Facebook is investing heavily in video. Wired reports that the social media giant doubled daily video views from 4 to 8 billion after tweaking an algorithm last November. The result was that videos were more prominent in feeds and the clicks followed.
Now Facebook plans to let users post videos as comments to posts. According to VentureBeat, tests are being conducted that in selected areas at the moment. A Facebook spokesman is reported as saying the move will “give people different tools to share fun, expressive content with their friends on Facebook”.
Facebook’s move raises two important issues for content marketers, both B2B and B2C. Firstly, what role should you allow User Generated Content (UGC) to play in your plans; and secondly, should video now form part of those UGC plans?
UGC and your brand
First came Web 2.0 in which the ability to create content was passed over to the general web browsing public. New channels were opened up and blogs, forums and comments proliferated. But this new comment was restricted to certain areas, and that generally did not mean brands’ sites.
Then came the rise of social media and the genie was out of the bottle. It was now all about engagement on a personal level, especially for B2C. Twitter and Facebook gave individuals a way to talk to brands, but also to talk about them. Attempts to silence customers rarely succeeded. Some brands withdrew from the social arena, others adopted fixed smiles, thick skin. The clever ones addressed the heart of the problems they were experiencing and used social to tell the world about it.
Things have moved more slowly in the B2B space and users have generally been more moderate in the content they create. And their opportunities to contribute to the conversation are limited.
Company blogs rarely give an opportunity to comment. White papers are static documents that don’t benefit from insight and updates from those who read them.
The significant exception to the rule is LinkedIn where comments are a key metric of reader engagement. The objective is to start a conversation and place your business at the heart of an on-trend topic. The content your audience is generating is benefiting your brand.
At least that’s the plan. Get it wrong and plans for engagement can blow up in your face. Inaccurate data, misinformation and schoolboy errors will be picked up and reputations can quickly be damaged. That’s why the mantra of high editorial standards is so one that is so key to all of us at Content Cloud.
As a whole, people are reserved in their comments within the B2B community. But that can be a problem in itself. If a B2C brand makes a misstep, their social listening tools will let them know within minutes. Sometimes a vociferous audience can be a good thing!
With Facebook leading the way, video commentary seems a sure thing in mainstream social markets. But will it catch on for B2B social, and should it be something that content marketers should encourage?
The answer has to be a resounding ‘yes’. It may be hard to imagination now, but are behaviours and attitudes around video will change very rapidly. Technology will assist this, as will our out-of-work behaviours – and don’t forget the rise of digital natives into positions of corporate power.
Don’t panic! There’s no imminent need or demand for B2B video commentary, but the wise content marketer will realise that UGC is important if it meets an audience need, and that video will soon be a part of the mix.