How Facebook 360 Can Benefit B2C Marketing
Facebook 360 is the latest tool by the world’s largest social network for using imagery to enhance user experience on the platform. Many of us have uploaded photographs directly to Facebook straight from our phone cameras. Friends and followers can instantly interact with the uploaded photo by liking it, commenting or sharing. What’s new with the 360 photo is that it offers an all-round tour of a setting in a way that a two dimensional photo cannot. The viewer can truly experience the photograph, instead of just looking at one angle.
What’s New with Facebook 360?
Needless to say, Facebook 360 offers a highly immersive experience. For businesses, implications are many. Companies can offer a highly innovative look into products and services on offer. Journalists, bloggers and other individuals can benefit greatly as well. Viewers can experience a landscape or a place as if they are there, but without moving an inch from the seat. The user can interact with the photo, giving more ownership. Obviously, this makes the browsing experience more active than passive.
Implications for Business
What if you are running a real estate company? You will be able to provide your customers a truly engaging experience that directly translates to real-life engagement. The importance of Facebook 360 has not been lost on many businesses. Already, a number of companies have jumped on the bandwagon to enhance customer experience. Prominent news companies The New York Times and VICE have used Facebook 360 to take their readers to the setting of the story. Readers got an exclusive visual behind-the-scenes look at important news items of the day for a range of topics from the U.S. Supreme Court to the crisis in Afghanistan thanks to Facebook 360.
Virtual tours are of course not new to business. But it is the first time virtual tours are possible on social media. According to Google data, over 67 percent of people prefer to have virtual tours accompany business listings. So, posting a Facebook 360 photo is an affordable way to fulfil this wish. Customers can virtually try what they want to buy before they buy it, leading to higher customer satisfaction ratings.
Some businesses will benefit more than others. Real estate agencies, tour companies, furniture companies or even businesses with large offices to show off can benefit greatly from Facebook 360 videos. Restaurants can show potential diners where they will eat when they are contemplating making a reservation. Hotels can benefit immensely by showing off rooms and attractions on the premises.
A prominent example of a successful Facebook 360 campaign is the London Tate Modern museum art exhibition’s marketing campaign. The staff wanted to promote the attraction to new customers who are not regular art gallery visitors. So, the gallery teamed up with pro cyclist Kriss Kyle. Kyle performed BMX bike tricks in front of the art gallery, and the museum posted a 360 video on Facebook that became an instant hit. It certainly drew attention to the art exhibition.
Future with Facebook 360
While Facebook 360 presents new and exciting opportunities to businesses, the technology still can be improved. Functionality is still rather limited. The tool does not yet accept high-def images. Also, users cannot enhance the experience with animations. It’s possible that Facebook will greatly improve the features of 360 in the future. Until then, businesses will have to continue to render near life-like images with the existing framework.