funny to gain shares.

Use Video Content

As Facebook continues to compete with Google owned YouTube to be the number one video uploading and viewing platform, native video content on Facebook has proven to reach nearly double the amount of people that images do, with 65% of that video content being viewed on mobile. Use this to your advantage! Create short, simple yet interesting video content that will engage your audience and let Facebook's video-favoring algorithm do the rest.

Graph source: http://www.beet.tv/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Slide09.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Steps

Now, when planning future budgets, should paid social media get a piece of the pie? Yes, absolutely. But in the meantime, you can experiment with these approaches to optimizing your organic content on Facebook to stay afloat in a 'pay-to-play' world.

Your turn: What other strategies have you found to be successful?

March 13, 2012

Why Facebook Timeline is Good for Brands & the Top 5 Things You Need to Know

As you've likely heard by now, Facebook will be switching all brand pages over to the new Facebook Timeline layout as of March 30th, though you can preview the functionality now. While the jury is still out among some social media professionals as to whether or not this shift is beneficial to brands, I'm not having any trouble seeing the value this shift brings to the table for brands seeking real relationships with their consumers. This shift in functionality is one that finally, and for the first real time in the social media space, enables brands to tell their story, share their history, share the milestones that matter, and engage with consumers in an authentic conversation and relationship.

If you're like most social media enthusiasts, you'll want to get ahead of the curve and get your Timeline up and running as soon as possible. Here are the top 5 things you'll need to keep in mind as you work towards rebranding your page with the Timeline functionality:

  1. Choose a cover photo that represents your brand and your story, while being mindful of Facebook's rules on what your cover photo may not contain:
    • Price or purchase information, such as "40% off" or "Download it at our website"
    • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page's About section
    • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
    • Calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends"
  2. Highlight the most important elements of your brand along the top. Tabs as we know them are morphing into a series of icons highlighted just below your cover image.
    • Photos are a static element in the new design, but you can change everything else, and the order in which they appear ' be sure to make good use of the limited real estate. I'd recommend not keeping Likes as one of the 4 primary tabs at the top ' don't you have more to share with visitors than how many other visitors have liked the page?
    • You'll also need to choose images to represent the elements that you want to highlight ' make this a priority given it's placement on your page, as it's one of the first things visitors will see
    • You can also pin a post to the top of your page to highlight the most important content/conversation for your brand
  3. Additional tab changes mean some additional work to optimize the visitor experience:
    • Default landing tabs are no longer an option so choose your posts wisely as these will now be the first thing a visitor will see when engaging with your brand
    • The width of tabs is also changing from 520 pixels wide to 810 pixels wide ' this means you'll likely need to rework most of the tabs you had on your page previously to make use of the expanded real estate, but until you do, they'll center within the 810 pixel width
  4. Milestones and the brand story become the forefront of the experience. While pondering what to include, consider these elements as you tell the story of your brand:
    • What are our brand goals and objectives?
    • What matters to our target audience?
    • Are there large gaps that we can fill with notable elements, such as key hires, new products, awards, etc.?
  5. Direct, private messages to brands from users are possible for the first time, enabling more direct brand-to-consumer interaction than ever before. As you're adjusting to this new functionality you'll want to consider:
    • Your strategy for responding to customer inquiries publicly vs. privately including message categories and response times or SLAs to inquiries
    • Real-estate is now precious on your page, so take offline conversations offline via direct messages

For some examples of great brand uses of Timeline, check out:

  • Coca Cola ' With the exception of the Likes being one of the four icons at the top, the Coca-Cola page is a great example of a brand-relevant layout making excellent use of the Timeline functionality.
  • Barack Obama ' Whether you support Obama or not, one look at his Facebook Timeline demonstrates that his team knows what they're doing when it comes to leveraging the new functionality. They've peppered his page with relevant facts and news throughout his life. They're also using the cover photo to demonstrate compelling, relevant information to this year's campaigns.
  • Tide (yes, as in the laundry detergent) ' The team at Tide has done a great job of laying out relevant milestones in the product's history, along with interesting facts and information the company has shared with consumers over the years. They're using their cover photo for new product awareness ' a no-brainer! Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons!
  • Subway ' Who knew sandwiches could be this interesting! The company has done a great job of filling in interesting facts about the products, organization, and corporate responsibility throughout the years. Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons!
  • Burberry ' The fashion house has done a fantastic job of replicating the Heritage section of their website into their Facebook Timeline. Not surprisingly, they've also mastered the art of visual appeal in the use of eye-catching images sprinkled throughout their timeline.

All in all, while the new Timeline functionality swap seems like a very drastic one, and in many ways it is, it's also a chance for brands to finally tell their story. It's an opportunity for brands to connect with their consumers in a compelling way highlighting what matters the most to the consumers who wish to know the personality behind the brand. For brands, Timeline offers an easy way to connect in a more human, more personal way.

Stay tuned for our AMP Agency Timeline page!

What have been your experiences with Timeline for brands so far? Do you like it? What would you change if you could?

 

March 13, 2012

Why Facebook Timeline is Good for Brands & the Top 5 Things You Need to Know

As you've likely heard by now, Facebook will be switching all brand pages over to the new Facebook Timeline layout as of March 30th, though you can preview the functionality now. While the jury is still out among some social media professionals as to whether or not this shift is beneficial to brands, I'm not having any trouble seeing the value this shift brings to the table for brands seeking real relationships with their consumers. This shift in functionality is one that finally, and for the first real time in the social media space, enables brands to tell their story, share their history, share the milestones that matter, and engage with consumers in an authentic conversation and relationship.

If you're like most social media enthusiasts, you'll want to get ahead of the curve and get your Timeline up and running as soon as possible. Here are the top 5 things you'll need to keep in mind as you work towards rebranding your page with the Timeline functionality:

  1. Choose a cover photo that represents your brand and your story, while being mindful of Facebook's rules on what your cover photo may not contain:
    • Price or purchase information, such as "40% off" or "Download it at our website"
    • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page's About section
    • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
    • Calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends"
  2. Highlight the most important elements of your brand along the top. Tabs as we know them are morphing into a series of icons highlighted just below your cover image.
    • Photos are a static element in the new design, but you can change everything else, and the order in which they appear ' be sure to make good use of the limited real estate. I'd recommend not keeping Likes as one of the 4 primary tabs at the top ' don't you have more to share with visitors than how many other visitors have liked the page?
    • You'll also need to choose images to represent the elements that you want to highlight ' make this a priority given it's placement on your page, as it's one of the first things visitors will see
    • You can also pin a post to the top of your page to highlight the most important content/conversation for your brand
  3. Additional tab changes mean some additional work to optimize the visitor experience:
    • Default landing tabs are no longer an option so choose your posts wisely as these will now be the first thing a visitor will see when engaging with your brand
    • The width of tabs is also changing from 520 pixels wide to 810 pixels wide ' this means you'll likely need to rework most of the tabs you had on your page previously to make use of the expanded real estate, but until you do, they'll center within the 810 pixel width
  4. Milestones and the brand story become the forefront of the experience. While pondering what to include, consider these elements as you tell the story of your brand:
    • What are our brand goals and objectives?
    • What matters to our target audience?
    • Are there large gaps that we can fill with notable elements, such as key hires, new products, awards, etc.?
  5. Direct, private messages to brands from users are possible for the first time, enabling more direct brand-to-consumer interaction than ever before. As you're adjusting to this new functionality you'll want to consider:
    • Your strategy for responding to customer inquiries publicly vs. privately including message categories and response times or SLAs to inquiries
    • Real-estate is now precious on your page, so take offline conversations offline via direct messages

For some examples of great brand uses of Timeline, check out:

  • Coca Cola ' With the exception of the Likes being one of the four icons at the top, the Coca-Cola page is a great example of a brand-relevant layout making excellent use of the Timeline functionality.
  • Barack Obama ' Whether you support Obama or not, one look at his Facebook Timeline demonstrates that his team knows what they're doing when it comes to leveraging the new functionality. They've peppered his page with relevant facts and news throughout his life. They're also using the cover photo to demonstrate compelling, relevant information to this year's campaigns.
  • Tide (yes, as in the laundry detergent) ' The team at Tide has done a great job of laying out relevant milestones in the product's history, along with interesting facts and information the company has shared with consumers over the years. They're using their cover photo for new product awareness ' a no-brainer! Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons!
  • Subway ' Who knew sandwiches could be this interesting! The company has done a great job of filling in interesting facts about the products, organization, and corporate responsibility throughout the years. Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons!
  • Burberry ' The fashion house has done a fantastic job of replicating the Heritage section of their website into their Facebook Timeline. Not surprisingly, they've also mastered the art of visual appeal in the use of eye-catching images sprinkled throughout their timeline.

All in all, while the new Timeline functionality swap seems like a very drastic one, and in many ways it is, it's also a chance for brands to finally tell their story. It's an opportunity for brands to connect with their consumers in a compelling way highlighting what matters the most to the consumers who wish to know the personality behind the brand. For brands, Timeline offers an easy way to connect in a more human, more personal way.

Stay tuned for our AMP Agency Timeline page!

What have been your experiences with Timeline for brands so far? Do you like it? What would you change if you could?

 

Recent

Popular