Facebook offers brands and businesses the most valuable space on the web, “a page” to get out there right where millions of people are spending time connecting with influencing each other. Facebook changes are something businesses must be in sync with simply because it will help them craft the right marketing moves.
Here are 5 high impact marketing tips for Indian brands looking to make their mark on Facebook…
1. Up the Interest Quotient with the Cover Photo Feature
Simply because a cover photo is positioned at a point where a viewer’s eyes rest when he looks at a page, it is the right place to stir interest in your brand profile.
In the past, Facebook has maintained a very restrictive cover photo policy that disallowed inclusion of four items:
- Any sort of contact information like a website or email address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section.
- Price or purchase information, such as discount related announcements
- References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share,” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
- Call-to-action, such as “Grab it while it lasts” or “Tell your friends.”
Policy restrictions have been done away with and replaced with the following single paragraph:
“All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines. Covers may not include images with more than 20 percent text.”
So now brands can do much more, use a short call to action without violating the 20 per cent text restriction. Inclusion of the URL of your website along with other types of contact information making it easy for people to reach you, make enquiries, encourage people to “Like” your Page, or point to specific Page applications if you want to.
Thanks to these policy changes cover photos are now effective promotional tools, depending on how you use them.
2. Effective Story Telling With the Timeline Feature
Stories fascinate everyone and with pictures that can tell a thousand stories, the power of the cover photo on Facebook as a tool for story telling must be used to its complete potential. Some endearing Facebook campaigns that have been built around timelines that tell stories in engaging ways include the Vodafone Zoozoo campaign and Nokia India among the better, more engaging ones.
Vodafone Zoozoo’s have a cute timeline. An effective mix of images and videos tell the story of Zoozoos that started in the 1000′s. The Vodafone Zoozoos timeline scores big brownie points as the timeline is in a very cool story format connecting all the years.
Nokia India has used the timeline to showcase its history to its fans. Starting from its establishment in 1871 in Finland, the brand has showcased all it’s mobile models and shown the evolution of the brand over time. This also shed light on some little known yet interesting facts like Nokia used to manufacture tyres and rubber boots before they began manufacturing user-friendly phones.
3. Visually Engaging News Feeds
Facebook is shifting its emphasis on text-based news feeds to visually engaging newsfeeds. Facebook’s news feed redesign is going to make photos front and centered together with the publisher’s logo . When you see someone become friends with someone else, the new Facebook news feed design will show a bigger profile photo and display your common friends. This will prove to put the spotlight on pages, brands, and services.
4. Replies and Threaded Comments for Engaging and Meaningful Conversations
Social networking is as much about influencing as it is about connecting. Conversations and that too meaningful ones are at the heart of this and that’s probably why Facebook now has replies and threaded conversations on Pages.
People who visit your Page now have the option to reply to comments on posts, however you do have to have the reply option turned on.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Click “Edit Page” located in the Admin Panel;
- Go to “Manage Permissions”;
- Select “Turn On Replies.”
Currently an opt-in feature, Facebook will enable it for all Pages on July 10. It is however limited to the desktop version; a mobile version is on the anvil.
Page owners can use threaded replies in the following ways:
- Q&A. Encourage visitors to submit queries, to which you can reply directly.
- Customer service. As you respond to individual comments you can personalized service and /responses.
- Polls. Submit a poll question and ask for responses.
- Contests: Run a contest that requires visitors to respond with a comment.
The result? Greater interaction between brands and customers/followers as well as interaction among customers and/followers.
5. Use of Hashtags
Twitter hashtags even now are included in Facebook status updates simply because people post to both networks using tools like HootSuite.
The word is that Facebook is working on the idea of employing hashtags to group conversations around a particular topic on the same lines as Twitter.
This feature, if and when it is launched, could prove to help advertisers promote them just like other promoted posts and sponsored stories.
This is likely to impact the nature of conversations on Facebook. Rather than simply commenting on posts from friends and Pages — the “social graph” — people could converse on topics of interest, which is referred to as the “interest graph.”
Brands can use hashtags to: chat live at certain dates and times, view conversations on relevant topics for marketing research, keep an eye on trending topics, and even find prospective customers.
To wrap this up, change is the only constant and when change is sweeps Facebook brands must learn to hold their own instead of being swept away by it.