Hey Facebook: the masses would appreciate some consistency.

29 Sep

While my title is very much the truth, the other truth is that we will ALL continue to use Facebook. No matter what crazy curves may be thrown our way. Until something more intriguing comes along that is.

In the meantime, brands are going to have to be more innovative than ever to convey their desired message. For example, since this first new wave of changes rolled out, only two of my “Like” pages has shown up on my news feed. Ironically, one was the Facebook page I contributed to during my internship this summer, Visit Detroit. The other being Pure Michigan. The Visit Detroit update seemed to only be because it was recent, but Pure Michigan’s post show up fairly regularly because of the high level of engagement on their page. Top stories continue to be a feature for brands if they are as successful as Pure Michigan, but not if brands are already struggling with their social media presence.

The ticker is a great tool for brands. When you hover over a story with your cursor, the post/photo/content, etc. becomes enlarged and click-able. When one of my friends “Likes” a page, it shows up in the ticker and allows the option to “Like” it yourself. The ticker also shows friends posts on “Like” pages, even if  I don’t personally “Like” it as well.  It’s biggest problem however is how rapidly it changes. There is some good brand content on there if you happen to catch it. Also, I hide the chat bar, and the chat bar also has the ticker on top making my ability to see that content limited to whenever I want to make the chat bar visible again.  The best option for brands is to continue to build a strong presence so that “Likes” increase and therefore a higher probability of friend engagement will show up on the ticker. How to do such a thing? Ask for it. Brands need to continue to use varied media-lots of pictures, links, videos- they all draw the most comments and likes. Asking questions and answers in comments or allowing consumers to post on the wall will undoubtedly draw more action to the page and in turn ticker.

Timeline runs the risk of information being buried. It also gives an opportunity for people with Facebook pages to give their brand recommendation and show loyalty over time. Only drink Coca-Cola and you have since you were 10? That will say more to Facebook friends than any Coke ad ever would. Timeline will force brands more than ever to make a positive impact not just on social media. New and established brands alike will be put to the test because of Timeline.

As for the next part of the assignment I’m thinking Starbucks. I think a “Starbucks Coffee Maker App” would be cool to see in Timeline. For instance, it would be an option on your profile (separate entity than the cooking app that Mark Z showed during his presentation, but to be used alongside of it) saying “I’m brewing _____________ today”. Loyal Starbucks consumers can highlight all of their different brews and in turn so can Starbucks. The app should also be able to highlight its competitors brews (i.e. Caribou, etc.) but the app itself has a Starbucks stamp on it. I would patent it so no other competitor could create a similar app, that way even if it isn’t Starbucks coffee being brewed, Starbucks would continue to be synonymous with coffee in general.

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