This month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, mentioned in a blog post that Facebook had plans to prioritize content family and friends in individual news-feeds while it would demote posts from media, brands, and businesses.
Brands and Businesses – Will They be hurt
This move has a number of implications for the businesses and brands that make use of Facebook to promote their content. What would they need to survive? Businesses have been given the word by Facebook that it would pay for businesses and brands to build up an audience through their platform. The latest announcement seems to go against this very promise.
What is the Solution
There is no need for panic at this stage obvious as the solution seems to as obvious it can be. Facebook says it will prioritize posts from people. In such a case it is best for the businesses to engage people to make the posts for them. So the solution is simple. Much before Facebook published this decision, there were reports how opinions posted by consumers had a great influence on purchasers’ intents. This decision has only helped to reinforce the fact that friends on your personal network have the greatest influence on your decision. For brands and businesses there are three major advantages:
#1: Interruptive ads just do not have the influence on individuals as they seem to.
#2: The best way to reach out to audiences is to get the more influential audience to do the talking to them.
#3: It requires dynamic and enticing content experiences to help fans to create brand content.
Brands, Brands, and Brands all the way
The third option will be the way it works, it seems. Many businesses have started campaigns in this direction. Taco Bell, for example, has converted selfie videos into taco shells that talk using an augmented reality campaign. This campaign became so popular that it garnered over 224 million views on one single day. The reason it became popular was that the brand provided fans with access to its most valuable assets the “bong” sound and the branded taco. However, there is always the risk of the brand having to maintain the brand safety when using content generated by the fans. For Taco Bell, this campaign reaped in the best rewards.
In another case, MTV used fan-generated content to celebrate its Annual Video Music Awards. Fans were asked to download holograms of the Moon Person which is MTV’s mascot akin to the Oscar statue. These holograms were designed to mimic popular dance moves. These could be then layered into different photos that the fans could upload across different social media channels. MTV was thus able to make a unified experience for the fans wherever they were present. This campaign was able to garner 2.43 million views in a matter of 4 days.
These campaigns became popular only because content generated by fans has more influence on a person, friends, and family than interruptive ads. You are more likely to watch a video that has your friend in it than an interruptive advertisement. Thus businesses and brands that invest in content that is more engaging are the ones that are going to make it big through social media channels as they begin to tighten their grip on what they need the audience to see.