Saying that 2018 and so far 2019, hasn’t been the best years in Facebook’s history is putting it mildly! However, the fact that no social media network managed to take advantage of this opportunity, to deal Facebook if not a death blow, then at least some serious damage is a clear indicator that the platform still has to be viewed as a serious player in the social-media arena.
Anyone inclined to doubt this should take a long, hard look at Facebook’s history and pay close attention to the way they have continually made astute acquisitions and developments to expand their business and neutralise their competition. With that in mind, here are some ideas on how Facebook appears to be looking to court brands throughout 2019 and beyond – and what they mean in practice.
The move into video
It’s no secret that video is a huge deal on the internet and it’s also no secret that Facebook, at the very least, wants to claim a (large) slice of the video pie and at best would surely love to take over from YouTube as the internet’s “go-to” location for video content. In general terms, it will be very interesting to see how this battle plays out. On the one hand, YouTube has a massive installed base of creators as well as users which should give them a huge defensive moat to protect them from attack. On the other hand, YouTube isn’t necessarily viewed as positively as it once was by creators and users, as can be seen in the reaction to YouTube Rewind 2018. This means that even if these people aren’t willing to abandon the platform completely, they might be very happy to start building a “home-from-home” on Facebook or Instagram TV; especially if Facebook/IGTV make it possible for creators to monetise content.
What this means for business is that companies which rely on (micro)influencers should keep a close eye on who is migrating to Facebook (at least in part), but companies which can produce their own video content could find Facebook a better option than YouTube, at least for the moment.
Getting a reaction
Most social media platforms only have buttons for like and dislike and some only have like buttons, meaning that if you dislike something your options are either to ignore it or to leave a comment.
If, however, you hover over the Facebook like button, you are given a choice of 6 emojis (including sad and angry which suggests that Facebook should really call this button react rather than like).
This means that businesses can get a much clearer idea of what, exactly, their followers mean when they say they like something and hence use this to inform your content-creation process.
Having an algorithm which rewards entertaining, inspirational and/or educational posts
There is a very old rule in content creation (and not just for social media) that any piece of content, of any form, should be entertaining and/or inspirational and/or educational. When it comes to social media platforms in general and Facebook in particular, it’s probably fair to say that educational content works best when it is also entertaining and/or inspiring.
Basically, people go to Facebook to chill out at the digital water-cooler, which means that they’re much more likely to want to be entertained or inspired than they are to be educated. By contrast, entertaining and/or inspirational content does not necessarily have to be educational in nature, it can just be for fun.
What this means in practice for businesses is that the best content for social media and especially for Facebook will tend to be content which puts a human face to your brand, for example, by showing the challenges faced by your workers (but in a funny way) or how your products/services are making life better for your customers (but in an inspirational way not a sales pitch).
As always social media marketing must focus on the social aspect. If you want your business page to succeed then you must consider utilising videos, aiming to become a leader in your field and providing content that your followers will want to share.
For more information or help in running your social media please contact us.