After Facebook’s latest newsfeed changes, it’s people over pages for brands

Zuckerberg’s recent New Year resolution was to fix Facebook as a platform to help users find relevant content and enable more meaningful interactions. While this bold move received a fair bit of criticism, I believe it’s a step forward for the social media universe. Here’s how and why ‘people, influence & stories’ could be the beacons to being successful in this universe:

1. People then Pages
While official/verified brand pages are a prerequisite that today serve as the best platform to organically host and disseminate content, brands have to realize that their pages too will soon become vestigial in terms of engagement owing to the uprising of ‘people-led experiences’. More on experiences, here in this Airbnb blog and Forbes’ article.

And what is the best way to create and amplify these experiences? With people!

With over 3 million retweets, the Wendy’s #NuggsForCarter viral-sensation is not only a great example of the merits for brands to drive people-led experiences but also, just goes to show the untapped potential.

2. Circles of Influence v/s Influencers
Social media influencers will only continue to grow in their role and relevance. But for smaller goals, why not use smaller circles of influence?Employee engagement, for example, can dramatically be boosted by leveraging ‘influential’ employees over the ascendancy of an organization’s leadership.

Reaping the benefits when applied to larger audiences, Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI)’s campaign for mutual fund awareness became so effective that the contribution of India’s small towns (T15) surged 46% - primarily because their ads leveraged the ‘influence’ of India’s “mango-people” (read: aam-aadmi) with one-another.

3. Stories over Content
However comprehensive or multimedia-rich your content marketing strategy, if it lacks the element of storytelling, it just won’t stick or be effective enough. For this, there is no better example than that of Amul. A brand that intends to overtake Hindustan Unilever by 2018-19, Amul has for decades, excelled in telling stories that matter to and affect people while always wittingly tying it back to their brand. Here’s a list of their best from 2017.

And thus as Facebook rediscovers its roots, there are some brands, businesses & publishers who’ll undoubtedly take a short-term hit. But in due time, they will be able to disrupt their paradigms of paid-v/s-organic digital & social media marketing by cohesively infusing the aforementioned into their marketing-mixes. Try it!

Devaashish S Savant is head of marketing, Davinta Technologies (and) global marcom manager, Altimetrik.

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