News | 20/04/2015

Facebook F8 Conference 2015: What Brands should take from it

Posted by Lawrence Greenlee

Facebook held its annual F8 conference earlier this year making key announcements about what you can expect from the app giant in the near future. And it holds a lot of promise for brands and marketers, offering new and innovative ways to connect with audiences in a more open and efficient way.

You can transform your customer service

Business on Messenger will open up the Facebook messenger app to brands and businesses who can use the platform to directly communicate with their customers. So retailers can send status updates on orders, confirm shipments and perhaps most importantly, respond to customer queries. It gives businesses a more casual platform to tackle grievances head on, in real time and breaks down the wall, the formality of email or telephone exchange. For customers, being able to just go on messenger, and say ‘Hey, my order (#12345) is 5 days late, what’s up?’ is a lot more convenient for the consumer than going on the web page to find out how to contact the right person to deal with a specific issue. For brands, it’s an opportunity to show your human side and connect on a more personal level with your audience.

I’m not talking about having a chinwag about last night’s Corrie but replying to questions with a warm-hearted and genuine approach in a casual setting creates a more positive brand identity. It’s certainly an improvement from an automated email or scripted voicemail message and gives in to increasing demands for transparency and authenticity from companies.

You can target your ads more accurately

You might have already heard about Facebook acquiring video ad tech company LiveRail last year. At the F8 conference, they announced they would be taking LiveRail beyond video and using it for display ads as well. So companies can have video advertisements on Facebook videos like those we see on YouTube at present. What gives Facebook an advantage here is the enormous vat of data it has on its members. It’s now giving over anonymous user data to advertisers so that they can target their ads to the people who will be most interested in their products or service. AND make those ads more relevant and therefore more appealing to that target market.

You can optimise your Business App

As smartphone technology continues to evolve, and more and more people use their phones to buy, bank and do business, brand apps are becoming less of an option for companies and more of an obligation. Facebook is now releasing Facebook Analytics for Apps, which works in the same way as company page analytics. It’s a free tool that that will give businesses access to valuable data, stats and analyses. You can see how many people are using your app, and more importantly what kinds of people are using your app. It allows you to segment your audience, break them down into categories like gender, age, location so that you can develop better target starategies based on your findings. So to use the example Facebook gave because it’s a good one,

You could build a cohort of everyone who installed your app in a specific country, like France, and you might discover that those people ultimately made more purchases, both on mobile and web. Using this insight, you could choose to invest more in mobile app ads in France.

The analytics tool tracks usage across devices, so you can discover where your purchases really come from. For example, most of your sales might come from your website, but it might be mobile ads that led customers to your site in the first place. So having app analytics can help you see where you should be investing your advertising budget.

You can use it to share video content anywhere

Facebook has been growing as a video distribution platform for a while now. But that’s set to explode since a new video player was introduced that means you can plant Facebook videos onto your own site with just a simple line of code. Video content is a great way for brands to connect and engage with their audience, and another platform on which to build their brand identity. For example, a streetwear clothing brand like VANS will embed videos of skateboarding tricks and competitions to reinforce their brand identity as a ‘cool, trendy brand’ immersed in the world of adventure sports.

You can increase App Installs

There was a huge emphasis on app development at the F8 conference this year, and one such development is the introduction of App Invites. This functionality allows app users to tailor invites to their friends in a section especially for invites, rather than on their timeline or newsfeed. Using app invites has seen install rates over 5% according to Facebook.