Facebook is certainly going to shine all over the online media due to its recent update of brand pages with timeline. I too wrote a story about this earlier in the day where I have shared my thoughts on some of the cool upgrades that Facebook has done. However upgrade is a demotivating word, it should be a complete rebirth of Facebook brand pages. But then come to think on it, will the timeline feature along with some other changes make up for all the hidden problems that Facebook has yet to improve with the brand pages? Well certainly not! So I have gathered a list of thoughts from industry experts:
1. Community Stats: Facebook insights were not really cool initially but then later on it came out with new insights and now with the recent development in the brand pages, insights have turned more effective. Interestingly Preetham Venkky thinks that enough has not been done with insights and Facebook should work more on community stats. He adds that,“Only showing how many people are talking to a brand is not enough. Facebook needs to show how many are actually active on the page, talking to you on particular content and what is the number of user generated content”.
Yes, these numbers are required and should be visible to all as I believe that brands should be open in sharing real stats with the world if they really believe in the essence of social media. For example, as brands now have the cover page with them so wouldn’t it be smart if the brand shared a small infograph as an image that talks about the numbers over a period of time? I am not sure if brands would be bold enough to do that but I think it will be a social company in the real sense.
2. Easy CRM tools: Social Media Marketing has primarily two usages after building relationships: 1) research and 2) Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Some time back we had read about how Fashion And You had opened up a dedicated tab on Facebook where they were tracking customer problems and trying to give a quick solution. However nothing much has been done from Facebook’s end. Preetham thinks that Facebook should have some mechanism to track CRM. To make it clearer Preetham gave the example of Twitter where fans can directly talk to brands via SMS. Facebook should also incorporate some mechanism like this, believes Preetham.
Social Media for brands could be a great way of resolving customer problems but then you can’t monitor manually. You need tools in place which can track and report each and every conversation.
3. Display of Products & Services: Brands who are on Facebook must be dying to showcase their products and services. In present situation you really can’t showcase your products and services like LinkedIn offers. Preetham also feels that if there could be a mechanism where brands can do this rather than relying on the Facebook apps then it would be cool for brands.
4. Event invite to fans: One of the features of Facebook that could make any gathering viral would be the creation and sharing of a Facebook event. Facebook events really have the powers but Andrea Vahl pointed out that this feature is not available till day for brands. She feels that it is a great service and for her it makes no sense why brands shouldn’t be provided with a service like this.
Facebook events really have the power to spread its arms extensively but I think there should be a limit to that number. Brands don’t take much time to be spam monsters!
5. Permission based emailing to fans: A thought that I had pondered upon was how can I get in touch with my brand page fans. Facebook specifically restricts a brand in doing so as there are positive chances that it will turn up into another spam jungle.
However Advit Sahdev shares a very interesting idea and says that this feature should be only allowed when the fan himself has agreed to or subscribed for it. Not a bad idea and keeping the onus in the hands of the fan is excellent.
6. Interest based posts: A thought that was shared by Advit again and interest based content is where we will eventually head too. Advit thinks that brands should be able to post a message, which is specific to users whose interests, is in books. A thought to contemplate but it would be interesting to see if Facebook thinks of the same.
7. Special post type for fans: Brands have been complaining for a long time now that the content that is shared by them fails to reach their fans. A pain point that is also felt by me when there is less engagement. However reason could be different but Andrea and Advit both have shared the same concern. Advit goes one step further to say that it would be great if content could be generated where a user could connect and get a special offer (voucher code) as an FB message.
Facebook seems to be aware of at least this problem and the recent upgrade of the brand pages has a similar feature. Now you can at least pin one of your content and display it at the top of the page. Along with this, the soon to be introduced sponsored Facebook ads in the timeline would also give brands more visibility.
Also I am sure that in future Facebook will definitely look into the area of driving sense from large data. For fan pages that have a million fans now, monitoring data and online reputation are the key issues. Yes there are third party tools but when Facebook is gradually turning up as the equivalent for Internet then I think this is also one of the areas of importance.
The thoughts shared by the experts are obviously worth considering but having said that Facebook is one of the most amazing platforms ever built online for brands to build communities and nurture them.
Do you have any feature that you think is missing in the Facebook brand pages? If yes, then do share it in our comments.