By Afif Khoury
Opinion: Change will continue to come, and brands will have to be ready
Meaningful conversations and engagement are paramount for brands on Facebook now more than ever before. With the de-emphasizing of likes and Reactions giving way to the importance of shares and actual comments, blindly posting content for the sake of merely “posting to post” is no longer enough.
This was one of the primary foci at the 2018 F8 summit in Facebook’s ongoing mission to create a social media platform that truly connects users with not only each other, but also the brands and businesses they want to interact with.
Here are some important takeaways for multi-location brands using the largest social media network to increase brand awareness, boost local presence and engagement and turn passive audiences into customers and brand loyalists and advocates.
Sharing to Stories from third-party applications will make starting meaningful conversation easier than ever. With the rise of “meaningful engagement,” videos and live content will continue to flood to the forefront of feeds.
Facebook will be rolling out new methods for people to share video content to both Facebook and Instagram Stories in order to make experiences across other platforms more readily viewable for your friends and family. Listening to the new Justin Timberlake song on Spotify, for example? Tap the share button, publish to a Facebook or Instagram Story and connect in new, meaningful ways.
Brand takeaway: Consider using this functionality to share more behind-the-scenes and on-demand content. Depending on which apps this will sync with, you’ll want to increase your involvement in them. Sharing content on the fly, such as songs playing at your location, etc., will help further starting and nurturing meaningful conversations.
Meaningful connections will now be easier to make across Facebook. With the integration of the new groups tab, navigating and connecting with existing groups will be easier than ever. This will streamline user experience while on the platform and will simplify the search process and finding the groups users belong to.
And speaking of streamlining processes, Facebook is seemingly removing the need to subscribe to matchmaking sites by offering Facebook Dating. Users will be able to sync with like-minded people based on dating preferences, shared interests and mutual friends via setting up Facebook Dating profiles that are separate from their main profiles.
Brand takeaway: Make sure all brand profiles and presences across Facebook are accurate and up-to-date. Given these updates, users will be looking to connect more with like-minded individuals. And if this is based on interests, brands will be integral in making the connection.
Privacy remains an issue: Touching on privacy, as this has been a major topic of interest surrounding Facebook and social media on the whole, F8 gave way to the announcement of the Clear History function. Essentially, this feature will enable users to clear any and all information collected from third-party sites, as well as disable Facebook’s ability to access and learn from it.
Granted, this may alter users’ News Feeds and content and ads served within, but it does heighten and solidify Facebook’s dedication to protecting users’ confidential information.
Overall brand takeaway: Based on these platform innovations, multi-location brands will require deeper knowledge of Facebook’s platform, as well a deeper understanding of its application-programming interface. In order to ensure that your access is verified, make sure you select the right Facebook Marketing Partner, as Facebook is changing and adjusting to the ever-evolving social landscape.
There’s no way of knowing what Facebook will end up changing (whether voluntarily or mandatory), nor what the repercussions will be for publishers on the world’s largest social media network. What is for sure is that change will continue to come, and brands of all shapes and sizes will have to be ready. So, are you?
Afif Khoury is CEO of enterprise social media management platform SOCi.