Keypoints from the fMC Keynote – The New Facebook Brand Pages

Facebook to Brands:

  1. Everything you do on Facebook starts with your page.
  2. Express your identify and tell your stories.
  3. The newsfeed = “The most important internet real estate”

But just what do they mean by that, and what does it mean for your brand?

The first ever fMC began today with a few stories (today’s keyword) shared by Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg. She talked about some marketing theories social media marketers have been shouting for years. Her key points were about how customers are engaging online and what that means for brands:

We’ve officially shifted from wisdom of crowds to the wisdom of friends.

Facebook’s message to brands on behalf of its users (the consumers):

If you want to talk to me, you need to listen to me as well.

With love,

Your Loyal Customer

Sheryl explained that, today, everyone has the power of voice. The 15 minutes of fame rule, where the little guy is heard for a short period of time and eventually drowned out by institutions, no longer applies. People have always had the power of voice, but now technology helps them scale, leveling traditional hierarchy online.

So Facebook is applying the same principles of how people engage on the network to brands. Sheryl to brands: “You have an identity, a voice. Use it to make stronger, lasting connections with customers.”

Social Proof is Becoming More Important Than Ever

Chris Cox, Facebook’s VP of Product shared the model for TV watching as an example: People flip through channels until they find something interesting. Instead, what if you could turn on a TV and the start screen said, “14 of your friends watched Entourage, click here to watch it now.”  Facebook is following this social proof model.

This requires brands to focus on quality and engaging content. Chris shared Facebook’s vision for brands: Interactions between people and brands should become just as engaging and interactive as the interactions they have with their own friends and families.

So just how are brand pages changing? Even though he started his segment by telling us “The story of how we got here involves razors. A lot of razors.” Mike Hoefflinger, Facebook’s Director of Marketing, finally got to the meat of this presentation:

The New Facebook Brand Pages

Hoefflinger says we created ads because we couldn’t tell stories in any other way to the scale needed to make a difference. Now we can, with the new pages for brands on Facebook.

  1. Facebook pages will finally be fully accessible on smart phones, including their applications.
  2. Pinned posts will allow brands to keep important content at the top of the page for 7 days.
  3. Social proof will be key with friends who also like the brand and their latest conversation about the brand at the top of the timeline.
  4. Customers can message brands directly and engage in a one on one conversation with the brand.
  5. You can tell fictional stories on timeline too (they gave the example of a new Will Smith movie.) ARG anyone? (That stands for Alternate Reality Game…)
  6. And of course, new ad options for getting your content in front of more people.

Launch of Offers on Facebook

You’ve probably seen this one from Macy’s floating around your newsfeed in the last week. This new story option is a sponsored story of sorts, where people can claim  an offer with a single click.  With that click, the offer is immediately redeemable and sent to the user’s email or mobile phone (because FB already has that data, says Hoefflinger.)

Launch of Reach Generator on Facebook

What is it? A product that ensure your fans see your stories. How’s it work?

Step 1: Publish a post.

About 16% of your fans will see this post. But you want 50% of your fans to see it? With Reach Generator, Facebook moves that post to the homepage of your fans. Ben & Jerry’s reached 98% of their fans, saw an increase in sales and 3:1 ROI with this new ad unit. How’s that for a quick case study?

The key here though is for brands to truly understand what content is engaging to their fans. Once you understand that, you can use Reach Generator to increase distirbution. And when fans tell stories on top of your stories, their friends see it too.

Launch of Premium on Facebook

Premium is the step beyond Reach Generator.

Again, pages are mission control, so you first need to publish a post.

With Premium, the post is again, displayed on the right-hand side of your fans’ homepage (just like Reach Generator.) BUT, the post also becomes eligible for distribution in the Facebook newsfeed, which Hoefflinger says is “the most important internet real estate” because that’s where people expect to see the stories of their life. Finally, the post will also be displayed in the Facebook logout experience. (Yes, it’s true. 30 million people actually logout of Facebook each day!)  NOTE: The logout placement won’t be available until April.

Is it worth it? According to Hoefflinger, brands testing this unit are seeing a 5-10x increase in click-through rates on their posts, because this ad unit takes brand content from “conceptually” interesting to “really” interest.

With all of these ad units the content can be a link, photo or video.

What About Your Default Landing Tab? Existing Apps? Switching to Timeline?

The number one question on every marketers mind right now: Should I click that blue button at the top of my brand’s page and make the switch? Well, Facebook will make you switch on March 30th, but use this month to make sure you’re truly ready. There are quite a few ducks to get in a row first. Many more than I’ve mentioned here. But don’t worry, we’re staying on top of it. Look out for more posts today and later this week on our blog with information on the opportunities the new brand pages pose for brands and what you need to do to get your page ready for Timeline.

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