We’re about a week removed from the pomp and circumstance that was more commonly known in the tech and marketing arenas as the Facebook Marketing Conference and the world is still in a tizzy. Granted, most of the backlash has subsided and the image above should be viewed tongue in cheek, but there are some interesting and important circumstances that should be taken into consideration after a six-hour event that really didn’t explain things all that clearly.
Contrary to popular belief, the sky is NOT falling.
The scariest part of the conference and the day on the whole, besides the fact that many of the speakers appeared to wear clothing that was actually “Facebook blue,” was the introduction of Timeline for Brands because of two reasons:
- You can no longer make use of default tabs; and
- Your cover picture cannot have calls to action, website addresses or the like.
The popular technique of like-gating was seemingly dead in lieu of ad packages with scalable levels of impressions catering to larger brands and small businesses would be left in the dust because the playing field was not level anymore. While I can understand why people were worried in the beginning, to be clear, it’s just not true.
In the name of putting your mind at ease…
I will preface this paragraph by mentioning that I was someone who truly believed Timeline would make sense for brands before it would for people and here’s why. First of all, Timeline allows greater room for a finer visual representation of your brand on Facebook. Facebook reinforces this by giving you the ability to star or create milestones both of which highlight your visual representation even better on your brand page. Additionally, the Views & Apps section allows you prioritize and feature your most popular or most pressing Facebook Apps for the user to see. Instead of your default tab, now you can pin your most important post, which can (and should) contain your call to action, in the first status position for up to seven days. Lastly, fans can now communicate with the brand directly—and the fan can only initiate the conversation, not the brand.
You may be saying something like, “…but Like-gating was the way I drew Likes to my page!”
To that, I’d respond, “Well allow me to retort.”
Early research numbers have come in and have thus far stated between 10% of the total Page App traffic is a byproduct of like-gating while the remaining 90% comes from published links and ads. In other words, all of that like-gating wasn’t necessarily liked at all.
Something that could even be considered scarier than that in the grand scheme of things is the simple fact that this was done in concert with complaints by many Facebook users. The recurring theme of transitioning into stories truly make sense in this situation.
With all of the talk they did about clear messaging at fMC it greatly sadden me to say that Facebook did not do a great job at this in their presentation. While we know that many eyes are on the looking IPO, the backlash they received could have been remedied by including ways in which small business could benefit from these changes. Change is scary for most and one where you’re talking to Wal-Mart & AMEX while explaining how to get your impressions on as many user pages as possible without mentioning any small companies comes off as exclusionary. Small businesses want to grow—of course they do. However, when it looks like you’re about to illustrate for everybody, including small businesses, how these changes can help and instead of showing the appropriate video, you show shots of people watching the video it looks all types of nuts. But I digress. The moral of the story is: good content in its proper context still wins. Even on Facebook.