Today, there are more than 1 billion Facebook accounts in existence. That’s great news for Facebook, but, for businesses that utilize the platform for advertising and content marketing, it can be daunting. Simply put, with so many businesses on Facebook, it’s hard for one to stand out from the crowd. Fortunately, the number of competitors drops, when it comes to the actual business Pages that an average user sees on their personal News Feed. Nonetheless, your content still needs to be unique enough to grab the user’s attention as they scroll through their Feed.
How can you stay ahead of your competition, in particular, in regard to providing unique content? Say hello to Facebook’s newest feature, 360 photo.
With 360 photo, users can now snap a panoramic image, or Photosphere, on their smart phone (Samsung Galaxy and iOS) and upload it to Facebook, which will automatically recognize the file format and create a 360-degree viewing experience for anyone that sees the photo on their News Feed. The feature performs seamlessly on mobile and desktop devices, with the exception of a few differences in user experience.
On a desktop or laptop, users can view the 360 experience by clicking their mouse and dragging it through the image. On mobile devices, users can simply tap on any image with the 360 globe watermark to activate 360 viewing capabilities. Mobile users can then move the image around either by dragging it with their finger or by moving their phone.
Several influencers and brands have started using 360 photo recently because they recognize the value of staying ahead of the game. For example (and this should come as no surprise), one of the first influencers to post a 360 photo on Facebook was Mark Zuckerberg. He posted a panoramic photo from the top of the One World Trade Center in New York City to showcase how the feature can transport users to places they’ve never been before. The photo received more than 850,000 reactions, 58,000 comments and 250,000 shares. Talk about engagement!
Clearly, when Mark Zuckerberg posts about something on his Facebook, his engagements are going to be sky high. How might smaller companies with a smaller number of followers fare? Facebook 360 photo can help their content perform well too!
For instance, PixelDo’s CEO Pranshu Dubey, who has about 1,000 followers on Facebook and an average reaction rate of about 100-400 reactions per post, posted two breathtaking images of Mumbai using the feature. His engagement skyrocketed to over 1,000 reactions on his first post and 6,000 reactions on his second post, demonstrating that you don’t need to have a famous name to get post engagement—you only need to have compelling content that utilizes Facebook’s newest features, including 360 photo!
Whether you have a huge following like Mark Zuckerberg or a smaller following like Pranshu Dubey, Facebook 360 photo can work wonders for your Page. By using this feature, you can transport users to a place they wouldn’t normally be able to visit (literally or metaphorically), which is something unique in itself. You’re putting users at the center of the excitement. A normal photo just doesn’t have the same effect.
Furthermore, this concept extends beyond the physical. (A 360 photo of a city skyline is beautiful, but most people would have a hard time capturing a similar shot.) In terms of content, there are other ways to capture and post engaging photos that users will find interesting and unique.For example, users love getting behind-the-scenes looks at their favorite companies or businesses. Since peeking behind the scene is something unique that doesn’t happen every day, users often feel compelled to engage with the content to see what’s going on. Whether your Page focuses on a certain service or product, your main goal should be to put users at the center of a unique experience that is created by your brand.
If you manage any Pages that target the coveted millennial user, it’s critical that you keep up with the latest social media developments (such as Facebook’s recent release of Facebook Live, a feature that allows users to upload real-time video content onto their Pages). The more up to date a Page is, the more likely it will be for social media-savvy users to see it as a reliable, relatable and authentic source. This is perhaps the main reason that using Facebook 360 photo is so important: Not only does it give users a unique experience, but it also illustrates that you’re keeping your content current. Therefore, if you haven’t done so already, start uploading those 360 photos to your business Page—until, of course, Facebook releases yet another new feature.