Yesterday morning Charlotte Goss and NAT-orious B.I.G. (aka Natalie Clarke) braved the arctic winds to attend PANI’s Business Breakfast on Facebook Business Fundamentals. Brioche bacon baps in hand, they settled in for the presentation by Facebook Client Services Manager, Ham Serunjogi and got some great advice on how brands can continue to thrive on social media platforms over the next few years. Here are six key things that Charlotte took away from the discussion:
1. We consume A LOT of content, and we consume it VERY fast
The average human processes a thought in 30 milliseconds and can read up to 500 words a minute. Consumers are constantly seeing and processing brand messages, so you need to make sure yours sticks in their minds. This provides brands with a great opportunity to experiment with their content, making it snappy and bold to stand out on audiences’ newsfeeds.
2. Mobile is making its mark
Ok, so we already know mobile content is a key part of any brand’s communication strategy, but the extent of its influence upon audiences continues to grow, allowing it to quickly become the most important communication channel. Mobile devices are the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we check before bed. This intimacy with our devices now means that people consume and recall content on their mobiles much faster than through other mediums, and that the average time spent consuming mobile content is now equal to that spent watching live TV.
3. By 2020, Facebook expects that 75% of all content on mobile devices will be video
This is huge. Brands will have to allocate a lot more time and resource toward quality content creation to make an impression on their target audience. In order to stay relevant, brands must embrace this change in consumer expectations; static content is not enough. It was noted that video content can be produced in a range of formats, particularly in the form of Stories and live videos. Providing various access points within each social platform will increase brand relevancy with the audience and allow for higher chances of views and engagement. Facebook also believes that the creation of stories on social platforms will surpass the sharing of vital communications in the years to come; it will be entirely about creating a story to follow, and a conversation to be had.
4. Quality of attention on mobile is greater
As we know, consumers are heavily attached to their devices. As a result, quality of audience attention is greater on mobile. It is suggested that 23% of brand awareness and 35% of purchase intent among audiences is driven by impressions over a short period of time. This suggests that social content has a significant impact upon consumer behaviour: enough to make it a core element of your strategy, not just an add-on.
5. Content viewing behaviour is rapidly shifting, and so is video production
It is estimated that people spend five times longer engaging with video content than static images. Facebook therefore notes a significant shift in how videos should be produced to most effectively reach target audiences. Some key changes include creating shorter videos where possible; creating content that captures attention even with the sound off, and building video content within a vertical or portrait frame to best suit social platforms. Consumers don’t want to have to tilt their phones sideways every time they want to watch a video, so brand content should be optimised for the audience’s convenience.
6. Content which is highly shareable amongst friends is intrinsic to continued social engagement for businesses
With the recent changes to the Facebook algorithm, Facebook will be prioritising meaningful interactions between family and friends over brand pages. Organic brand content could therefore suffer and receive less traction and engagement. One way around this is to focus on getting individual profile shares by creating content that friends will want to share with each other. “Friend content” is the future of social media as people turn away from #ad and sponsored posts, and so shareability will become a big factor in the success of a brand’s organic content. You can read more about how to beat the recent Facebook algorithm changes HERE.
In short, businesses must prepare to get personal with their audience faster, build content that will get attention quickly, and embrace the changes in how content is consumed to tailor brand communications.
Big changes lie ahead for brands on social media platforms, but working with social media companies such as Facebook to gain insights into how the audience interacts with and consumes content could be the difference in your brand growing and changing alongside its target audience, and getting lost in the algorithm abyss.