What’s ahead for Facebook – this is there 10 year plan

We know Mark Z likes to keep it fresh and keep us guessing on what will be the new focuses for Facebook and the new features have been developed based on demand from us, the people that use it.

At the F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco, Facebook have announced what the next 10 years is going to look like for them. Not surprising to see connectivity, AI and virtual reality predictably getting a big focus and video remains very strong as you would’ve noticed recently if you are looking at the analytics from your direct video posts on your Facebook page. The focus on VR is not surprising given that Facebook acquired Oculus last year.

facebook roadmap3

A few new features you will soon see are:

  • Video profile images
  • Extending the functionality of the Save button, making it similar to the Pocket app
  • Adding a new Rights Manager tool to combat freebooting (people re uploading video and claiming it as their own)
  • Text sharing feature that enables you to share highlighted text

Another change that sounds pretty cool that was mentioned late last year is the introduction of Facebook M. With digital assistants like Siri and Cortana already widely used, Facebook is going to introduce Facebook M which is a Messenger-based digital assistant that is a digital/human hybrid.

I am most excited about the new video profile feature that’ll make it easier to upload video direct from other video tools like Vine & Boomerang.

Love it or hate it, at least Facebook are developing their product to remain relevant to their audience and listen to what their users want (unlike LinkedIn and Twitter).

There’s a social specialist on every corner!!

As a digital strategist and chief of digital experiences I immerse myself in the world of digital every single day. After many years working in all facets of the industry I consider my ‘bullshit radar’ highly tuned.

But lately it seems every second person is a so called ‘social media expert’. No one can claim to know everything in this fast paced ever evolving industry. If they do, then run a mile. As much as I tell my hubby I know everything (and yes I’m perfect) J I know very well I do not and on a professional level I do not pretend to know everything either. No matter what you level of knowledge in any industry you should be constantly learning and updating your skills.  And doing a one day course does not quality you to be an expert. I met a man at a networking last year who worked in a totally unrelated industry but proceeded to tell me he was an expert because he’d helped his mate Bob so he was qualified to help other unsuspecting business owners with no experience whatsoever.  Cowboy alert!

My pet peeve is people proclaiming that if you did ‘x’ you will double your sales, or triple your followers or have leads literally pouring in the door.  I have seen some outrageous claims that gullible and unsuspected business owners fall for. It just makes me angry when dodgy operators with fancy landing pages, fool unsuspecting business owners that believe their outrageous claims.

There are some well respected and very talented digital marketers out there, so follow them on their networks, get to know them virtually, ask questions, interact and talk to industry professionals before engaging someone that claims they can transform your business overnight (because they cannot).

TRUTH
There is no quick fix that can miraculously transform your business overnight – digital or traditional.

Digital is no different to anything else in your business. Like a plant you have to feed it (invest time & resources), trim it back (tweak & make changes) and nurture it (be realistic in your expectations) as it grows stronger and stronger and can finally stand on its own two feet.

Beware of dodgy claims: If it sounds too good to be true it IS.

I met a guy at a networking breakfast last year who when he rudely interrupted a conversation I was having with another person, claimed that we should talk more as his search & video company could have me number 1 on Google within the month. I called Bullshit and did not return his calls.

Implementation and action are key

Fact: If you don’t do the work you won’t make progress! Do you think you are going to lose weight if you eat KFC & Maccas and don’t exercise but because you have some magic pill so the weight will fall off you. Please!!  You can have a strategy but if you don’t put this into action then it is a waste of time and money. And the excuse of not having time, is exactly that. If it is important you will make time, even if it one tactic or task a week, that is progress.

Work with suppliers that have a good wholistic understand of how the pieces fit together and most importantly, what are the best tools and channels for your business. Ask questions and look at their experience. If they are genuine they will have no issue with answering questions, talking about their work, offering insights and giving you genuine testimonials.

Social Media can be your best Customer Service tool – if you use it correctly.

Consumers are so used to being connected and getting information quickly that picking up the phone has become ‘like so 2002’. Yes we are pretty lazy when it comes to wanting and expecting customer service but why shouldn’t we expect it? One of my pet peeves is businesses that have social media pages but do not use them. What is the point? Don’t have a link to your Twitter or Facebook page on your website if you do not want people to look at it or contact you on it. You are not only wasting everyone’s time, you are seriously pissing off your potential customers.

One study by Nielsen revealed that 67 per cent of people have used a business’ social media page in order to request service or deal with an issue. One in three social media users prefer obtaining customer service via social media than by contacting businesses using the telephone. It is NOT hard to provide great customer service on social media.

  1. Have the right mindset – if you think of social as a pain than don’t use it. If you take the right attitude about it then it can be an extremely valuable customer research and service tool that can allow you to really understand your audience.
  2. Train your staff – Active use and understanding of social media can be a challenge for some staff, especially those of an older generation who have not grown up with social media and may not use it in their out-of-work life.  Cross-train your staff on social media usage and etiquette. There is often an overlap between marketing and customer service and it can be helpful to come up with some guidelines for best practice and encourage marketing and customer service staff to work together. This is something that Jetstar and Telstra need to learn!
  3. Respond QUICKLY – people expect faster responses on social media. I see this often with big brands who don’t monitor their social channels over weekends or into the evening and can go days without responding. Massive fail! If you don’t have the resources to manage 3 social channels, don’t promote or use them.
  4. Listen and answer questions – do not give form responses. Nothing I hate more as a consumer than getting some form response which doesn’t answer my question. Hear that Twitter & Linked In!!  Be positive and always provide more information than what is requested – don’t be defensive and remember everyone can see your response so being negative to one person can mean hundreds of people see it and are forming an impressions of your brand based on how you react.
  5. Be genuine – Your prospective customers need to see that you are paying attention, have a genuine interest in solving problems and that you respond promptly. Also understand how to deal with abusive complaints by taking them ‘offline’ to avoid consumers being affected by others issues with you, or to avoid customers who complain having to disclose personal information in a public forum

Think social as a service and see the difference in how your customers react to your brand.

 

Do you need therapy for your social media addiction?

Talk Space is a great company I literally stumbled across while they were doing a pop up near Flatiron Building in New York. They aren’t against social media and in fact many of their employees use it, however they offer a unique service that offers therapy for people who are dependant on Social media to function. No I am not joking! This company exists to serve a real issue, born from our growing dependence on the digital world.

Research has shown that use of social media is associated with negative body image, eating disorders, depression, drives cyber bullying and can negatively impact anxiety levels and relationships (how many people liked my post) J

Talk Space  is tackling the problem head on and offer a 12 week program founded on evidence based treatment practises that address a range of mental health issues that Social media is associated with.

As a big user of social media I think it is great that there is support for people who need it but it is also sad that some people put so much emphasis on their self worth through putting so much value on the number of likes or friends they have. I wonder if these people had low self esteem before using social media?

Talkspace talkspace2

Check them out here: http://get.talkspace.com

How can you use the new Facebook features to increase sales?

You may have heard that Facebook has rolled out 6 new features as they continue to evolve their product offering.  I don’t think all changes will be useful & relevant to all businesses but I wanted to chat about a couple that I think are pretty cool & useful.

Facebook Beacon
The first is the Facebook Beacon for local business – if you haven’t heard of beacon technology by now you have probably been living under a rock.  While is it a bit slow on the uptake here in Australia it has massive scope if used correctly to reach people near your location. Facebook beacon is a device you put in your local business that sends information to people who are on Facebook near you and have Bluetooth turned on.  You can send people a welcome message with a photo, recommendations from their friends who have visited the store, a prompt to check in and more. Best of all it is free and you can request one from Facebook. I am interested to see how local businesses use this and who does it well.

facebook beacon

Send money to friends
The other new feature is the ability to send and receive money between friends which is awesome if you are planning group events. At present it is done via Messenger but only to users in the US. Simply attached your debit card to get started. Very handy if you have an ecommerce store. Likely to work similar to Google Wallet and I’m curious to see what sort of security it will have.

Lead ads
I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to fill in lead forms and details on my phone to those Facebook ads. To make it easier Facebook are testing new lead ads for mobile. If mobile users respond to an ad for something like a newsletter, business information, free report or follow-up call, they can submit their contact information (email address or phone number) with just two taps of a button. I will see how they work before I make judgement on them

So have a play and see what you think. The great thing about this technology it is a cheap to test and an inexpensive to enter a marketplace in order to reach more  customers, convert and stay engaged. No doubt there will be more changes to come soon.