Facebook is making every activity we conduct through its social portal more tightly integrated with our personal histories and narratives. That means opportunities for social marketers – and for app developers and data analysts.
What are the changes?
• Top News and Most Recent Posts merge: Brand Posts can still appear in Top Stories, based on Edge Rank. This means users will not need to navigate between Top Stories and Most Recent activity to see a highly-engaging post.
• News Feed Ticker: Status updates and activities from brands will dynamically load and appear in a user’s news feed ticker. This means users can see when their friends ‘like’ a particular page, and can hover over that story to ‘like’ that page directly from the ticker.
• Friend Activity more varied and visible: Fans may be more inclined to spend time on a company page because they can now cut through the ‘noise’ to hone in on the way their friends are interacting with the page.
What are the brand opportunities?
The changes offer big opportunities for many brands. In the past, even though fans "liked" a brand page, the ability for that brand to show up in that fan's newsfeed was limited. Now that Facebook is implementing its timeline and ticker features, brands that integrate well with Facebook's Open Graph infrastructure and will get better exposure.
Facebook has extended user interaction with a brand beyond merely ‘liking’ to applications, to a host of other where activities such as eating and drinking. You will ‘Like’ Coke only once, but you may potentially ‘drink’ it every day. Now there are more social interaction options available on Facebook, consumers can be more engaged – and the app developer busier, as we’ll see next.
What are the IT opportunities?
App integration goes deeper
Companies like Nike and Spotify have already developed apps that fit well within Facebook users’ Timelines and tickers. In the past, you might see that I like Spotify and I might select, through the Spotify interface, to show what songs and playlists I am listening to on Facebook. Now, Spotify will automatically post my listening activity, and my friends can comment on each activity and can listen to each song without ever leaving Facebook.
Apps galore in the pipeline
B2B or B2C, the big opportunity here is to develop apps. That means there's a big need to hire app-makers who not only know Facebook's infrastructure, but understand how to make each activity social. Also, app-makers need to understand the changes to Facebook's Open Graph infrastructure.
Play by Facebook rules
Facebook is asking brands to develop apps that keep users engaged on Facebook, not lead them back to the brand's web properties. Brands, and their developers, need to think: "How will people experience this app on Facebook, rather than on my website?”
Data analysts in demand
Social media analysts are rubbing their hands, too. Analysing how brands perform on social networking sites is becoming bigger business and calls for the development of smarter tools – and skills.
With thanks to:
Jesse Noyes, corporate reporter at revenue performance management provider Eloqua; Jan Rezab, CEO, Socialbakers, social media engagement analytics and management, Buddy Media
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