I have always been caught in this dilemma…when it comes to managing a brand’s community or community within a brand, what is best for the community? Who should be really managing the community? One with experience with the Message? Community Management? Social Media Management? Brand Management? The actual brand employee(s)?
Yep…I am talking about this very specific relationship one that has been riddled with miscues and online battles of digital lines in the sand. It was last year our health care digital team launched a Google Hangout embedded inside Facebook, since that successful campaign..it has been a lot harder to pull off technologically speaking.
But I am not really thinking through the lens of how to make these digital properties talk to each other when deploying campaigns, but more of the relationship between these two audience giants when it comes to digital content marketing.
Yes…stop it. No one wants to hear your rants and dialogue? Just because you have an iPhone and video camera…it just is not working. People want more than you flapping your lips and ranting your thoughts on Facebook and Instagram.
I feel the old newsroom junkie in me coming out in this rant. My old news director used to preach to us…do not let me see your talking head during your live shots. People want you to show and tell, give the audience the opportunity to explore the story visually.
There is something awesome about these pictures…something so normal. This is my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and their children. They just had their third child. These pictures showcase their most recent appointment with the physician that delivered their third child, baby Miles.
Here we have one doctor’s visit with lots of smiles.
I have you noticed video auto-playing in Facebook when using your laptop, desktop computer, or even your mobile device like a tablet or smartphone. I have noticed the these auto-play videos on my iPad, iPhone, and my desktop using my MacBookPro.
The videos that are auto-playing are those uploaded directly to Facebook. This auto-play initiative is also a part of Facebook’s Premium Video Ads offering set to release to brands this fall, possibly October.
Facebook just released the newest app in both iOS and Android which bows allow you to see video content in auto-play mode. What does this mean?
As you scroll down your news feed (via your iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, and other mobile devices), video that was uploaded directly to Facebook will now auto play in the news feed. This means, when you scroll down the news feed to check out all the stories…you will notice a video might start playing. But, you will notice it does this in silently.
Many people have voiced both positive and negative reviews surrounding videos auto-playing when clicking onto a website. Lots of the feedback, mainly negative, specifically addressing the sound during the auto-play.
Other groups are experimenting with auto-play of video like Vimeo with their mobile apps. The Vimeo app on the iPad would auto-play your feed videos when scrolling, catching your attention with the motion of the video. This is the idea I think Facebook is trying to capture.
Here is what makes this awesome…allowing people to explore rich media that they normally would not if the video was paused. By auto-playing the video, consumers see the motion as they scroll through the feed…potentially stopping to watch the whole video. This will be huge for communicators/marketers/digital strategist.
This only works when you upload video directly to Facebook…hence another reason they are trying to encourage individuals to use Facebook as a video distribution channel. This will not work with any video links posted from outlets like YouTube, Vimeo, Vine…etc.
With the competition between Instagram, Vine, and YouTube trying to leverage people with their video distribution capabilities…Facebook recognizes they are the ones how hold the key to the mass audience. So…why not jump into the game.
“If Facebook can make auto-play video feel like a natural part of the feed, it could unlock a new level of proficiency in consuming the world.
Auto-play could give us quick windows into our friends lives that are almost as easy to skim as photos but much more evocative. News outlets could serve up footage from major events happening around the world or recent sports highlights. Imagine watching an epic interception returned for a touchdown silently filling you feed with a remarkable athletic achievement that you might not have clicked and waited to load, but you’re happy to see. And if you want to hear the hits and announcer’s commentary, one click and it’s like you’re watching television.
And that might be the goal of Facebook video. To combine the vividness of TV with the efficiency of reading.”
Here is the one area Facebook really needs to get their act together…offering analytics for video inside their branded pages. If you can combine the opportunity for exploration of rich video via auto play along with an analytics package for communicators/marketers/digital strategist, their will be big play with big brands.
The Final Challenge:
As content marketers…are we pushing too much stuff from our branded pages onto Facebook? We are seeing a shift in demographics, shift in privacy, shift in closeness of this community, and a shift in the Facebook algorithms. Are people wanting less or more rich content? Or do they want rich content from people and brands they trust?
Have you noticed the new five star Facebook rating system? It popped up on one of GHS’s Facebook pages this week (GHS Life Center’s Page).
It looks like Facebook just released this new system and they are testing it out on certain pages. TechCrunch reported this new deal on November 7, 2013:
“Using a star system for place and page ratings isn’t entirely new; Facebook has been collecting star ratings from users on the desktop and via local search for quite a while now, and also seeking star ratings on content and apps via Timeline. What is new is making this information explicitly displayed on the social network itself, in a prominent place on a business or place Page.
This shift, if it moves from the testing phase to general adoption, has a couple major implications for Facebook users. First, for general members, it provides an increased degree of sentiment information surrounding places and content that goes well beyond the simple off/on attribute of the Like. “
For businesses, it’s not clear yet whether displaying this rating will be optional or mandatory, but if Facebook is making a play to compete with the Yelps, Foursquares and Angie’s Lists of the world when it comes to local discovery and service recommendations, it would make sense that they are required by default. That could mean a considerable shift in how businesses use FB, with more emphasis placed on customer service versus just maintaining a presence on the network. Likes are easy, after all, but getting users to fill up that star bar will require a lot more effort and interaction.”
Here is the comment from Facebook:
“We’re extending star ratings on Facebook from mobile to desktop – to make it easier for people to discover great businesses around them. This is beneficial for both businesses and consumers. Star ratings encourage more people to rate a business, making it eligible to appear in News Feed and help others discover a business they didn’t know about previously. For businesses themselves, this also leads to greater brand awareness.
As you may recall, star ratings launched in early 2012 with the introduction of Nearby on mobile. Now we’re bringing the visibility of star ratings to a more prominent spot at the top of Pages’ timeline on desktop and to the preview in News Feed.”
I just read an OPED on Mashable.com today, it’s title: “I’m 13 and None of My Friends Use Facebook”. Yep…things are changing. Let’s look at a few statements in the article that peaked my interest. This article is from the viewpoint of a 13 year old. Her name is Ruby Karp.
“Facebook is losing teens lately, and I think I know why.
Part of the reason Facebook is losing my generation’s attention is the fact that there are other networks now. When I was 10, I wasn’t old enough to have a Facebook. But a magical thing called Instagram had just come out … and our parents had no idea there was an age limit. Rapidly, all my friends got Instagrams.
Now, when we are old enough to get Facebook, we don’t want it. By the time we could have Facebooks, we were already obsessed with Instagram.”
Yes…and there are so many other reasons why teenagers are migrating away. None of their friends are using Facebook. Why? There is no community for this generation.
Ruby continues: “This leads me into my next point: Although I do have a Facebook, none of my other friends do. My friends just thought it was a waste of time. I decided to get a Facebook just to see what it was all about. I soon discovered that Facebook is useless without friends. My only friend is, like, my grandma.”
Her next point peaks my interest. She beings to examine the idea of surveillance. She explains parents spend so much time on Facebook, some of which to monitor what their children are doing. As a communication consultant, I remember having a Facebook training session for a group of hospital marketing/pr staff members. The main reason they attended, to figure out how to watch what their children were doing, with who, and where.
“Let’s say I get invited to a party, and there’s underage drinking. I’m not drinking, but someone pulls out a camera. Even if I’m not carrying a red Solo cup, I could be photographed behind a girl doing shots. Later that week, the dumb-dumb decides to post photos from that “amazing” party. If my mom saw I was at a party with drinking, even if I wasn’t participating, I’d be dead. This isn’t Facebook’s fault, but it happens there.”
So who is the average user on Facebook? Buffer’s blog shares some demographics. “According to the research, it’s a young, 25 year-old woman, living in a big city, with a college degree and a household income of more than $75k a year.”
Above are some interesting statistics from Pew Research Center surrounding the Landscape of Social Media Users. Once again, look at the breakdown of social users and their choice of social media outlets.
With all this said, I think there is a unique separation between the Generation Z (born after 2000) and the Millennials (Generation Y). The Millennials look like they might be last generation of Facebook diehards. But…these diehards, the supporters of this social network that brought them together are slowly departing. They are tired of the “drama” and being overly exposed to the world.
Here is an interesting commentary on YouTube between a group of young professionals. They fall into the Millennial generation.
At :37 seconds into the video, the young man says, “There is always going to be something new.” And this is point of this blog post. We as communicators have to understand that Facebook taught us to adapt from our “traditional” mode of marketing/pr communication. And once again, it is going to teach us that we have to continue to evolve and stay true our goals as practitioners. We are communication practitioners and not technicians.
The moment we put all our eggs into one communication basket, we will be taught once again that this communication paradigm is going to shift once again.
You see this…yes, this is being passed around online. All over Facebook, people are sharing this…FAST. I think this one image has been shared over 187K times, and we are eating it up and sharing it faster than some funny YouTube video. The viral effect of social conspiracy theory has invaded our online space like funny looking martians…and the idea we are being watched by big brother is ALL AROUND.
Guess what…it is not a conspiracy.
Here is another one of my favorites that people are sharing on Facebook:
“PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning – any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other “picture” art posted on my profile.
You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee , agent , student or any personnel under your direction or control.
The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE”
People are copying and pasting this into their status’s faster than their internet connection will allow them. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE.
This is what I know:
1 – Big brother is watching us –> Google Maps
2 – Facebook is FREE
3 – Facebook is monetizing our data
4 – Twitter is FREE
5 – Twitter is monetizing our data
6 – Google is FREE
7 – Google is monetizing our data
8 – Elvis is STILL ALIVE…maybe?
9 – I just used Google to search “Is Elvis still alive?”
OK…back to the important discussion…
Who the heck are we to use something like Facebook, Twitter, Google and sit back an expect them not to monetize it. When we sign-up, we knowingly accept the fact that we are uploading content, pictures, impressions, etc. and it is going to be used/leveraged to generate their income.
Are we that naive or has Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other online media outlets leveraged the fact that we want more for nothing, while they make it harder for us to opt-out of leveraging our information.
How many people do you know upload all their pictures to Facebook as a primary storage device. Specifically they use Facebook as their photo album. Each picture takes space, it takes bandwidth, it has an ecological impact on our local environments…the data centers that support this information. We as consumers pay NOTHING for this…NOTHING. We are getting so much for NOTHING and yet we expect the businesses who spend billions to support these infrastructures not leverage that information to generate revenue.
When is the last time you gave away all your intellectual power and knowledge for free. Yes, you probably donate your time and energy to certain causes, non-profits, churches, initiatives, etc. But could you do that full time…NO. You have to pay the mortgage, gas, electricity, etc. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
The social documentary is alive and well in the social space(s). So let’s look at the statistics of usage in this free market of online spaces:
Twitter (Stats by Mediabistro.com)
By September 2011, we were tweeting 33 billion tweets per day and 11 Twitter accounts are created every second with 1 million accounts added every day. Guess what…$259 million dollars in projected ad revenue for 2012.
Facebook (Stats by SearchEngineJournal.com)
Let’s look at Facebook…250 million photos uploaded daily with 845 million active users that have led to 100 billion connections. Facebook users average 2.7 billions “Likes” each day, 37 million “Pages” with 10 or more “Likes”, and 20 minutes spent per visit. In 2011, Facebook make $1 Billion dollars with Zynga games accounting for 12% of that total revenue.
Google (Information from StatisticBrain.com and Larry Page’s Blog)
How about Google…last year there were 1.7 Trillion searches with an average of 4.7 billions searches per day. YouTube has over 800 million monthly users uploading over an hour of video per second. Chrome has over 200 million. There are over 350 million people using Gmail and over 5,000 new businesses and educational establishments now sign up every day.
Each day we add to the social conspiracy, we use these outlets to share at the expense of them driving their revenue dollars. Our content, our time and their infrastructure, their revenue. We pay for this service with our content, that is our investment. As an investor, we should openly, knowingly understand how they use our data and use these networks appropriately.
The conspiracy theory is true…they are using our time, energy, content, and effort to generate billions. Just quit freaking out about it and know what you are paying for…each second and each time you use these outlets.