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How The Changes To Facebook Impact Marketing & Advertising Agencies

Social Media Managers will require help as well as full integration across all agency disciplines in the near future to foster growth for their clients and keep their Facebook brand pages looking fresh, innovative and engaging.

Whether you work for a marketing agency, an advertising agency or an agency that does both, like we do at The Star Group, the recent changes to Facebook will have an undeniable impact on how you manage Facebook pages for your clients and your agency itself.

Creative Department:

The Facebook Timeline profile layout (while not yet released) will be very similar to the user profiles shown in the f8 Conference. What this means is that the creative department will have a larger canvas (called "Cover Art") on Brand Pages to play with and make a real artistic first impression instead of hacking through the former Facebook Filmstrip.  The creative dimensions for the "Cover Art" photos will be 851 x 315 pixels (11.35 x 4.2 inches).

Here's how one well-known brand's Timeline's profile could look:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Account Executives:

With the increased dimensions of the Facebook Pages "Cover Art", Creative will require higher resolution product and/or location images depending on what best represents the client/brands personality or message.  Social & Creative departments will need as many media and product samples as possible to both have content and the ability to create content (photo albums, vlogs & videos etc) as the new Timeline layout demands more than just clever messaging and links.  Clients should also be prepped for the extra time and money it will take to produce these pages so they have a smooth transition from the current Facebook layout to Timeline.  Clients should be encouraged to start now as they would rather be early then late on these new brand pages. Facebook Timeline’s release will give brands a chance at generating initial "buzz" while their rivals will be left trying to catch up.

Media Buying/Media Planning: App Attack! Spotify & Hulu 

Lifestyle Apps using the Open Graph API are coming in a big way. Some partners include Nike, Foodspotting, Netflix, Rdio, Foodily, Spotify, Metacafe, FundRazr, Eventbrite, Ticketmaster and Airbnb. With new/re-imagined applications and web-services coming soon for Facebook, there will be a plethora of new channels to offer to clients (it's also nice that these channels offer geographic, age and gender targeted ads). With users sharing what they are watching and listening to on Facebook and via what media stream they are listening on (Spotify, Hulu, Netflix etc), these services will boom initially and continue to grow virally as friends see friends using these services and apps (see Spotify link above).

Digital: Open Graph API
While not being a developer, I do understand the broad concept of Open Graph APU and while the Open Graph API may not be applicable for every client you have, it will need to be thought about for different websites and best ways to leverage the huge pool of data you can receive about a visitor via Facebook to offer the visitor the most tailored experience possible. For instance, if you take a brand like Yelp and leverage the Open Graph API you could, in theory, instantly offer “Yelpers” a selection of custom tailored places to eat and events they would want to attend based on their FB likes and recommendations. Imagine if Dudley Do-Right signed on and connected to Yelp and was instantly presented with places to find pommes frites (French fries with gravy and cheese) and local events pertaining to retired Canadian Mounties and badly drawn cartoons.

Social Media:

There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon and the territory is definitely uncharted at this point, which means that social media has a big challenge in front of it.  This is yet to be seen, but I imagine with the new Timeline view and every brand "like" becoming more and more visible, agencies will have to work even harder to create engaging relevant content to convince Facebook users to A) follow your brands & B) keep those users coming back to your page. I think Ciaran Norris said it best "Facebook want's to be the glue that binds the Web together, in the same way that Google was the index that made it usable.” I like that analogy as I believe and hope this is the direction social will be moving in (You know becoming the glue, so to speak). Social media marketers will be looking at things through a different set of glasses; instead of siloing and deciding which social medium to use to reach consumers/potential clients, social media marketers will be coming up with strategies to leverage and integrate new services and bring all digital aspects together (creative, mobile, web and app) to complement each other with the ultimate goal of getting people engaged, enchanted and talking.  This is how we will A) increase brand followers and B) keep them coming back for more!  

Finally, this brings me back to my original reason for writing this e-mail; Social will be relying heavily on all agency departments to help develop, implement and execute these ideas in the upcoming weeks and months.

Image Source: socialmarketing.oneupweb.com