Facebook Changes: How Are Brands Affected?

Facebook’s recent announcement at the F8 conference of  radical changes to the platform, including things like timelines and tickers, has left most of the tech world reeling. While a lot of attention is being focused on how these changes will affect individual users, how will these and previously announced changes affect brands using Facebook Pages?

1. More integration of apps

Perhaps the biggest change for brands is that Facebook Apps will now be able to be more fully integrated into a Facebook user’s experience (read: timeline). For example, if you’re an online news site, someone reading an article on your site via your Facebook App will have that action published within the context of their timeline. This means more exposure for brands on Facebook – but once again, brands are increasingly being rewarded for interacting with users in a meaningful way.

2. Users have more control over their news feeds

With far more control now given to users to edit the top stories in their news feeds, they’re more easily able to filter out brand messaging from their Facebook feeds. So, if you’re a brand that doesn’t have much relevance to a particular user, your updates will quickly be edited out. This makes it more important than ever to create Page updates that are interesting, relevant, and that really stand out to your target audience.

3. Comment on a page without Liking it

Announced a little while before the F8 conference, this  is nevertheless a significant change you may not be aware of: Facebook users can now comment on a Page without Liking it. While this creates an even easier way for people to interact with brands, it also makes it harder to incentivise people to Like your page. Previously, you could woo people to become fans of your page by asking them to comment on a specific issue or question. Now, they’re able to do that without the commitment, which means you as a brand will have to work harder to get a Facebook user’s attention.

Facebook’s changes are impacting brands too, because the new timeline format will force brands to be useful publishers rather than simply marketers or advertisers. So, the golden rule here (which hasn’t really changed but is being emphasised more and more) is: create useful content, and interact with your target audience on Facebook in a way that is meaningful to them. Yebo!

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Kwiksta and a new leaf!

This post signals an intention to improve my appalling lack of posting on this blog. So, what better way to turn over a leaf than with an exciting new project!

I’ve been lucky enough to be one of the first teachers involved with Kwiksta – Sam Paddock of GetSmarter‘s latest venture. Kwiksta is an online learning platform where teachers can upload material, and students can purchase their content to learn from. “Kwiksta” stands for “Know What I Know” and I think it marks a serious move forward in the future of online learning. For more info check out www.kwiksta.com.

My first Kwik published on the platform is called “How to Make Your Blog Best Friends With Search Engines“, and goes into detail about how to optimise your blog posts for maximum visibility on search engines. The Kwik costs US$20 to download once off, and then the content is yours forever. Payment works via Paypal, and it’s a quick and easy process to register and purchase.

I would love to hear your comments – either on that Kwik, or on future ones you’d like to see. There are big plans for content I want to publish there in future, so stay tuned!