Ben Wise on Branding

Watching the world through the lens of the brand

Facebook Making a Comeback for Brands…Sort Of

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A few months ago, Facebook separated your stream into the ‘Top News’ and ‘Most Recent’. Essentially, Facebook created an algorithm to try to show you only the most relevant items. For some users this was a big improvement, but for brands this has been detrimental.

The beauty of social media to brands is the ability to quickly spread your brand name through existing social networks. If one of my friends became a fan of something on Facebook, that would appear in my news stream giving me to option of doing the same. This is how some brands rapidly grew the size of their Facebook pages.

Unfortunately, these updates rarely get chosen by Facebook to be included in your Top News feed, instead being relegated to the Most Recent section which few people look at. Without the visibility of other users’ brand preference, brands are finding it much harder to spread across Facebook.

A Comeback

Facebook’s recent announcement of their Social Graph across the web does a decent job of addressing this problem. Now whatever site I am looking at, they can show me which of my friends ‘like’ them and give me the option of ‘liking’ them without having to leave the webpage. This will reduce the friction faced by users, helping brands reach more potential fans.

Facebook Still Falls Short

Unfortunately, even with more exposure, Facebook does not address the ability for a brand to spread through a social network. So brands will grow, but they will be much less likely to go ‘viral’.

You can argue that this doesn’t matter for Facebook’s 400+million users and that is probably true. But those users aren’t paying to use Facebook. For the company to grow, they need to provide more value to brands that are going to be paying their bills for the foreseeable future.

A good first step in making up lost ground, but Facebook still has some way to go in providing brands more value.

What do you think? Does Facebook provide enough value and growth potential for brands?

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Written by benwisebranding

April 28, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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