Getting Ahead of the Facebook Marketing Curve – Part 1

Future-FacebookThe users of the largest social network on the planet are not the Facebook audience you think they are.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Facebook audience you think you know is only a small slice of the social marketing pie.

How Facebook is Used Today

Watching the live stream of this year’s f8 Facebook Developers Conference reminded me of the very first live stream broadcast a few years ago. Mark Zuckerberg’s statement at that time that Facebook was making the shift from an internet company to a mobile company got my attention and stuck with me, as I’m sure it did many others in this industry.

My first thoughts as Zuckerberg got into the meat of his keynote this year, was that Facebook had indeed succeeded in fully realizing the goal of being a mobile company. Facebook is no longer a website that users access during their free time on their computers. Facebook is now a family of mobile apps with Groups, WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram at its core.

Truthfully, the only segment of the Facebook users that spend a great deal of time looking at Facebook through the lens of a computer monitor are the administrators of business pages on Facebook. Even for them, Facebook has put much of the page administration and ad management into mobile apps.

So, here is the first hurtle for business owners and their community managers to surmount. How do we step away from our powerful desktop marketing tools and open our eyes to the reality of a mobile and highly diversified Facebook audience?

In this two part series we are going to dig into the realities of what the Facebook audience really is, the future of effective and engaging Facebook content, and how to connect with active Facebook users in mobile apps.

Mobile – Diversified

It is absolutely possible to be an active daily Facebook user without ever using the core “Facebook” app.

In other words, you can have a Facebook account and use it to access Instagram, Messenger, or any number of apps developed by third parties to integrate with Facebook and their data collection. Zuckerberg pointed out that from this moment on they will continue to roll out enhancements to their core family of apps and introduce new apps to satisfy all of the ways people want to connect with one another and the world around them with the device they carry on their person at all times.

For instance, while the core of the original Facebook audience continues to age, younger users are shifting to much more private, selective, and intimate ways of connecting with the people and media they like best. It doesn’t mean younger audiences don’t use Facebook, they just use something other than the core app that most people currently recognize as Facebook.

Blowing your mind yet?

Future of Newsfeed Content

Does this shift in the use of the core Facebook app mean that placement in the newsfeed will become less valuable? Highly unlikely, but again a paradigm shift must occur on the part of brands to keep up or spend placement dollars on fruitless campaigns.

Right now photos have taken the top content spot away from text status updates, with user created video content hot on it’s heels. Not only do videos already silently auto-play in both desktop and mobile newsfeeds, but Facebook is so determined to be your video host of choice that they launched an embeddable Facebook video player. Now brands and users alike have a choice to post video content to Facebook, just like they might on YouTube or Vimeo, and then embed the video on their own sites. Content creators are also able to embed properly attributed video that leads directly back to the Facebook source.

Want to get more out of the videos you create for Facebook? Learn how to embed the Facebook video player on your blog.

Posted by Firestarter Social Media on Friday, April 3, 2015

Businesses Must Adapt for the Future

Better video tools are for the right now. If you want to really get ahead of the curve of user content demands, you need to be thinking about virtual and augmented reality. The team at Facebook isn’t satisfied with serving up passively consumed content, they want to give users a much more immersive experience. Keep your eyes peeled for support of fully interactive spherical videos in the Facebook news feed.

That’s right, Facebook is going to give you the ability to let a prospective home buyer virtually tour a property in Facebook. Can you imagine targeting a walk through of the new product you’re launching to all the Facebook users that have visited your website in the last 30 days?

And how might this enable the growth of an audience for Facebook’s Oculus devices? Yet another part of the Facebook crowd you probably haven’t been thinking about. As you lay out plans and budgets for marketing efforts to come, you will need to take these innovations into consideration.

But, virtual reality is well into our marketing future at the moment. There are plenty of opportunities opening to us in the here and now. In part 2 of this series we will cover the business opportunities in the Messenger platform, take a look at App Analytics, and gain a better understanding of the Facebook Audience Network.

Need to see what the future will be like for Facebook? Watch the full f8 opening Keynote:

Full Video: Opening Keynote F8 2015

Posted by Facebook Developers on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

About Michelle Stinson Ross

Michelle Stinson Ross is a recognized authority on the outreach power of social media. She has worked as a community manager & consultant for several brands to increase brand awareness, raise the visibility of special promotions, and train their teams to use social effectively. Michelle co-hosts #SocialChat, a Twitter based live chat that covers a variety of topics geared toward social media marketing (Mondays at 9 p.m. ET). She is a regular conference speaker at events like ClickZ Live, Socialize Toronto, & SMX.

Filed under: Strategy

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