Facebook moves forward by minimizing the effects of its algorithm for business page posts. Good news for business pages? Maybe.
Producing a social media presence for a brand means the business must constantly stay on top of trends in the online world. Facebook’s consistent updates and improvements to its platform are no exception.
While critics will say the updates are copying features from Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, etc., what’s actually important is to both understand how these updates work and how to best use these features to advance the brand’s online presence.
Such is the case with Facebook’s latest News Feed re-launch. It demonstrates that, due to the rise of visual content (and platforms to create visual content), a brand will no longer stand out if it doesn’t create eye-catching graphics, illustrations, photographs, and videos.
It will also become increasingly important to pick and choose the links and articles the brand shares from both its own website and third parties. According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s focus with the re-launch is to “give everyone in the world the best personalized newspaper we can.”
This means finding and capitalizing on the things business page fans are truly interested in is more important than ever. Being certain these links work with Facebook’s new design is also something to consider; news stories, the news outlet it came from, and the picture in the story will be given much more prominence in this new page design.
Brands: It’s time to get excited.
Today, the long-rumored feed options on Facebook came true. With choices like “All Friends,” “Photos,” “Music,” and “Following,” users will be able to select which content they want to see at that moment, and which they don’t.
Jessica Guynn of the LA Times reports that with the new “Following” feed, followers will see all of the updates from the pages they're a fan of, not just the ones Facebook’s algorithm decides. Not only are these fans actively seeking out the pages' information (which should increase overall engagement), but they’ll also be shown all of the great content the pages provide.
This change delivers major potential for business page growth, but only if the business page “plays nicely” with Facebook’s new feed options. Understanding the page’s audience, creating engaging visual content, and providing links and articles that have added value will result in a business page taking the lead in consumers’ News Feeds.
In the past two days, Burger King and Jeep were both victims of Twitter hackers, with hours passing before they could fully regain control of their accounts. In the meantime, the hackers took advantage of this freedom under Burger King’s and Jeep’s handles.
While no one is safe from social media hackings, are businesses as prepared as possible for a potential social media crisis? We know how to best-avoid a hacking (don’t use the same passwords for everything, change the password every few months), but when a business gets hacked, then what?
A social media crisis plan is a necessary step in achieving well-rounded Online Brand Management. It not only lets the marketing team breathe easier knowing they have a plan already in place, but it also gives fans and followers a sense of consistency and comfort.
Small Steps Can Go A Long Way
Here are just a few things CMOs should consider when preparing a social media crisis plan:
- A staff chain-of-command
- A mock-up of various scenarios and how the business would approach each one
- A list of primary back-up communication channels to be used if one is compromised because of a hacking
- A series of planned communication steps so fans and followers are kept up-to-date
- Pre-made templates for all written communications
- Dedicated team members responsible for listening and responding to consumers’ concerns and communicating with the media
- + about 1,000 other important things to consider like what to post on the company’s website, who will be on call if this happens after hours, etc.
We’re hoping the importance of a social media crisis plan is obvious, but if it’s not, we’ll explain a little more:
- Transparency is key: ignoring a problem is always bad, but doing so in the online world is exponentially worse. Social media is where fans and followers expect to be “in the know,” so filling them in on the latest news (including crises) is expected.
- Fans & followers are on the business’ side (unless it screws up its response). Don’t lose the trust and goodwill the business’ existing fans have by waiting days to address the issue, making light of a not-so-funny situation, or other marketing no-no’s.
- It’s important to take back the brand’s credibility: Some fans might need reassurance that this isn’t what the employees of the brand really think about (insert topic here).
- Fans may expect an apology: While a brand didn’t choose to be hacked, it should prepare an apology anyhow for the chance its followers unexpectedly received inappropriate content in their timelines.
Extra tip: Sometimes simplicity is best. We like Burger King’s swift, short and sweet response to the hacking of its account. It can (and did) respond more in-depth through other channels.
Have you seen any particularly great or awful social media crisis responses from brands lately?
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