What Facebook Is Doing Is Evolving; Critical Thinking For Every Brand

June 20, 2017 By Lori Lewis

While it’s no secret Facebook has a strong emphasis on video and Facebook Live, what’s interesting is what they are revealing to their media and publishing partners.

Ad Age recently spoke with an agency that confidently shared Facebook’s new video plan.

Facebook is basically going to build a video hub and break video into three categories:

There will be “on the go,” “lean forward,” and “lean back” video.

“On the go” videos will be what we see when we’re on Facebook for a short amount of time – maybe waiting in lines, etc…

“Lean forward” videos will serve for those with a longer wait – like at the airport.

And “lean back” videos are what Facebook (and Twitter & Snapchat) are heavily investing in right now; long form, original content. Content we would consume perhaps at home – similar to TV.

This is Facebook’s new focus.

And while it’s a great way to compartmentalize video – what’s really going on here is that Facebook is working to move beyond being a platform where people share memes and cat videos.

They are ever-evolving; getting in the content creation space to meet both the audience and advertisers needs; ensuring their platforms remain appealing.

So how can we evolve and drive social video that develops value for the audience and our advertisers?

Consider breaking up our video strategy into these three parts, and offer these different video styles and length to advertising partners that make sense.

  • “On The Go” – short form video


recently used the “on the go” mentality to show the audience what it felt like to be at their annual “PIQNIQ” music fest.

Make a list of events you have coming up in studio or outside of the station that could be cut up into bite sized pieces.

The goal of “on the go” video is to pay attention to the start.

Facebook says auto-play video ads in News Feed average about 6 seconds of view time. Videos that aren’t ads average 16.7 seconds a view.

  • “Lean Forward” – video with a bit longer viewing time

Often KLOS/Los Angeles will take interviews, like this example below, where Steve Jones of Jonesy’s Jukebox is talking with members of Foo Fighters. KLOS will showcase the more impactful moments people are likelier to share in front of their audience.

“Lean forward” videos would be more like interviews, celebrity/artist Q&A’s, artist rehearsal/performances, sports team practices, behind the scene content that people crave.

“Lean Back” – Long form, original content

Consider creating after show/before show type content for Facebook Live. It’s not really being done in radio. Like an actual show.

Take a night and a trending topic and be part of their conversation.

The key is to be real, not polished or produced, and consistent.

Focusing on a video strategy like this is just one way to ensure everything we’re doing is keeping the audience and advertising partners interested.

All Facebook is doing is evolving.

It’s critical we do the same.

One of the best quotes I ever heard came from a Taco Bell exec a couple of years ago at a conference:

“If you’re doing your job the same way you were a year ago, you’re already behind.”

Always be evolving.

Lori Lewis is Vice President, Social Media at Cumulus | Westwood One.

You can email her anytime at lori.lewis@cumulus.com.