Facebook recent update sent shivers down companies and news organizations spines. But rather than panic, this should be thought of as a raised bar for communication, which will lead to a more constructive and meaningful social media landscape for all.

First, a short summary: What the update in essence means is that content from friends and family will be prioritized over posts published by organizations. Posts and content that not drive engagement will therefore have a harder time to survive.

When companies react with fear and anxiety over this, it could possibly reveal a lot regarding the true nature of their current strategies, but also how they really think about it themselves. Since if you already have a presence on Facebook that engages people and drives conversation, you shouldn’t perceive this as doomsday – rather the opposite.

Facebook doesn’t make it harder for business per say. They make it harder for meaningless and spammy content. And this is not by any means a negative development. When the worlds dominating social network now take great strides trying to make its service more meaningful, it’s not far-fetched to think that the next era of social media is just around the corner. This next phase is based on a smarter and more mature digital environment in terms of marketing and advertising.

So, what are the concrete consequences? What will rise in importance if organizations wish to stay relevant?

The influencer hype will probably take a big blow. This is not to say that influencers days are counted, but rather that influencers who actually manages to gather a big following with relevant content will clearly stand out from the crowd. The world of influencers will be revised, and the good ones will remain.

One other thing that will be more important than ever is working with community management. Organizations will now have to pay attention to the isolated customer in order to maintain their communities. For things to be relevant and engaging, conversation and influence is key components which can’t be overlooked. And that’s the sole purpose of community management.

The gist; we ought to embrace this as an opportunity. All of us working with communication on social media must have to think once again regarding what content we put out. Organizations which doesn’t show users respect and neglect their intelligence, humor and time are soon to be old news. We also have a responsibility to connect people with information that gives them value. That’s the whole idea with Facebooks new strategy and updated algorithms.

Welcome back to the new year! We hope that you took the opportunity to relax and reload over the holidays. Now it’s time to get back to it and load the mind with new interesting stories and perspectives. With this post, we pick up were we left off and introduce as well as deliver interesting reads about technology and human behaviour. Enjoy! 

The infrastructure of the web and centralized services is not a static system, it’s frequently changing. To us in the field of communication, this constantly implies new contexts to consider while crafting our strategy and messages. This article looks into the state of SEO and what statistics and numbers over the years reveal about it. It turns out that SEO is by all means a highly relevant concept, but one that requires increasing attention to details. / – Moz

Uplifting news is a rare phenomenon in our times. Our feeds are dominated by reporting on reprehensive behaviour in global politics, the uncovering of structural sexual harassment and one environmental related disaster after the other. But hey, let’s feel better with some perspective. These shocking ads from the book Beyond Belief by Charles Saatchi gives us a crystal-clear indication of how far we’ve actually come, even though it doesn’t always seems like it. / – The Guardian

Remember The Sims? Yes, I mean that virtual advanced doll-house game many of us invested hours after hours in during our younger years. But why would anyone want to revisit the game today? This is a story of a woman who finds great value in managing the lives of her digital companions. Maybe you can too? / – GQ

Apps relying on gamification in order for people to get together is state of the art regarding dating and the digital. This has brought along promise of a improved love life for people not comfortable making contact in a physical, social setting. However, concerns about technology’s hollowing of romance is to a high degree still present. But here’s a story about how two young men paths crossed on the internet in a different way, one were technology led to a wedding. / – The New Yorker

.. and here comes a little bonus. If you’re interested in the psychological aspects of our digital love life, I strongly recommended this short fictional story – a highly debated and analysed piece over the last month that dissects the search for love in a digital landscape. 

We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, with our gifts being some thoughtful reads. So, when you’re kicking back at the sofa, stuffed with all deliciousness offered by the holidays – grab your device and start to scroll. And for the record, that’s exactly what these articles are all about: human behavior, cultural context and technology. Enjoy!

When the majority of the worlds digital activities are centered on a dozen platforms, the inscrutable amounts of data we leave behind provide these services with unprecedented possibilities in terms of marketing. But how does the concept of privacy rank up towards smart, well-intended advertising? What is actually okay, and what is just creepy? / – The New York Times

Most of us have been there, watching the movie we love or laughing over certain scenes in it over and over again on youtube. However when it comes to this phenomenon, the medium or format can by all means differ, with movies being replaced by perhaps books or games. But what is this really? Why do we revisit things we know by heart and endings to? / – The Atlantic

Is the experience of running merely a physical one, or just as much a mental or even spiritual? It’s regardless one of the most primitive tasks a human being can perform, and many of us take pleasure in the solitude and peace that comes with it. But how does smart phones, apps and social media alter our relationship to running? Is it starting to evolve into something completely different? / – The New Yorker 

Social media pretty much follows a standard logic and format all over the globe. We use much the same applications, emoji’s and platforms. But on the receiving end there’s always people that thankfully differ– and with that also the cultural contexts they make sense of the world within. Recently, evidence surfaced which points toward that Russia influenced the outcome of the last US election with highly strategic use of social media. How could this be? Does American culture make its residents more inclined to being subjected for manipulation through social media? / – The New Yorker 

LinkedIn has a vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. With 350 million members, LinkedIn has the members, the jobs, a unique understanding of the skills required to do those jobs, and a publishing platform. Some time ago LinkedIn acquired lynda.com, an online learning company. This was a missing ingredient to follow their mission and create an economic opportunity for members.  They had all the data around the skills required to obtain a role, now they can actually help people obtain those skills themselves.

Together with New York City’s $10 million public-private partnership Tech Talent Pipeline LinkedIn used insights from their economic graph to help deploy it’s resources strategically and grow the group of qualified tech talents.

“Developing the world’s first economic graph, in other words we are going to digitally map the global economy, what does that mean specifically? We are going to have a profile for every member of the global workforce, profile for every company in the world, we are going to have a digital representation of every job, every skill required to obtain those jobs offered through those companies. We are going to have a digital presence for every higher educational organization and university that enables people to obtain those skills, and we want to make it easy for every individual, every company and every university to share their professional relevant knowledge to the extent there are interested in and in doing so, the hope is that we can lift and transform the global economy. It’s not enough to standardize the skills required to obtain a role, it’s important that we train todays workforce in the jobs that are and will be and not the jobs that once were. “ LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner says.

Imagine being a professional seeking a new job, you will be able to instantly know which skills are needed and LinkedIn will be able to suggest relevant online training to obtain the required skills, through Lynda.com, at your pace. Or scroll through Slideshare presentations about topics that interest them most. This means that the person seeking a job will be able to get up to speed in an easy way, or keep their profile and knowledge up to date continually monitoring which skills are needed in his or her field, to be relevant and of interest for future employers.

There will be possibilities for more strategic decisions regarding knowledge sharing and funding from public governmental organizations, to increase a knowledge base in their area and target those who need a specific set of skills to provide for their home market.

This is one way to use ones data, and grow your own business around it and at the same time actually contributing to a global economic growth. In last weeks post I wrote about unbranded content hubs, and the possibilities to gain insights and knowledge, LinkedIns use of data is one way of doing it. As Joe Pulizzi says: “Don’t build your house on rented land”

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Nowness is a global video channel screening the best in culture, it is an unbranded site by LVMH.
Fab Beauty is another example, an online media showcasing beauty professionals is another unbranded site that target only the dedicated within the beauty industry, by L’Oreal.

Why are these brands creating a content hub without branding it?
When most marketers chase return on investment and sales L’Oreal, with a $5.3 billion budget and the world’s third biggest marketer has done just that, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.

“We’ve always said our job is to launch brands and products, but also to promote and endorse the industry of beauty. It’s an industry people relate to, and we are lucky that it’s so inspiring and engaging.” An Verhulst-Santos, president of the L’Oreal professional products division, explained in Ad Age.

According to the article in Ad Age L’Oreal is not looking for sales but to secure engagement, they have other places for products messages.

Nowness is a place to go if you are into fashion and art, Louis Vuitton could be seen as a traditional prestige group, but this keeps it current and fresh, and embedded in a new creative class.” Mr Williams said in Ad Age.

Both brands are offering a creative and relevant destination for their audience, a way to provide great content and learn from that, take insights from their unbranded content hub back home, instead of always selling products. Brands filling the gap in the media landscape and actually developing a new product, a publishing media to learn from and engage in is a smart way to learn.

I believe that we will see more of these kind of initiatives in the future, as well as established brands buying smaller niched publishers. It’s an alternative way to engage with an audience while everyone else is pushing their message.

By Natalia Brynte