the engagement and innovation agency
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In early 2012, an Ehrenburg-Bass Institute study found thatonly 1% of Facebook brand fans actually engaged with a
brand’s content. Brands whose Facebook strategies place a
disproportionate emphasis on acquisition rst over engage-ment, have historically been met with lower-than-expected
engagement rates – even as their fanbase grew.
Recognizing a need to make both reach (breadth) and therelationship between marketer and consumer (depth) moreeffective, Facebook has created new ways to generateearned impressions from even passive gestures like reading
an article (via Washington Post) or listening to music (via Spo-
tify). Getting content into not only users’ News Feeds, but
into the Activity Stream feed as well, will be integral to gener-
ate ongoing consumer engagement. Relevance through both
content and utility will be important, but so will new breeds
of Facebook apps.
APPS AND THE GESTURE EXPLOSION
Historically, brands have created one-off, branded, promo-tional apps as ways to engage consumers on Facebook pages. But times are changing. Brands will need to createapps that are less shiny, and more helpful. Apps that with a
one-time granting of access will not only provide added utilityto the consumer, but regular sharing of content and data withFacebook – highlights of which publish not only to user News
and Activity Feeds, but to their Timelines as well. Contentthat travels to all three places stands the greatest chance of
generating signicant consumer engagement (“likes”, shares,
comments, etc.). Promotions are still important, but consis-
tent engagement will be driven by a communication and appstrategy that are both always-on.Brands that unlock the potential of Facebook’s APIs will also
tend to generate the greatest levels of consumer engage-
ment via Facebook.
Facebook’s Timeline for Pages is a reection of how muchimportance Facebook places on engagement. This is madeevident when we take Facebook’s proprietary algorithm,EdgeRank – which determines who sees what on the plat-form – into account. Because it weights engagement as thehighest determining factor, the less engaging the contentis (in terms of “likes”, comments, shares, views, and other
actions) the less likely it will be to reach more people.
Facebook has redesigned its ad products to be built aroundamplifying engaging content to the right people – users’
friends. The silos between page management and Facebook
ad campaign management must be torn down. This will
require much more communication between stakeholders
ENGAGEMENT TO SCALE OR SCALE TO ENGAGEMENT?
(brand managers, page managers, and media buyers), and in
some cases, consolidation. The switch to Timeline also means that old tactics for acquir-
ing “likes” – such as “like-gating” content upon landing on a
brands page – will not work anymore. This places more of an
emphasis on integrated strategic planning across stakehold-ers.
Brands should not solely measure success on Facebook by the number of “likes” they accumulate, but (even more
importantly) by Facebook’s “talking about this” metric, which
is the most accurate measure of a page’s aggregate engage-
Brands must be comfortable with programming neverend-ing real-time stories with consumers. Ironically, Timeline for
Pages allows brands to tell less linear stories, making time a
less limiting factor (further differentiating Facebook from Twit-ter) and more of a piece of metadata that adds relevance and
signicance to content.
Timeline for Pages is yet another example of how consum-ers have more connections than ever before to information,
content, brands, and each other. Brands must nd each and
every way to ensure that as many of the right people shareconnected experiences as possible, so stories can nd theirways to as many people, through as many people as pos-
CONCLUSION: FACEBOOK AND THE ART OF SOCIAL MEDIA STORYTELLING
Engagement across – and through – Facebook will demandthat all aspects work together in ways that are optimized
towards meaningful, valuable, story-advancing engagement.
And as Facebook ads become content and engagementampliers (rather than just a message delivery mechanism),collaborative and real-time storytelling becomes even more
Timeline for Pages enables better storytelling, and this newinteraction environment and ecosystem demands a more
holistic approach. Think about how you can break silos down
across your organization and agencies to take the greatest
advantage of an increasingly more connected consumer.