Following this year’s Facebook F8 conference, Sam Bettis, social media campaign manager at bigdog, explains how small business owners could benefit from new features announced by the platform.
The F8 conference that recently took place in California taught us a lot, as always. Mark Zuckerberg talked about what Facebook is rolling out next, there are some interesting updates to the platform that focus on bringing people together, playing games with your friends, video chat, gaming and even dating.
Positive actions following the Cambridge Analytica scandals, Facebook is also trying to claw back user trust and show transparency.
Looking back at the conference, there are three big highlights from the event which brands need to take notice of.
Facebook wants to give power back to the consumer with the introduction of Clear History. This new feature gives the consumer the ability to clear their history tracked by Facebook with the click of one button.
For the consumer this is great – but for brands, this could be a game changer for ad strategies based around web retargeting. Marketers are at risk of losing some of the users they can target based on web visits – which historically has been a bit of a ‘quick win’ in terms of serving prompts and reminders. We cannot be sure of the scale of uptake just yet – but we should be prepared for change.
That said, perhaps in the same way that GDPR can be considered an opportunity disguised as a threat (challenging marketeers to create more compelling calls to action than ever – rather than pre-ticked boxes), could Clear History challenge us to think beyond lazy quick win targeting?
It could challenge brands to focus on customer loyalty built from meaningful conversations and Content You Can’t Ignore. No longer will it be as easy as myopically focussing on sales retargeting and number chasing – instead we will all think more about how we can help and engage the customer.
VR has arrived
VR has been in the early adoption stage for a while now – and Oculus has been a major player here for some time, but it hasn’t really arrived just yet.
Early versions of VR have relied on support from extra technology, such as phones and computers, or have been quite expensive, which has made the technology less accessible for the user. However, the Oculus Go starts at just £199 and is an all-in-one, with a great app store.
As well as being accessible, we can see the Go giving VR more purpose and value to the user – with games you can play with friends, live broadcasts and more to come – it’s time for us to think about how it could help brands and add value to the user journey.
Perhaps we will see more and more virtual stores and show rooms popping up – like the one we created for Mazda with the Oculus Rift. Or, perhaps we can bring experiences and truly interactive content to our audiences through virtual worlds, educating and engaging with them. Think about your biggest customer pain points? How could an immersive experience like this help?
Messenger and AR
Messenger is playing an increasingly bigger role in your customer journey – with 80% of adults using a messenger app every day and 53% saying they are more likely to purchase with a brand they’ve messaged. Tools such as bots can really streamline the customer journey and stickers can add delight moments.
You can expect up to a 90% open rate with a broadcast message, and the content can be designed in a much more snackable way – giving email a run for its money. The AR and messenger integration was an exciting announcement at F8 – which means that now you can really let customers have a proper look at your product before buying it.
Facebook is making user-centric changes with the ambition of driving meaningful connection and useful innovation. It should now be marketers’ move to follow in its footsteps – creating meaningful micro-moments which add real value to customer journeys.
Facebook is giving us an opportunity to create great content in new, creative ways. This is bound to change the Facebook game, what is more – this can now make or break your brand.
Sam Bettis is social media campaign manager at bigdog, a creative agency.
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