Can BFF’s lead to more effective marketing?
That’s the topic of discussion for the PRSA Digital Impact Conference opening keynote featuring Caryn Marooney, vice president of technology communications for Facebook.
Before going to Facebook, Caryn explained that she ran an agency, however she talks about having felt like a mechanical bunny always chasing something and not catching it.
Why? Everything is constantly changing. And we as PR and Marketing Pros have to be ok with that. What’s remains constant is what remains important.
3 important things we need to remember:
1. What audiences are we trying to reach
2. What are our goals
3. What tools can we use to reach our goals
As we think about audience, that of Facebook is expansive and exponential which is why it can be so effective in terms of online marketing.
There are more than 845 million people on Facebook and more than 100 billion friend connections.
On average more than 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook each day. In addition, users generate an average of 2.7 billion likes and comments per day.
The ability to share a message with a few and have it reach the many has never been so available. As marketers we have to start thinking about exponential reach. If we share content that’s valuable or unique or solves a problem and make it easy to share, there are no limits.
Whether your community is 30, 300 or 3,000 may not matter. What matters is that it’s the right people who are interested and want more of what you have – whether information, products or services.
To help you find the perfect blend of community members, Caryn next talks about tools.
Let’s think about it this way, the tools to help yourself and the tools to help your brand.
First, we start with the tools for you (and me).
What is not new with timeline:
- There is no new information in timeline, just a new format
- No changes in privacy settings
Caryn suggests spending time on the Activity Log, which includes all information you have shared on Facebook. You can highlight/remove items from your timeline via the activity log.
- Can add high-res images
- When you add location or check-in, it pre-populates a map which you can drill into and find the information/photos you shared while in those locations
Even at the personal level, we need to keep audiences in mind. Who are you trying to communicate with and with what message?
A couple newer features include:
When you activate the tool, it takes you through your list of friends (note – requires over 300 friends for this to be available). The tool will make suggestions based on those who you have not been interacting with on a regular basis.
If you leave them ‘checked’, they will be moved to acquaintances and less of their information will populate in your news feed.
Anyone can turn on subscribe, via account settings.
Once you activate this feature, anyone can subscribe to your posts.
Want to know what works for journalists?
- Commentary on current events – 3x as many likes and 2x as many shares
- Reader shout-outs
- Behind the scene images
This feature brings interests to your newsfeed.
If you subscribe to an interest list, it allows that information (i.e. tech news) to come into your news feed. Use this tool to keep up-to-date on topic areas you are interested in, provided directly to you.
Brand pages were recently transitioned to the timeline feature as well.
A couple quick tips:
1. Star – if you star an image on the timeline, it will be positioned as a double-wide image spanning the whole page.
2. Pin – use this feature to ensure content stays at the top of the page and won’t move down when new content is added. This content will stay ‘pinned’ for a week or until something new is pinned.
3. Friends Window – allows users to see a brand page through the lens of their friends. This means brands are instantly personalized.
4. Message – allows users to directly message with a brand.
5. Admin Panel – quick and easy access to happenings on the page.
Caryn suggests checking out the Hunger Games brand page for a great example of leveraging the timeline feature and apps.
She wraps up by reminding us that we are in an incredible time which allows us to do things we never thought of, specifically through tools. Signs are posted all around Facebook asking this question, ‘What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?’.
And with that we wrap up with Q&A.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the Facebook atmosphere?
A: I have this moment every day where the ambition and excitement can be overwhelming, but that itself is very exciting.
Q: Do you expect that your list of preferred developers is going to change?
A: No, we work with so many different developers and they are all up-to-speed on the changes. I don’t think it takes a different skill set, so we don’t expect it to change – but maybe to grow.
In summary, it’s interesting to get insight into how Facebook (and someone from the inside) views the opportunities that exist within the channel. And how they push themselves to make changes, even if at first they might get push back from the community.
Like it or not Facebook (and other social channels) will continue to evolve. Our job is to identify opportunities with our audiences in mind. If we deliver what they need and want, we’ll ultimately be closer to reaching our goals.
Connect with TopRank Online Marketing on Facebook to find more information on the intersection of Search, Social and Online PR.