Every time you log into Facebook, you’re greeted by a Simple, Straightforward, Human voice that provides notifications, guidance and all of the value words in your Newsfeed:
On Instagram, the voice delivers unobtrusive teachings and notifications (i.e. the tiny notification hearts to let you know how loved you truly are) that are highly visual, and equally as simple and straightforward.
The leading strategists of both teams recently visited USC Annenberg to share the vision behind the voices. If you want to expertly design a message for your audience, follow their Unambiguous Advice:
Facebook Content Strategists ask a bunch of questions and answer them:
WHO is the audience?
WHY are you delivering the message?
WHAT is the point you want to relay?
WHERE will they see it?
WHEN (in the UX flow) will it appear to them?
WHICH container will the message live in (banner, button, caption, ad copy, etc.)?
HOW will you convey your message (what tone do you plan to employ)?
2. Facebook Content Design
Plot the user journey. Project how they will feel/what they will think at each step:
RE: Accepting a Facebook Invite: (Jill is invited to Jerry’s party. She gets a notification. This may make her nervous, excited, happy. She has to RSVP *Interested*. She feels flaky, guilty, apprehensive. The event reminder rolls around. She feels like a bad friend.)
Use a four-quadrant approach. Successful messages will lie at the intersection of two of the following quadrants:
GENERIC: Provide general information about your topic
SOCIAL: Remind your audience of potential friend/family benefits
CONTEXTUAL: Make your topic personally relevant to your audience
UTILITY: Provide factual information about your topic
Employ focus groups, surveys, and A/B testing to determine the readability and effectiveness of your content. Instagram strategists often conduct usability sessions in which random users of Instagram are pulled to try out prototypes of products behind a two-way mirror while engineers and designers take note of their reactions and feedback.
Keep in Mind
Content Isn’t a Band-Aid
Not all UX problems can be fixed by bringing the content strategy team in at the back-end. Strategists should be invited during early stages of conception and planning as it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to roll out and perfect messages for each product. The earlier a strategist is brought in, the better the UX will be.
Content Isn’t One Size Fits All
From Business Checkout to Safety Check to Taking A Break From Someone, each product requires a specialized approach with different tests. To combat this, the team employs a four-quadrant approach, producing a variety of messaging along the Generic, Social, Contextual and Utility categories.
Facebook Content Isn’t Private
At Facebook, ideas are liberally shared before launch. With over 1 billion active users, even a 1% user test could have 20 million eyes on it within seconds. Therefore, the team believes that anything to go live should be seen by at least one other employee.
It’s mind-blowing to think that a team that didn’t exist over 5 years ago at Facebook (engineers wore many different hats but quickly doffed this one) is currently 30 members strong and growing. We all have the power to make the world more open and connected, and it starts with strategically planned content.
*The methodologies cited above are derived from a presentation created by Facebook’s Erin Scime, delivered by Facebook’s Brynne and Lauren – Content Strategy.
Five reasons Facebook is a key component of your social strategy
- Dynamic Posting Options
Facebook continues to develop new ways to improve the way you share content. Whether you choose the traditional status update, a photo post or one of the newest features, such as Facebook Live, you have the ability to customize your follower’s experience so that your content is tailored to each specific campaign you run.
- It Gives Your Content New Life
Across the board, social media helps breathe new life into otherwise stale, and long-ago created and since forgotten content. Facebook, in particular, allows you to refresh your content in a way that’s visually appealing for a long-form blog post.
With 1.23 billion active users every day on Facebook, the potential to reach your target audience is high. It’s not about reaching the masses, remember. Facebook offers valuable features to zero in on specific audience groups. Looking to engage educators? Search for groups where teachers collaborate. Trying to reach technology gurus? Tag well-known technology influencers and go-to publications in your next post. Of course, sponsored content is always an option too.
- The Personal Touch
Giving your followers a window into your brand’s personality is two-fold on Facebook. Include locations and emotions that help your follower understand the ethos behind what you’re sharing. Don’t hesitate to use these functions; they’re relatable.
Facebook also makes it easy to connect in real-time with your followers. See someone shared your article? Return the favor by “loving” their update. Did a fan post a positive review on your page? Send a customized reply thanking them for their loyalty. Show your fans you’re listening. It goes a long way toward building trust and reputation.
- Easy Interface:
When it comes to being user-friendly, it doesn’t get simpler than Facebook. With every new feature, the team at Facebook has found a way to maintain the simplicity of sharing content with your followers. With steps as easy as click upload, then share, you have no excuses to get your content out in the world!
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