How brand managers can use Facebook’s new app to tell stories

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Facebook has released an app update relating to photo sharing.

The update, announced Oct. 27, is intended to make photo sharing from mobile devices a simpler, more straightforward process, and the app has potential for brand managers looking to engage users through storytelling.

Rumors began to swirl in mid-September that Facebook might be developing a new photo application. As it turns out, the “Moments” project was a photo-friendly update to the social site’s mobile app.

The new app features enable users to organize and post batches of up to 30 photos from a smartphone onto Facebook without any hassle. Through the app, a preview of the photos is available along with a simple drag-and-drop method of arranging and rearranging photos in viewing order. Users can also add individual locations, descriptions, and captions.

A preview function displays a collage view of the photos, along with the additions made by each user. This is different from the previous method of posting on Facebook, which allowed the addition of up to 100 photos—which is still available—with little control over individual captions or the order of the photos.

Also new is the way these photos will be stored. Instead of creating albums, viewable under the “albums” tab of any individual user’s photo profile feature, these “stories” will be stored in a “your photos” tab. Photo sharing has officially reached real-time status.

The brand’s announcement claims this new method of posting photos allows for potent storytelling. Rather than the online storage of hundreds—or thousands—of photos and albums, it’s meant to increase engagement.

In a nutshell, the new app enables users to post photos in real time, instead of taking and storing photos until there’s time to create a new album. It allows for in-the-moment sharing and interaction, instead of the dated process of chronicling past events.

What the update means for PR and corporate Spotlighting

How often have you wondered whether there was a better way to generate buzz at an event? What about ways to engage your followers in real time? It’s all about branded storytelling, made more accessible than ever by the updated Facebook app.

What could the app add to your social communications efforts? Three of its prominent benefits are listed below:

1. The ability to generate buzz in real time

It’s likely—especially if you do PR for a brick-and-mortar business—that you host or attend events. Though you can post updates or tweet statuses about what’s happening, that’s where your ability to keep potential attendees informed and excited ends.

With the new photo features of the app, you can post photos as your events are occurring. Tag other attendees, and share what’s happening as it happens. A great presentation happening in one room? An opportunity to win big somewhere else? The possibilities are endless. Share what’s happening in real time without complications.

2. A way to increase your storytelling efforts

Brand storytelling is a distinctive marketing strategy that augments standard content or social PR with emotional appeal. Think about the conversations you’ve shared with friends over the years; many of those conversations probably involved stories. As humans, we’re hardwired to connect with stories.

Your brand is no different. When you can take an otherwise static marketing initiative—posting a written story or sharing an experience—and bring it to life through real-time photos and conversations, you’re increasing your ability to connect deeply with your target audience members. The update makes it possible.

[RELATED: Give your stories a fighting chance with distracted audiences. Learn from the pros at our PR and Digital Content Summit.]

3. A boost in your visibility on the network

Some months back, Facebook made changes to its newsfeed display algorithm. Suddenly, brand managers had trouble keeping their brands in front of their followers, and many posts stopped displaying entirely. As views declined, many brand managers began to wonder about how to stay afloat on the network.

One method that began to increase visibility included posting photos. Brand managers who regularly posted high-quality images saw an increase in the number of followers viewing their posts. With Facebook’s update, sharing photos is now even easier. Based on this, there’s no reason not to use the app for brand purposes.

Take the time to update your Facebook app for iOS and Android today. From there, look for ways to enhance your standard online communications and PR initiatives. The results might surprise you. 

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