No More Writing on the Wall: The Future of Facebook

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“If I was having a bet, I’d say video, video, video,” said Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s VP for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, when she was asked what Facebook was going to look like in five years.

There has already been a significant decline in text-based posts on the world’s most popular social network; the majority of users are now sharing content – videos and images, primarily – created by other people rather than writing their own status updates.

People are also watching more video. In January, Mark Zuckerberg reported that 500 million people watch video on Facebook each day, for a total of 100 million hours per day. At that time, it was announced that Facebook is creating a dedicated space within the platform for users who just want to log in and watch video; it’s currently in testing, and Facebook offers a revenue-sharing platform very similar to YouTube’s to people and brands who have uploaded popular videos.

Don’t Be Intimidated By Video

Creating video content is easier than ever before. Most smartphones are more than adequate to get started with; if you haven’t played around with your phone’s capabilities, the time to do so is now.

Many small business owners are very intimidated by the idea of creating video content, but you don’t have to be. The top performing videos on Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms are relatively short. Most top out at five minutes or less. While you want the quality to be good, effective video doesn’t have to have the same production values as a Hollywood feature film.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in terms of storytelling: using simple, familiar narratives works well. For example, check out this video from The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest.

The story here is simple – they’re having a sale, and the owners, Jack and Christine, are engaged in a mock battle over what should go on sale and what the discounts should be. It’s to the point, funny, and most importantly of all, communicates effectively even without the sound being on. 85% of Facebook videos are watched in silence – that means you don’t have to stress about your tone of voice or any fancy sound effects.

Our example video promoted an event. Other types of video content to consider are how-to content, such as this cake decorating video from Howcast:

Or try explaining who your ideal customer is, and why your products appeal to them.

Vary the type of story you tell. You don’t want exclusively promotional content; customers want to be entertained and informed by what they find on Facebook. Creating an editorial calendar is a good best practice to help ensure you create a good content mix. Pay attention to your metrics. The videos that are watched and shared most often are a good indicator of what type of content your customers value the most.

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No More Writing on the Wall: The Future of Facebook
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No More Writing on the Wall: The Future of Facebook
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The writing is on the wall for social media marketers: the future of Facebook is all about video. Are you ready?
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