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Reason to Care, Reason to Share: Facebook Readies the Charge

Southwest Airlines , Mar. 2, 2012

Like much of the social media world, we at Resource Interactive hunkered down on Wednesday listening (and tweeting, #riFMC) as Facebook unveiled the next generation of updates. The Facebook Marketing Conference didn’t disappoint, with a host of updates to the way brands interact with consumers on the platform. Headlined by the introduction of Timeline for Brands and a wealth of new paid media opportunities, these new offerings are all designed to reflect Facebook’s growing stance that brands are personal, with a voice, presence and purpose.

While listening to all of this talk of “lots of little stories,” we began to chat about why consumers should care—and will it inspire them to share? Although buried in some of the bigger announcements, there are two key areas that focus solely on that conversation between the consumer and the brand.

Timeline For Brands
As of March 30 all brand pages will automatically convert to the Timeline view. While this means brands must creatively (and engagingly) build their story, there is an additional layer that makes it relevant for consumers—a personalized view of the content on those timeline pages. As fans and non-fans look through a brand’s Timeline, any content generated by friends in relation to that brand (Timeline posts, status posts mentioned, tagged photos, etc.) will rise to the top of the revamped Friend Activity view. This means that content previously hidden behind the Friend Activity tab is now front and center, and consumers’ casual conversations about your brand may now land on the Timeline.

New 1:1 Conversations Between Consumers & Brands
Facebook announced the release of new tools to communicate directly with brand fans. Consumers can now directly message a brand, enabling a significant layer of personal community management previously unavailable. Those direct messages are now surfaced within a new admin panel that logs direct messages, recent Likes and a snapshot of Insights data, and initiates timely and private interactions between a consumer and the brand’s community manager.

While there were loads of other brand-specific announcements, such as discussion about message reach and heightened importance of paid media, brands can’t lose sight of the importance of direct conversations within Facebook. Building that relationship with your most loyal fans, and doing that in the most personal and engaging way possible, is the key to any successful strategy whether your fan count is 10,000 or 10 million.

So we’re curious, now that you’ve had a day to absorb all of the announcements, do you think these updates will help brands develop consumer-focused efforts with a reason to care and a reason to share?

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