10 May Guest Post: The Latest on Facebook
If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, then you’ve probably noticed that headlines about Facebook are everywhere. From political turmoil to algorithm updates, they’ve kept themselves so busy in 2018 that it can be hard to keep up.
Here are the key things you need to know, all of which may have an effect on how your business uses Facebook as a communication tool.
There’s been a huge amount of discussion surrounding the recent and continuing changes to the Facebook algorithm. While the full impact of this is yet to be known, there are a few things that we can say for sure and they all revolve around one thing: community.
More Friends and Less Brands
You should already be seeing more of your friends’ posts and fewer posts from brands in your newsfeed. Mark Zuckerberg has very publicly stated that he believes that the future of Facebook lies in its ability to foster community. To that end, the new algorithm encourages social interactions between people rather than between people and branded content, unless that content proves to be very engaging. That means that the algorithm will encourage and help spread posts that receive a lot of engagement (comments, shares, and likes – in that order).
With that in mind, marketers must focus on making content that their social community will comment on, share, and like in order to sustain their reach and find value in Facebook.
More Local News
For a couple of years, Facebook was aggressively pushing its ability to supply news content. After the 2016 elections, “fake news” posts, and subsequent revelations about the misuse of social advertising, that has changed.
Instead, Facebook will now be implementing a strategy that highlights its commitment to community and trusted news sources. To achieve that, it will display important local news that impacts users and their communities, as well as posts from established media sources.
Side note: Users can now also alter their personal preferences to show the news sources they prefer.
The vast majority of people on social media platforms use their smartphones to do it and Facebook is no different, with 94 percent of Facebook’s monthly active users accessing the platform through their mobile devices. That’s a 21 percent increase since 2016.
A shift to mobile may not have been Facebook’s intent, but it is the reality. To face that reality, Facebook is focusing its efforts and innovation more specifically on mobile. When creating Facebook content and ads, it’s important to consider how content will appear on mobile devices – think of everything from the amount of text, to images used, to the landing pages the content drives to.
Believe it or not, social messaging eclipsed social media in 2017. The top four social messaging apps now have more users than the top four social media apps. Facebook messenger alone has 1.3 billion monthly active users.
The growth of messenger doesn’t mean that all of your efforts to digitally connect to your customers via Facebook were in vain, but instead it opens up a new opportunity for you and your customers to interact. Let your followers know that they can message your business for an immediate response, if they don’t want to call or email, and look for ways to include messaging as a key tactic in your marketing strategy.
More Ad Money
Over the last few years, organic reach, especially for brands, has plummeted down to the low single digits. In 2014, Buffer found that their posts had an organic reach of six percent, and it is likely that those numbers are even lower now.
Consequently, brands have been pouring money into Facebook advertising to boost their reach. There are now over six million advertisers on Facebook.
While this may make Facebook advertising look like a crowded arena that should be avoided, that assumption is incorrect. Despite the huge influx of advertisers and ad money onto the platform, Facebook advertising still has the best ROI out of any other social platform.
One reason for this is the ability to more specifically tailor the audience you advertise to than any other advertising channel. Facebook’s demographic, interest, and behavioral categories allow you to ensure that the people who see your content are the exact people you want to see your content.
Facebook Remains Essential
No matter what you may have read in recent headlines, the fact remains that Facebook is an essential marketing platform for businesses. However, no marketing strategy should remain stagnant. As Facebook evolves, so should your strategy.
If you want to better leverage this powerful tool in the face of these recent changes, we can help you create and implement a comprehensive plan to reach your target audience with the right message. Contact us today to learn more.