As we’ve all heard Facebook is rolling out major updates such as a revamped Friends List, a subscribe button (a la Google+), and a real-time news ticker. But among the changes that will most affect marketers are Facebook Timeline, the diminishing role of the “Like” button, and more user control.
With Timeline, users are able to create an ongoing story using elements they interact with on Facebook. Companies will want to find a way to be incorporated into users’ Timelines and become a part of their story. The goal will be to connect your brand with their story and become associated with that user. For example, if I’m watching a movie on my Netflix app through Facebook, my friends will know what movie I’m watching and that I’m using Netflix to watch it.
As the “Like” button becomes more irrelevant, marketers are going to have to do more than just getting people to “Like” their brand. Facebook’s new platform will allow users to view and share content without actually clicking “Like”. Marketers will have to focus on quality and not quantity to earn coveted space in news feeds.
Lastly, Facebook is giving its users more control over what they see in their news feed. Here’s Mashable’s take:
One big change is that Facebook has added a control in the top right of each story that users can check to unmark a top story. Facebook will use that information over time to automatically edit the feeds. Since users now have more control over their news feeds, brands with boring or irrelevant updates will have lower visibility. (They will still show up in the Ticker, however.)
Marketers, including local search marketers, will have to be publishers and not just advertisers. Relevance and interaction need to be key parts of their strategy in order for them to stay current and visible. It’s not just a matter of awareness anymore; it’s about the emotional connection people will make with your brand.