It’s been a busy first quarter for Facebook. From acquisitions to algorithms, there have been more than 10 new announcements in the first three months of the year, causing many brands to feel cold toward the global social site. With spring knocking on the door, here’s a breakdown of the most important changes Facebook has made to help brands flourish.
If you’re advertising your brand on Facebook, you’ve likely seen this recent video (below) from Derek Muller on Facebook fraud. If you haven’t watched yet, brace yourself for the number of Facebook advertising likes that are fake, and the damage those fake fans cause to your social reach and return on investment. To beat the threat of fake likes, you’ll need to focus on engagement, a strong core fan base, and contextual ads that draw the genuine fans needed for ROI.
The battle spoons have come out. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Chobani Chief Marketing Officer Peter McGuinness declared, “2014 is the year of the yogurt wars.” With Super Bowl Sunday on the horizon, we’re about to witness the first of many battles. Greek yogurt titans Oikos, Yoplait, and Chobani are all looking to capitalize with primetime spots during Super Bowl XLVIII, but is reach all they’re after? If so, they’re making a mistake. In a market that accounted for $7.6 billion in sales in 2013, there’s already a high level of general awareness. More than starting the conversation, brands need to work on shaping it, and influence in the Greek yogurt market is the holy grail. For that, brand advocacy is key, and Facebook is an open door.
Facebook announced last Thursday that it would begin phasing out sponsored stories. No new ads can be created from this point on, while previously purchased inventory will run through April 9. The controversial ad unit typically featured friends’ interactions with pages or applications, and they would inform you if those friends liked sponsored pages. While the ad unit was popular with advertisers, this often wasn’t the case for consumers, and its demise was foretold by Facebook as early as last June. Rolled into this change, however, is a significant revamp and net increased visibility for “social context.”
Superfans are the most important people in Facebook brand communities, but getting them to engage is only one-half of the battle. They are by nature a small, crucial minority of a much larger fan ecosystem. A successful influencer-activation strategy must take into account how to shape a great experience for the many different types of fans.