Between the new crackdown on engagement baiting, a kids-oriented messaging feature, the growth of video capabilities through Facebook, enhanced facial recognition features, and Facebook Watch, Facebook has made some big changes coming into the new year. We’ll go over each of these features and how they apply to the marketing landscape, ensuring your 2017 social media marketing campaign prospers with the help of marketing firms in Kansas City.
Crackdown on Engagement Baiting
We all know how hard it can be to garner engagement on Facebook, especially when your company is just starting out. A go-to tactic is to publish content that encourages people to share or comment, such as ‘Like this if you appreciate nurses!’ or ‘Like if you think cats are better than dogs!’. While on one hand this tactic allows users to express their opinions, Facebook has labeled this type of engagement ‘baiting’. Many pages use engagement tactics to boost the reach of their posts, but Facebook hopes to encourage more authentic posts that don’t come off as spam-y. All individual posts from people and Pages that incorporate engagement baiting will therefore be demoted (reach a smaller audience). This makes things difficult for social media managers and marketing firms in Kansas City.
Baiting can come in the form of voting, reactions, sharing, tagging, and commenting. An example of baiting might be “comment ‘yes’ if you think Net Neutrality needs to be brought down” or “tag a friend who embodies this meme”. In addition to demotions for individual posts, the Pages themselves will be penalized if continued engagement baiting is implemented. However, any posts that are used to ask people for help, advice or recommendations will NOT be penalized.
The purpose behind this crackdown is to encourage genuine interactions on their platform, since “…when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information [on Facebook] – reading but not interacting with people – they report feeling worse afterward”. In other words, Facebook doesn’t want their platform used for mindless consumption.
Other types of engagement baiting might come in the form of competitions and contests, though official rules from Facebook mandate that personal timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions. That means you can’t ask users to ‘share on their timeline to enter’ or ‘tag a friend in this post to enter’. These tactics are still utilized quite frequently though, so it remains to be seen how these contests are regulated by Facebook. With Facebook’s new Explore tab in testing, it would be even harder to get your promotions or contests on people’s newsfeeds without the incentive to share on a personal feed.
*To learn more about the new Facebook Explore tab currently being tested, check out our blog post on the future of digital marketing.
As Facebook makes it more and more difficult for businesses to reach a large audience in organic newsfeeds, people are being forced to take up paid advertising. We predict that Facebook will continue to limit the organic reach of business pages to force brands into paid advertising in the coming months. Businesses will have to find alternate ways to boost engagement, such as integrated influencer marketing or event marketing. Marketing firms in Kansas City know how to enhance organic reach without you having to pay the platform a penny.
New Music and 360-Degree Cameras Available
Videos are all over our Facebook feed, giving us easy cooking instructions, making us laugh and conveying information in an engaging way. Facebook is making it even easier to make high-quality videos with an expanded repertoire of available music. Now included in their ‘Sound Collection’ of free audio tracks is music from the Universal Music Group. This partnership allows users to integrate tracks from Kanye West, Adele, Taylor Swift and more into their videos without the threat of copyright infringement.
The Facebook Sound Collection gives users access to thousands of high-quality audio tracks and sound effects to improve the quality of videos. Since these sounds are owned by Facebook, you can use them in any of your videos on Instagram and Facebook. Discovery tools let you learn about the different artists, follow those you like and browse by certain filters. These filters include genre, mood, length and vocals.
Since we anticipate that the artists will have some veto power over the businesses and organizations that utilize their music in videos, offerings will most likely extend only to personal profiles in the beginning of this agreement.
Since Facebook is trying to promote 360-degree videos on their platform, they’ve introduced new tutorials and resources for making these videos. Plus, you can borrow special cameras for the project, like the GoPro Fusion and ZCam S1. Facebook will be trying to promote 360-degree video production at a local level by holding 360 community meetups. With the launch of 360 Director for Pages and profiles, users will be able to add text and graphics annotations to their video. This means you’ll need to bump up the quality of your videos to keep up with the competition. Marketing firms in Kansas City should take note of how this feature could be used to advertise brands.
One of the cool features about Facebook is that it has face recognition; If you upload photos of your friend, the platform automatically recognizes their face and tags them in the photo. While this is a great feature, Facebook is kicking it up a notch by notifying users every time their face is uploaded to the platform, whether it’s tagged or not.
Facebook claims this feature will help users be more aware of where their face is appearing online. If your friend posts a profile picture that you’re also in, the platform will send you a notification. Once notified, you’ll be able to tell Facebook whether you want to tag yourself, leave it alone, ask the uploader to take the photo down or report the photo to Facebook. This feeds into Facebook’s growing profiling capacity, making it even easier for the platform to create a template of a person’s face using pixels from existing photos. Plus, Facebook claims the system will help hinder impersonations.
Users will be able to alter their privacy settings to opt out of all overarching photo and video facial recognition. This will erase the face template of you and deactivate the Photo Review feature and old Tag Suggestions. All in all though, the feature makes it easy for you to keep track of where your face is appearing online and regulate uploads.
To give kids a safe place to message and video chat their friends and family, Facebook is introducing Messenger Kids for iPhones, iPads and iPod touch. This app was created through the collaboration of the National PTA and parenting experts in the U.S. to ensure features were appropriate for children and easy to control by parents. Parents will be able to control the app through their Facebook account.
The app includes features like one-on-one or group video (with parent-approved contacts) and a home screen that tells kids when their contacts are online. To tailor to kids, the app also includes playful masks, emojis and sound effects. Kids will be able to send texts that will be received as regular Message. Kid-appropriate GIFs, frames, stickers and drawing tools are incorporated as well. Kids won’t be able to connect with contacts that aren’t first approved by parents, adding another level of security to the platform. Another nice perk to this FREE app is that your kids won’t be subject to ads and their information won’t be used for ads. Though this new feature may not be relevant to marketing firms in Kansas City YET, there may come a day when ads are allowed on this platform.
Facebook will be taking a few pointers from YouTube with their new Facebook Watch feature. You can access this feature from the Facebook Watch tab (must be a registered Facebook user), at which point you’ll be greeted with a simple screen of trending videos defined by category and recommended videos.
If you’re getting some Deja-vu, that’s because the concept is strikingly similar to YouTube’s home screen. Where Facebook may have an upper hand is with the simplicity of the screen—it’s simple for anyone to navigate to their favorite video or discover new content. Plus, Facebook will be able to gather recommendation data based on previous content watched AND the pages users follow. Video updates will also be based on the pages a user follows.
Facebook’s launched this new feature in response to the growing popularity of video content. Users watch an average of 40 minutes a day on YouTube around the world and Americans spend 125 minutes a day on Netflix.
Facebook Watch will give the platform an additional source to sell advertising spots, but at a cost. Facebook is offering content creator partners funding for their videos in addition to 55% of the ad revenue from the videos (Facebook gets the other portion). For marketers, this means there’s yet another way to incorporate ads into social media platforms.
The big question is whether users will pigeonhole Facebook as a social platform rather than a content consuming platform. Since videos will still be showing up in a user’s newsfeed, will they bother seeking out additional content? Seeking Alpha gives a breakdown of their opinion on this new feature here, but you should consult one of the marketing firms in Kansas City to see whether Facebook Watch can be utilized for your brand.
If you’re looking for marketing firms in Kansas City that can help you tackle these changes with a brand new social media marketing campaign, contact us! We know how to utilize each of these features to your brand’s advantage, and we keep up on the latest trends so you don’t have to!