Facebook and Twitter sales teams will tell you that posts aligning with time relevant events (like national holidays, sporting events, etc.) receive the most interaction. But many times brands have a hard time using their owned media to support a general, non-brand specific message. It looks like this MLK day some brands caught on and even implemented this insight. Walmart took it a step further and promoted its post as ad.
Insight? - Even if a brand’s post doesn’t sell a product or promote one of its current campaigns, positing content that is interesting to users and results in a response is just as valuable. Possibly it is even more valuable, since the message connects with users on a more personal level and resembles and interaction made between friends on the site.
The new Facebook profile changes are here! Well….only if you’re a Facebook developer or followed Mashable’s 8 step process to become a “Facebook Developer.” For everyone else, your profile will update automatically on 9/30.
Having already inundated the blogosphere, by now most of you have probably read extensively about the profile changes or even watched f8 live. So here’s a quick list of the top line updates and their implications for brands in the space.
1. Timeline - Although this new feature’s premise comes awfully close to start-up, Path’s (seriously watch their product videos and you’ll see how eerily similar the two are - Path’s & Facebook’s) news of its release is blowing up across the web. Dubbed by many as a “virtual scrapbook,” this combines all of your wall posts, photos, events, check ins, etc. into a cohesive timeline, and allows you to backtrack to your birth date and update your profile.
2. Friend’s app activity will now be more prevalent -Apps will only ask permission to publish your updates once. You may have been surprised to see today how many of your friends were “suddenly” on Spotify streaming live music updates on your ticker. Now users’ app activities will appear in the ticker to let friends click through, download the app and participate themselves.
3. The “like” button will get a lot more specific - Instead of only being able to like your favorite band or like a TV show you’re watching, you’ll now be able to insert any verb for where like used to be.
Catch up on the changes Facebook made to users’ homepages, like top stories and the ticker, earlier this week here.
What does this mean for brands on Facebook?
For now, people are talking about the shift of Facebook’s focus from scale to engagement, but if you ask me this is about a lot more - revenue.
Yesterday sites across the blogosphere released articles about Facebook’s plan to launch “major” profile changes at Thursday’s f8 conference. But today when you sign into Facebook, you’ll be greeted with a few notes updating you on changes made to your homepage.
1. Top Stories (Combines Most Recent and Top News) - Your newsfeed will now feature your most “interesting” stories at the top marked with blue in the top left corner. These tops stories will be determined by who posted it, your relationship to them, and the number of likes and comments their post receives. What’s most likely to appear at the top for the average Facebook user? The most recent stories, larger photos, and of course any posts that have been made to your wall while you were away. Less frequent users will see top photos and status updates. Users will still be able to hide unwanted posts and view only friends lists within their newsfeeds.
Tip: You can control which stories make it to your top story list by rolling over the top right side of any story.
2. Ticker- Word about this new addition leaked earlier this summer in June, but the feature is now live on user’s homepages. This new addition will allow people to see what their friends are commenting on, liking and sharing in real-time. Users will be able to click on an update to expand a pop-up window, and see the entire update’s thread.
Do these updates foreshadow tomorrow’s impending profile updates? Check back later this week for an update.
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese’s latest campaign, Smile Tagging, is a great example of a brand building its social media strategy on proven human insights to create a lasting relationship between a brand and its consumers. Its new campaign capitalizes on people’s habit of sharing funny things they find on the web with others and their affinity for photo sharing.
The Facebook application invites users to take a picture of themselves smiling and send it along with a funny video, website or picture they find on the web.
My favorite so far is a site that was passed around my office earlier this week - www.leisuredive.com, which has of course made its way into Kraft’s Smile Tagging app. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you’re prepared to laugh out loud at your desk.
After Facebook’s launch in 2004, it quickly became one of the few sites to offer unlimited photo uploads making photo sharing the site’s most popular feature. This popularity has continued to grow over the years with 6 billion photos uploaded each month. Two years later, Twitter launched. Positioning itself as a social texting service for users to share updates to their friends, family, etc., it evolved into a website and mobile app that gathered all users’ real-time updates into one timeline. While it is no surprise that Facebook and Twitter have constantly developed their platforms to accommodate users’ habits, it is surprising that just this month the platforms seem to be in a race to acquire each other’s founding features – photos and real-time news updates.
Facebook which adopted Twitter’s @ tagging feature in 2009, began testing another new Twitteresque feature late last week, the “Happening Now” feed. This new addition will allow people to see what their friends are commenting on, liking and sharing in real-time. Unlike Twitter, users will be able to click on an update to expand a pop-up window, and see the entire update’s thread.
(Picture credit: DazeInfo)
In April, rumors surfaced about Twitter’s intent to add “Facebook-style” branded pages to its platform. And earlier this month, Twitter added photos and videos to search. Now when a user searches within Twitter, top images and videos associated with the search term appear on the right side of the results page. Much like Facebook’s current photo albums, users can click on these images or videos and view them within a full page viewer or “view all” in a grid on a new page. To take Twitter’s photo integration a step further, the platform is also pairing up with Apple to make photo sharing easier for iPhone, iPad, and iPod users. Announced at Apple’s WWDC, iOS 5 will now come with a “tweet” option within Twitter and Apple apps, allowing users to take a picture and share to Twitter with the click of a button.
(Picture credit: TechCrunch)
Think this battle is ending anytime soon? Doesn’t look like it, but the good news is - fierce competition means better products for users. Just today, Tech Crunch shared an initial look at Facebook’s plans to create a new photo sharing app that links to the “Happening Now” feature currently being tested. The new app will give Facebook user’s an easier Instagram-like way to upload photos on the go. For more on this new Facebook photo app, check out Tech Crunch’s article.