Love and hate – Facebook and brands

Posted by on Feb 7, 2016 in Media & Advertising

Facebook has more than a billion users and has crawled up the attention ladder, which has benefited them as more resources and money have been allocated to it. In the world of brands and social media, there is a common misconception that social media is free. With that said, Facebooks’ News Feed algorithm changed recently. Doing so meant that Facebook now focuses on providing a news feed that is user friendly, which ultimately makes it harder for brands to reach their target audience, and paying to boost posts was the only way to do so.

What’s in it for brands?

Facebook’s role in the world of big brand advertising is nothing but crucial. The ability to track users from Facebook to check-out was distinctive as TV and other media channels couldn’t do the same. Facebook Insights is able to really hone in to your audience and provide brands with vital information such as; seeing how people engage with ads, impressions, audience demographics, and engagement metrics. The benefit of payment is advantageous as it preys on less experimentation and leads to money being spent more efficiently. However, Facebook also provides brands with A/B tests through split advertising (via Power Editor), which lets advertisers see which audience performs better and which is best for ads.

Additionally the role of Facebook has massively changed for brands as new ways to reach larger audiences have emerged through targeting consumers based on their interest and likes (example: a dating site targets people who are ‘single’). It is almost guaranteed that with 1.28 billion users on Facebook, a good percentage of them would be a brands target audience. This is extended as they also provide brands with the ability to reach their mobile audience in unique, tailor made ways.

Facebook further went on to up its game by bringing in a number of multi platform innovations. For advertisers, they introduced Facebook Canvas, which gives immersive, full screen ad experiences for mobile devices. This ad format uses all the current trends which utilises full screen video and gyroscopic enabled parallax animations.

Facebook Canvas ad which expands to a full screen experience

With the advent of 360 cameras and rising popularity of 360 videos on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook has also enabled brands to further connect with the audience by posting their own 360 videos.

Facebook’s 360 videos where users can tilt and rotate their device to look around within their Newsfeeds

To combat the pure blandness of ‘likes’, Facebook recently launched ‘Reactions’ which allows users to express an array of emotions. This could be argued to be Mark Zuckerburg’s response to the popular demand for a ‘dislike’ button.

The faces of Facebook’s new likes (and dislikes) — Reactions

Facebook advertising is powerful and brands need to be made aware of this. It’s surprising how many businesses don’t use Facebook as an advertising platform. However, this also provides competitors with the opportunity to gain an advantage by engaging with their audience.

Overall, Facebook allows businesses to create brand awareness and increase sales through targeting and different platforms, and this is with the additional benefit of creative flexibility.