Facebook’s Changes Means Digital Agencies Should Thrive

Thursday the bomb was dropped at f8 that Facebook is going to be ditching the Like in favor of user actions and passive updates, meaning that when you engage with apps and have the “Add to Timeline” feature enabled it will automatically update your Timeline with what you’re doing (for an example of this, check out the Washington Post Social app). It’s mildly reminiscent of the auto-checkin app for Foursquare, and of course the “please rob me” site that followed, however this latest change is not only a strong push for brands to do more on Facebook than create pithy status updates to get noticed, but should be a huge wake up call for the marketing industry as to where the budgets will be going.

Of course Facebook still wants your advertising dollars – that part of the equation will never change. But in addition to the ad spend what they really want is for companies to create useful apps that connect with consumers lives. This means going beyond passively clicking on a Like button for a status update or brand and creating something that provides value.

It’s a notion that a lot of brands entrenched in old school communications (“People will really care about this advertisement/press release/status update!”) are going to struggle mightily with. This new move ┬átakes the brainstorming process of looking at what’s already worked within an industry, reinventing the wheel and launching it and completely smashes it. Will brands still need to generate good content? Absolutely. But the firms they’re working with aren’t designed — nor are they staffed — to deliver interesting, sharable content.

As someone counseling senior leaders, I can already see traditional PR firms roles being minimized in social media while digital firms have their responsibility grow because, quite frankly, they have the developers and understand metrics and how the technology works. Sure, the communications professional can draft the language, but the clickthrough rates, time spent on a site and conversions are not terms, let alone digital marketing concepts, that PR firms have incorporated into their daily routines or vernacular. It’s why the Huffington Post succeeded while other sites die – they know what makes people click and study the hell out of their site traffic.

It’s an app, app, app, app world, folks, and as a CEO recently told me: “I’d rather put my money into digital marketing and social media because quite honestly press releases and stunts won’t help me sell cases.”

2 Comments. Leave new

Facebook’s Changes Means Digital Agencies Should Thrive « David Binkowski
September 24, 2011 11:08 am

[…] post originally appeared on the Large Media blog. Today, 11:08 am No Comments Short […]


David- great POV on how marketers need to adapt, the entire marketing world has been put on notice with these changes. Iterations to the space will continue ( Google + won’t be far behind) and the focus for success on Facebook et al moves towards better engagement. That’s really what the best should be doing all the time: improving the experience for the fans.
Everyone at f8 was a “Fan”, there wasn’t the disappointment that the user community has been expressing to change, that’s for sure. The day had the feel of a rock concert with Facebook employees approachable and excited. Now marketers, advertisers, game, app and mobile developers will try to ride the new look and feel to deliver an experience for the user- and sharing is the key, frictionless sharing, to use the buzz word of the day.
Thanks for the post, you have it right- how can traditional agencies adapt when the pace is this quick? Every digital agency we work with is hiring, tells us that digital is commanding more of the spend and traditional agencies are not positioned in this space. Hope to see more comments.


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