How do the latest changes to Facebook affect you as a social media marketer?
I have listed just some of the many Facebook feature changes that will affect the social media marketer.
This post includes a list of features that have changed in the latest Facebook update in September 2011. Social Media Marketers should keep note of these when starting their next social media marketing strategy.
Below are just some of the main features of Facebook that will affect the social media marketer.
- Introduction of a time line - currently only in its infant stages and only implemented as an opt in by a user, this feature shows a stream of information about a user. This feature is handy for market researches who want to find more about their target audience past and narrow their target market. Eg. A teenage parent who is now 30. This market is different to a 30 year old who doesn’t have a child who is now a teenage. They would have different needs and wants. Watch the follow video.
- Facebook Gestures - developers and partners can turn any “verb” into a button, not just use a “like” button.
- Ticker - all lightweight information such as game updates have been removed from the news feed and are now put in a ticker located on the top right hand side of the screen. This cuts down on the amount of advertising space now located on the right hand side. But do not fear there is an up side to this.
- Sharing the experience – watch, listen and read through the facebook platform and users will share this information with their friends. This information shows up in the new ticker. An example from the Mashable website illustrates this perfectly, saying its a brand new kind of media based peer pressure.
“On stage, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings — a launch partner — revealed that he had only just decided to watch Breaking Bad because Facebook’s Ticker told him a colleague was watching it. Netflix’s own algorithm had been recommending the show to him for years, but that was never reason enough for Hastings.” (Mashable, 2011)
- Subscriptions and top stories - users of Facebook also have the option to unsubscribe or unmark top stories in their news feeds. Removing unimportant messages alters the information that is featured on that users news feed going forward.
- Sponsored Stories – these are similar to Twitter’s promoted tweets, turning your message into an ad, which allows advertisers to benefit from “word of mouth” with features such as a users check-ins.
“People look to their trusted friends and connections for information and cues on what to do and where to go. Sponsored Stories lets brands build on that.” (Village Soup, 2011)It’s no longer about getting numbers of fans to “like” a page anymore. Marketers will need to integrate themselves and brands into the new ticker and news feeds with engaging content and messages. Its about getting Facebook users to take social action and sharing their experiences they have with you and your brand, hopefully in a positive light. Getting the message right has never been so important than ever before.