I've intentionally held off on writing about f8 for a while. I knew there would be every tech blog talking about it, throwing in their two cents on the subject without any real differentiating opinions. The announcements made at f8 will change not only how the end-user will interact, engage and share their online activities but also how brands will have to shift their marketing strategies on building community inside the platform. Timeline, the new and improved Open Graph with customizable action items along with the GraphRank algorithm will have a major impact on how brands interact with consumers. At Engauge, we sat and watched the f8 conference in our CEL area waiting to see what would come out. A significant portion of our client work involves Facebook to some degree, so it was obviously important for us to consume the new information and then debrief as a group on how the changes would affect our client work.
Digital Marketers Need to Be Ready to Jump
There are huge pros and cons when developing and building communities on a free open platform like Facebook, Twitter or (insert social network here). You can reach a lot of people very effectively and engage them with your brand like never before.
The con? As a marketer, your at the mercy of the platform. Last week, Facebook essentially told marketers how they're going to engage their fans from here on out.
Facebook wants to make a huge change. You have to be ready to adapt and learn how to transition your brand/clients through that shift whether you want to or not. Any client I work with needs to know that I'm thinking two steps ahead and am ready to help make solid recommendations for their next moves in their Facebook marketing efforts.
The same held true when social networks first came out. Brands had to be able to shift their business to where people hung out. Many were hesitant and the ones who waiting the longest to adapt to that change suffered. The agile brands and companies that could turn on a dime thrived.
f8 was a good wake-up call to all of us who get comfortable in marketing. It's not a field you can afford to get comfortable in. Whether it's Facebook, Google Plus or any other platform that consumers flock to, you have to stay a few steps ahead of your audience before they get bored and go elsewhere. If you're a consultant or agency, the same holds true for your clients. They won't stick around as a client if they see their competition vaulting forward in the space without them.
Facebook made large changes that made every online marketer pay attention. Something new could be next and make just as big of a ripple. Are you ready to make fast changes in time?