Archive for June, 2013
A policy change can change the value of many things. This time its what appears on individual’s walls on Facebook – the prime real estate int eh world’s largest word-of-mouth network.
Facebook just announced several changes that are going to take place in October of this year. One of the big ones for marketing and digital agencies is that no longer will an API be allowed to share on friend’s wall.
The official word from Facebook:
“We have found that posting content via API (stream.publish) on a friend’s wall lead to a high incidence of user dissatisfaction (hiding content, blocking the app). After the migration period, posting content to friends’ timelines via stream.publish will no longer be allowed. Please use the Feed Dialog for posting.”
What does this mean to marketers and brands?
If you follow the new KPIs of Social Media and Events one of your key efforts is likely around viral engagement and earned impressions on Facebook. This used to be enabled automatically by API that allowed sharing on a connections wall. Now you will have to rely on solid user generated content to get virality and impressions.
I’ve said numerous times on this blog that the way to get user generated content that is highly effective is to catch people at the time when they are having fun doing a very unique event or activity and post for them so all the friction is removed. From the Olympics to the Stanley Cup Play-offs user generated content has ruled the social sphere. Now that you can’t use an API to post to another wall you have to be smart and figure out how to get others to do it for your brand and become social media brand champions.
Up until this week only photo ads were eligible for what Facebook calls Unpublished post ads and the industry generally calls “dark posts”. The release this week of video capability expands the utility of dark posts and potentially is a big win for business to business marketing on Facebook – but many people might miss that subtlety.
My supposition that video dark posts will see significantly higher usage on laptop and desktop focused ads. Research data has shown that because of both screen and bandwidth constraints photos are still a much bigger engagement platform on mobile. Mobile usage peaks on Facebook are much different than desktop usage. Desktop usage still peaks mid-day on Wednesday where as mobile is moving toward Sunday afternoon.
Big tip: The usage data would suggest that video post ads targeted to a rich, high-bandwidth experience would be optimal for B2B and best served the beginning and middle of the week. Obviously using some A/B comparison ads and Facebook data is a quick way to determine if my advice is correct for your business but this is one giant leap in that direction.
The best video ads you can produce would be based on user generated content. It’s easiest to catch user generated video at your own events or sponsored locations like stadiums, events and locations. Check out how Major League Baseball should do social for more ideas.
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