What is it?
Facebook is a social network in which users can post, share and chat to their friends, family and colleagues. It has become a way of sharing experiences and interests digitally, making your profile a timeline of your life. It is also a powerful tool for business.
How it works
- Find friends
- Write a post
- Upload photos/videos
- Comment, like and share
- Message your friends
Photos and Video
You can add photos to your status, groups or events as well as creating your own albums. Each photo can have its very own caption, geotag and friend tag. On your profile, you have “photos of you”, “your photos” and “albums”. This means when you are tagged in a photo, it will show up on your profile. You also have an automatic album for your cover photos and profile pictures.
Video follows roughly the same guidelines as photos. They do not have a separate video album, but instead, sit with the photos. Note that sharing videos from other platforms such as Vimeo and Youtube can be done with the click of a button, but if you are uploading your own video, you might be questioned on copyright details for music and other credentials.
Groups, Events and Pages
You can create groups and events to discuss, coordinate and plan things. Groups are great for keeping members and/or friends up-to-date with news whereas events are brilliant for organising anything from football matches to birthday parties. Events can be made public or private and you can choose whether guests can invite their own friends or not, whereas groups can be public, closed or secret.
The event features allow you to put in a start and end time, a date, a venue and a description, but more importantly it allows people to RSVP by selecting “going”, “maybe” and “can’t go”. You can create events based on groups or create a fully customisable invite list.
Groups can be as open or closed as you want. Group settings include whether posts from members need to be approved by the admin members or if it is a free for all.
Likes, Comments and Sharing
Facebook has recently introduced an update to the like feature. Now you can express a like, love, laughter, happiness, “wow”, sadness and anger through an emoji rather than just giving the classic “thumbs up”.
Comments and sharing are much like any other social media platform. You can comment, tag someone in a comment and even reply to a specific comment which can create a thread as well as liking a comment. You can also post pictures instead of replying with text. Posts, photos, statuses, videos and events can be shared with friends by either sharing it to your wall, sharing it to a friend’s wall, sharing it to a group or sending it as a message to an individual person.
Private messaging is used to chat with other users. If you are “friends” with them, then you will get a notification in your inbox. You can message someone who is not your “friend”, but it will appear in the “other” inbox and ask for an approval. Messaging is very popular which is why there is a dedicated mobile app for Facebook messaging.
Throughout your messages, you can add emojis, pictures, files and stickers etc. Group chats are another feature.
It is important to note that Facebook has countless other features including Instant Articles, pages and ads.
There are over 1.038 billion daily active users on Facebook. At least 72% of adults visit the platform once a month and individuals spend 20+ minutes on it each day which makes up for an astounding 6% of all digital time. A surprising 45% of users are 65+ year olds leaving the 18 to 29 age range at 34%.
4.75 billion items are shared daily and 56% of users visit multiple times a day. If you’re in ecommerce, Facebook is key; 69% of 16 to 64 year old users shop online.
UK has the greatest population of Facebook users and engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursday and Friday than any other day of the week.
Facebook gives a variety of different ways of producing innovative campaigns. Check out our top 5 below.
Turning the Internet Red Campaign
In the USA, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) launched a marriage equality campaign in support of LGBTQ+ people in the lead up to two landmark equality cases by the US Supreme Court. The digital campaign was a stand for solidarity by asking Facebook users to change their profile picture to HRC’s red equality symbol.
The result: Within 24 hours HRC’s equality symbol had had 189,177 shares, 95,725 likes, appeared over 18million times in newsfeeds and Facebook recorded a 120% increase in profile picture updates across the globe. HRC’s Facebook follower count jumped by 200,000 in just two days and 86% of visitors to the website were new. Most importantly, the support shown in the 6 months lead up to the Supreme Court’s decision may have had a huge impact on the outcome; two historic pro-equality rulings making the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
The Like Machine Campaign
Promotional sampling is an old technique that Pepsi decided to renovate. Along with TBWA Belgium they created The Like Machine. Introduced at a Beyoncé concert in Antwerp, this vending machine would only accept a Facebook like in order to get a can of Pepsi. Users did not have to spend one penny to enjoy a refreshing drink. Check out the video to see how it worked.
The result: After the first time it was introduced, it created a fun way for users to engage with the brand –both digitally and physically – instead the minimal interaction of handing out free drinks. Moreover, they then had a chance to increase their followers, retain them and engage with them from that point on. It achieved coverage on over 300 national and international blogs including Mashables and The Huffington Post. Another bonus was the cost. It costs the average brand 65 cents to hand out a sample by a promo girl and $3 to recruit a Facebook fan. Pepsi managed to do this essentially for free. A drink for a like, completely cost free.
Thanks a Million! Campaign
When Cadbury’s was approaching their 1 millionth like on Facebook, they found a way to thank their fans; they built one massive chocolate thumbs up. The 2 day interactive campaign saw a team build a chocolate thumbs up with 1 million bars of Cadbury’s chocolate. Whilst the stream was going live, Facebook users sent support messages to them, asked them to do things (like wheelbarrow) and could add their on chuck to the pile. Moreover, Denise, the Cadbury’s super fan, was invited to put the last chocolate chunk on top of the pile which was a cause for celebration.
The result: It succeeded in getting over 350,000 fans talking about Cadbury’s and added another 40,000 new followers over the 48 hour campaign. They succeeded 84 million in reach and obtained coverage on digital media such as Digital Buzz and The Telegraph.
Drunk History Premiere Campaign
For Drunk History’s first season, they created a Facebook campaign to promote the new series. They went about this in two ways. First off, they noticed how many people posted drunk pictures of themselves on Facebook. They encouraged users to use one of their promotional images of their favourite drinks and post it as their profile picture. The other approach was taking advantage of Facebook’s timeline. They found important dates, edited some photos and posted them in the right point in time on Facebook’s timeline, dating back to 1492. They also posted graphics to remember national milestones which they called “This Day in #DrunkHistory” to keep fans involved during the season.
The result: The humour of uncovering historical events through “drunk text” style messages and clips started an online buzz about the show. It made the shows premiere a success through its innovative and familiar approach.
My Nat Geo Covershot Campaign
National Geographic has always captured the imagination of wanderlust travellers and photographers alike. The covershot campaign gets users to upload a picture on the Facebook app and guides you through the steps to design a cover for National Geographic. Users are then encouraged to share it on Facebook. Why do it? The top 2 winners won tickets to the Northeast of India and the top 8 winners would get a free annual subscription to National Geographic Traveller India magazine.
The result: Focussing on a photography community has its perks. Every photographer’s dream is to be published in Nat Geo and the campaign provides gratification to a relevant community. Also, the campaign was integrated with television. The winners would be announced on TV which guaranteed an increased viewership.
To round it all up, here are the highlights of this month’s Social Media Toolbox.
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