New kids on the block in the Facebook family this month are two products that could make life both easier and more challenging for brands.
First up Facebook’s new immersive mobile ad unit – Facebook Canvas – designed to enable brands to tell richer stories.
Canvas ads will appear in consumers’ news feeds. Once clicked, the ad will result in an “immersive, full-screen experience”. Users can interact with the ad vertically and horizontally. Brands can also include a range of different types of content including video, still images, text and click to purchase or take further action buttons.
This example from BMW invites users to move left and right to view the interior of the 7 series.
Not content with just that, it also claims to load 10x faster than the standard mobile web.
Good news for all of us looking to push creative boundaries and tell richer and deeper stories. So great for brand advertising but also good for response too with the ability to click through to product pages.
With 69% of Facebook ad revenue derived from mobile advertising, and mobile Facebook users up by 25% year on year, this is a much needed piece of product evolution.
Next up it’s time to get even more expressive on Facebook with the launch of their new emojis designed to enable the user to no longer just like a page but also provide a deeper emotional response to the content being posted. It enables the like sentiment to be deepened and expanded on. It is currently only available on the original post, video or content in the thread and not on comments and responses.
But so what for brands? Well there are various implications…..
Firstly, in case any brand wasn’t already geared in this way, Facebook Reactions provides one more reason to ensure that you are creating and posting the very best and most relevant content. There are fewer places to hide.
Secondly, the opportunity is doubtless there to gain a more insightful sense of sentiment surrounding various pieces of content. ‘Wow’s’ or ‘Angry’s’ will provide a new layer of insight into what consumers think of what you are posting and talking about.
Thirdly, while Facebook are currently claiming that organic reach will not be affected by the additional layer of reaction beyond the top level like, this will ultimately change and be instrumental in delivering effective organic reach.
Fourthly, beware the silent majority. Those who have previously not had an opportunity to express any negative or concerned emotions in relation to the posts that you have put out there. Those who previously have chosen not to like as it has not properly represented their views. Well we might just see this set of users raising their heads above the parapets.
And so finally, keep it relevant but also in perspective
All of which harks back to the most important lesson for brands. Make sure your content is relevant, meaningful and quality driven. But let’s keep things in perspective. Don’t go chasing the heart shaped emoji with meaningless fluffy animal pix. It’s not that important and funnily enough it probably won’t give you much benefit.