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Time to Face the new Facebook

DATE PUBLISHED: August 07, 2012
If you’re a Facebook advertiser, you’ve probably noticed lots of changes to the Facebook format over the past year. What you’re seeing are lots of photos, thanks to their new Timeline format. It remains to be seen if Timeline makes Facebook any more effective from a marketing point of view, but you can count on a lot of differences from the old Facebook.

If you’re not on Facebook you probably should be – considering that there are 133 million users in the US alone! Yep, that’s million. So let’s take a look at what the different parts of Facebook mean to you.

First there’s an opportunity to use more and larger photos. Maybe Facebook got a wakeup call from Pinterest, but everything now is visual. One study showed that brands that used photos and videos had a huge jump in their engagement with consumers, while brands without visuals had a similar percentage drop.

But don’t rely on visuals alone! Photos that are coupled with an offer or text have a much higher response than photo-only posts. In fact, even Facebook is ready to admit that posting photos and videos with offers provides a significant increase in shares, comments and likes.

So what are advertisers doing to capitalize on the photo-rich environment on Facebook? Some are using the huge photo space at the top of the Timeline design as a type of banner ad. In addition, some are using the space to focus on promotions, using it to launch new products or time-sensitive pricing offers. It’s a huge space, and used properly offers a huge impact.

Other companies are taking advantage of status updates. Instead of “traditional” status updates, companies are having fun with them, and using them as games. Coke is a great example, using riddles and pictograms to engage their customers. Others are using a “fill in the blank” or other game questions to get their customers commenting. And comments on their posts are going through the roof. So be different, be daring – and have fun.

Finally, it’s pretty common to give praise to fans, but if you can come up with a unique and clever way to do it, you’ll get lots of mileage out off it. Why? Because you’ll be engaging the thousands of other fans that are not being singled out!

Lots of businesses are using Facebook, but many are not achieving the results that they had hoped to achieve. But surveys show that by shaking things up a bit by using humor, along with capitalizing on Facebook’s new visual environment, companies are able to improve their results significantly.

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