A picture is worth a thousand words, right? What about a Facebook picture?
How much do you think a Facebook user’s photo that a brand is tagged in is worth? While a quantifiable value is not currently measurable, positive photos that fan pages are tagged in are valuable to the brand as they provide a strong word-of-mouth recommendation (without the words, of course).
Brands will see themselves and their products tagged in more and more photos on their Facebook fan page now since Facebook announced last week that users have the ability to tag fan pages in their photos on Facebook in the same way they can tag their friends. This new functionality creates even more of a deeper connection between the user and the brand. It makes the brand more of a friend than just a brand.
If your brand’s fan page allows for it, users can already upload photos. This new feature provides an easier, one-click to tag opportunity for Facebook users. Currently only fan pages within the Brands and Products or People fan page categories can be tagged in photos, but expect this functionality to be expanded over time. The opportunities and risks for brands and user-generated photos were always there, but are now amplified due to the easier tagging process.
Brands should be excited about this new opportunity. As a result, brand fan pages will see more user generated content from their fans. In turn, expect organic Facebook photos to also be used more in brands marketing materials and print advertisements. If the photos and descriptions associated with the tagged photos are positive then a brand letting the photo tab on the fan page become more of a story book for fans when they view the images. This is ideal as the tagged photos help take control away from the brand and puts more power into the hands of fans.
Brand and user authenticity also becomes more prominent. Brands will be able to easily identify their prominent users on Facebook. They then have the ability to take that relationship either offline or amplify it on Facebook by writing on their Facebook wall (if they have a public profile). Photos of people utilizing a product prove who a brand’s true users are as opposed to simple affirmation messages.
While user generated content is key, there are also risks associated for brands with this new feature. More photos will be posted to brand fan pages, but they won’t only be positive photos.
Fan pages run the risk of having negative photos of their product or business posted and should be prepared (like they should be already) in the event this occurs. For example, if you run a doorman service and there are photos posted on your fan page of one of your doorman sleeping on the job, be prepared to respond if necessary to your most loyal brand ambassadors on Facebook.
There will undoubtedly be an increase in spam photos as a result of this change. Page administrators should always make sure they are monitoring their photos section and remove any photos that violate terms of service or are not properly tagged. These photos won’t appear directly on the wall, just under the photos tab, which means a robust monitoring system (via human or computer) is necessary to make sure not only are the photos appropriate, but photo descriptions as well.
Don’t want the hassle of worrying about what photos are being tagged on your fan page? If you are a page administrator, you can switch the tagged photos setting to off under the brands fan page settings. If you’re a small or medium sized brand on Facebook, removing the functionality isn’t recommended as it could show a lack of trust between the brand and fan. You could miss out on a wealth of user-generated content. On the other hand, if you’re receiving hundreds of tagged photos that are spam, don’t hesitate to change this setting.