Though Facebook has been in more hot water recently than lobsters in a seafood restaurant, there’s no denying that it’s still one of the best platforms for brand marketing and advertising. With the holiday shopping season in full swing, Facebook is launching new features that can help marketers and users share gift ideas with groups, friends and family.
Taking a page from the book of Pinterest, Facebook is letting users create collections that can be shared with others. These collections make a great way to keep track of gift ideas and other content found on Facebook that fits a theme. Now, that collections can be shared, they make a great way for people to share gift ideas and more with select audiences.
As Facebook explained in a December 4th blog post announcing the feature, “With today’s launch, you can now share a collection so friends can view the content you’ve gathered and add new posts. For example, if you create a collection of products – a holiday wish list of sorts – you can share it with a group of hand-selected family members on Facebook to give them ideas of what gifts you’d love to receive for the holidays.”
The collection feature itself was launched last year. It allowed users to save, easily organize and find posts from a friend or Page they follow. It’s not just limited to posts, users can also add an ad, a Watch video, or Marketplace listing to their collections. According to Facebook, millions of people use the feature each day to create collections like “Living Room Remodel”, “Outfit Inspiration” and “Fitness Favorites.” Adding the ability to share these collections is a logical progression for this feature.
Though this is a feature for users to share collections with a hand-selected group of friends and family (i.e no way to share collection to a mass audience), there is still potential for marketers to use collections to their advantage. Marketers can still encourage people to add certain items to their collections to help spread the word about a brand or product. For example, a retailer who sells a safe or educational toy can encourage users in a Facebook Group to add the product to their collections for toy gift ideas.
Speaking of Facebook Groups, marketers now have more options for things to share with their Facebook Group. Now that Facebook Stories are available globally, all of the marketers who use Facebook Groups to engage with their audiences will be able to use the Stories content format to promote more interaction between Group members. To that end, it’s been reported that Facebook is now adding emojis reactions so that members can respond to content like they do to other kinds of online content. Adding emojis may seem like a small thing, but for certain demographics, these tiny graphics have a huge impact.
Though it happened in October, it’s worth noting that Facebook added several features to help marketing managers get the most from Facebook Groups without wasting too much time dealing with spam or malicious content. For example, Group admins have the ability to block or mute a member from contributing to a Story. They can set it so that a Group manager has to approve members before they add content to a Story. The have the ability to delete any Story photos or videos not related to the Group. Plus, an Admin-only setting that allows only Group Admins the ability to post and contribute to Group Stories.
Between the introduction of sharable collections and the recent updates to Facebook Groups, there are lot of ways that marketers can use the final weeks of the holiday season to experiment with new Facebook marketing strategies.
For more recent news about changes to Facebook, read this article about the latest update to the “Today In” feature, which has now expanded to over 400 cities.