By Ameet Chandanara
When it was announced that Facebook would be making yet another change to their newsfeed, the reaction was mixed. Why another change, we have only just got used to the last one? Would it be just another way to over monetise and lose users? Of course, there is always going to a backlash against changes like these because every time Facebook change something, they are changing a part of our personal worlds online.
Well, Facebook has surprised many by introducing a platform that focuses on this new multi device life we lead. They have aligned the user interfaces across platforms – why should we not receive the same interface and user experience on our mobile devices that we would on desktops? There is also more emphasis on rich media, like photos, videos and music.
But what does all this mean in terms of business? Well, more page real estate for posts with big images and videos plays into the hands of what advertising brands want. Cue sighs from users who resent the fact that their newsfeeds may have been clogged with ads in the past.
The fundamental issue here that brands need to understand is that Facebook is like a supercharged global version of a local community hall where people gather to chat, share experiences and interests. As soon as you try to monetise something like this, you are in danger of losing its perceived purpose and consequently the users.
Using the community hall analogy, if Facebook is to flourish then it needs to educate brands that want to advertise there that it is not about one way messaging as in traditional methods, it is about them helping and supporting the communities within Facebook so that it is beneficial to them. Think of it as PizzaExpress supplying the food and drink at the community hall while demonstrating how to make the most perfect pizza dough, and apply the concept to online communities, where brands can offer interesting and relevant content that people enjoy reading and sharing.
Pushing the traditional advertising model of buying space and placing static content in it just doesn’t work anymore in our social media driven world. Of course, brands want to advertise where their audiences are but they need to understand why their audiences are using that platform in the first place.
Facebook needs to continue to evolve to allow brands to find new ways to engage with communities without aggressively overselling. Content led communities, such as WeLoveBaking which we created with Tate & Lyle Sugars, are great examples of providing consumers with a place to discuss topics close to their hearts, and these softer approaches are what is needed to truly bond people with brands.
So changes don’t always need to greeted with furore, Facebook just need to make the changes that their users will appreciate and benefit from.
Find out more about a recent Maynard Malone campaign here: http://www.maynardmalone.com/lyles-save-our-pancakes
About the author
Ameet Chandarana is Managing Director at Maynard Malone. Ameet has worked at creative agencies for the past 18 years. With over 14 years of digital experience, Ameet has worked with a broad range of clients, helping to marry digital and offline activities, as well as general delivery of digital activity across the client’s base.
With a genuine interest in the drinks business, Ameet’s has worked with a number of whisky brands, across both global and local markets and through all manner of media channels from press and outdoor through to direct mail and digital communications.
Specifically he has worked on Jameson, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, Bushmills, Black Bush and Diageo’s Classic Malts Selection, covering disciplines ranging from classical brand advertising through to experiential, sales promotion and engagement based digital activity. In addition to this, he has also worked on on-trade promotions for Foster’s lager on a Pan-European level, advertising for Stolichnaya vodka and also digital strategy, creative and digital implementation for Shepherd Neame and its brands such as Spitfire.
About Maynard Malone
We’ve been around for a while now and have been working with Ben & Jerry’s for over 13 years. We continue to help them grow their brand and launch their new flavours across Europe by delivering ideas that both engage and grow their digital footprint across 20 different markets and multiple digital touch points.
For PizzaExpress we designed and built their website with user experience planning at the heart. We continue to work with them to deliver footfall driving campaigns and user centric performance optimisation to meet the ever challenging business needs of this sector.
With Tate and Lyle Sugars we work across all their digital needs. From delivering a digital strategy and vision for the future, through to ideas and implementation in all their digital channels including keeping their We Love Baking Facebook community highly engaged.
If you are after a list of things we do, we cover all aspects of digital marketing from strategy and user experience planning through to creative ideas and implementation across all areas of the digital landscape including web, mobile, social, email…