With Facebook set to introduce an overhaul of the services and applications on offer to its users, including the like function being devalued, engagement figures are now a greater indication of performance than ever, according to social media, SEO and online PR agency Punch Communications.
With liking a page no longer a necessity before interacting with a brand, the assumption must be that the number of users clicking like buttons will no longer continue to increase at current rates. However, the need to encourage fans to engage with appropriate and interesting content is more vital and opens up more opportunities than ever.
All interactions are now advertised to users’ friends through the real-time Facebook ticker, a new feature introduced last week. Therefore, Punch is recommending brands to put interesting and engaging content at the very fore of their social media strategy to ensure friends of fans, which are essentially new audience members, are tempted to join in with a conversation.
Pete Goold, managing director of Punch Communications, commented: “Brands need to optimise Facebook content to ensure it is stronger than ever so that fans and then, in turn, their friends interact. Well-crafted content has always been a seminal aspect of any social media campaign, but now that fans don’t have to like a brand page to interact there is an increased opportunity to catch the attention of a whole new audience; the like function has effectively become less relevant.
“The prospect of higher levels of engagement, due to the potential interaction with Facebook users that have not liked a brand, means that those figures could be much higher and as such is a KPI that has increased in value.”
Those brand that have highly engaged audiences are likely to benefit more easily from these updates, given that any engagement will be relayed to a user’s Facebook friends. Whilst a single post may help increase visibility in the short term, brands need continuous engagement to maintain visibility for a long period and attracting users to like a page is still important so the process can restart anew with that person’s friends.
Facebook users can expect a host of changes in the coming weeks, from aesthetic changes, where a user’s profile is replaced with a timeline, through to the introduction of new multimedia applications, including Spotify, Netflix and Hulu.
Pete continues: “With the ability to share and interact through Facebook now a much easier process, the priority must be for brands to alter their current strategies to help increase visibility and engagement levels effectively. More brands than ever may enlist the help of specialist social media agencies to effectively manage their change in priority and produce an effective outreach strategy.”
Punch Communications is an integrated PR, Social Media and SEO agency. For more information on how Punch can help develop your brand’s online reputation, please visit www.punchcomms.com or call 01858 411600.
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