Hi, missed me? Just when you thought we’ve run out of stuff to say…BAM! We’re back with the latest on the undisputed king of social media – obviously, we are talking about Facebook. This time around, we’re going to take a look at the most recent updates that are super helpful for businesses and marketers that you probably didn’t know about.
If your brand delivers a product or service, you’ll only get to launch it once. That’s reason enough for you to try and get the best results for your efforts. This is not only crucial to maximize your profits, but also to make a lasting impression on your target audience, and of course, ensure that your message is spread far and wide. When it comes to reaching out to an audience via social media marketing, Facebook has proven to be the torch bearer, inspiring even the most blasé of businesses to harness Facebook’s power as a business tool for their benefit. Here, we are going to take a quick look at the most recent Facebook updates that can benefit businesses that use Facebook for reaching out to their customers.
#1 — Rarely Boosted Posts Get Retired
Boosting FB posts has proven to be a simple and efficient way to get the maximum amount of exposure for content on Facebook. Whenever something is posted on a Facebook page, a blue button appears at the bottom of the post, indicating that you have the choice to further promote the post to other Facebookers. Otherwise, called “boosting.”
To enable businesses meet their advertising goals and engage their followers more effectively, Facebook has rolled out a new update that refines the type of posts that can be boosted. This time around, the types of content that are rarely boosted or don’t result in much response from the users gets removed to make room for better quality content that’s boost-worthy. The type of content that Facebook is going to remove includes shares of products from retailers, page sharing of a shop before boosting the story, check-ins on the map, note and poll sharing, recommendations on locations, cultural moment shares and comment sharing, profile picture alterations, file uploads and shares, sports events, images and videos uploaded via the Facebook camera, posts relating to an event invitation, video playlists shares, TV show, movie and other forms of programming status shares, political endorsements and the sharing of posts that have already been sponsored. So, if you are using these types of content right now, you should have already updated to a different type.
#2 — New Tools for Content Marketers
Trusted content creators and influencers are what marketers need to get their product to the front of the line for their target audience to see just what you have to offer. To make this process more fluid Facebook has rolled out two new features.
Control Where You Appear
When it comes to branded content tags marketers have had a raw deal, but one half of this new update puts it right. Now, marketers will have the ability to control where the content creators that they’ve partnered with tag you. Branded content insights show marketers key data such as reach, engagement, total spend and CPM to help them determine the effectiveness of posts that creators tagged them in. This offers marketers with better insights than ever before. Moreover, this data can help marketers:
- Understand CPM rates
- Total spend
- The effectiveness of their reach and engagement where you have been tagged
- Users can also view how much time has been spent on any particular post by you and the creator, which comes along with a detailed CPM summary.
Boosting Posts by Other Creators
No longer do you have to post content that other people created, just so you can boost and share it with your followers. This can now be done directly when your partnered creators tick the “Allow business partner to boost post” option that gives you permission to boost the post so that your audience knows exactly who boosted the post.
These two tools alone give you all the information you need when it comes to reaching out to your audience and boosting the posts that matter to you most to increase audience engagement.
#3 — More Control on In-Stream Video Placement
Previously, marketers used to have much control over the video ads that appeared while people were already watching videos on Facebook. All that has changed with the new update, which gives marketers more control over where those ads appear on the screen. What this means for marketers is that they can now use in-stream placements in videos on Facebook or on Audience Network, or both, enabling them to target ads on FB like never before and get more exposure since the publishers who create video content already target specific groups with their videos. Now, marketers can use the new tool to place pre-roll or mid-roll ads in Audience Network for specific websites and apps, making it possible to get a wider reach. Facebook has been pushing the idea of using this specific tool since it estimates that up to 70% of in-stream videos on Facebook and Audience Network get watched from beginning to end.
#4 — Personalized Rounded Page Profile Pics
Facebook calls this a more engaging way to attract your audience, (and they’re probably right). The rounded profile pictures update started rolling out back in August, but has increased in traction now. So, what’s the biggie? Well, for starters, Facebook wants to make its page profiles more well-rounded. The new update can be seen on page Timelines and in Facebook’s News Feed. Even on the user and page profile, you will notice that all of the pictures are now rounded as supposed to squared. That said, the large picture on the page will remain squared. The design update was rolled out after Facebook gathered encouraging results during the testing phase which showed an increase in audience engagement levels. To make sure you are able to engage an even larger audience, you should use bright and lively colors that really jump out from the page and catches the audience’s attention. Go with blue, red or yellow hues. If you’re using images, make sure you crop it as close as you can so it is recognizable.
#5 — Instagram Stories in Testing Phase
Some of you might be familiar with this soon-to-be-released update. Not so long ago, FB had launched its own version of Stories for the desktop PC platform. This allows you to create slideshows by using images and videos which can be shared with friends before it disappears a day after being launched. While users are still getting familiar with that feature, Facebook has been testing a new, more enhanced version that can incorporate Stores from Instagram as well so that you can post Stories from both Facebook and Instagram. If you don’t know, Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012, so the move makes sense. With Instagram’s 250+ user base posting on both platforms, marketers are ensured enhanced brand exposure. At the moment, just a handful of users have been given access to this feature, so marketers need to keep their eyes peeled for this update.
#6 — WhatsApp to Get New Chat Feature
Back in 2014, when Facebook showed interest in buying WhatsApp, many questioned the decision and wondered how Facebook will make money with the newly acquired platform. Well, here you go. Facebook is reportedly testing a new feature for WhatsApp which will allow businesses to talk directly to their customers via WhatsApp. While the update hasn’t been fully rolled out yet, those businesses that have been given permission to use the new feature have given it the green light. Here’s the catch: businesses will have to pay for the service, which is a win-win situation for marketers who will get to show ads to a wider audience, and Facebook, who will get paid for the service.
#7 — AI Frameworks Get a Boost
It’s nice to see two heavyweights play nice sometimes. For the next update, Facebook partnered with Microsoft to launch its new Open Neural Network Exchange format or ONNX. This initiative is meant to make it easier for developers to pick and choose the tools they need for various projects. While there are many frameworks that already exist, which help developers build during a project, the real problem is in transferring that information from one framework to another mid-project. The new update makes this easier to do. By bridging the gap, ONNX makes it easier for developers and engineers to play with different frameworks while working on a project. The good news is frameworks such as PyTorch, Caffe2 and Microsoft’s Cognitive Toolkit already integrate with Facebook’s ONNX to make the whole process easier.
#8 —Ads Manager Gets an Update
This has been a welcome update, courtesy of Facebook. The new update enables marketers to create and manage their ads more effectively on Facebook. This has been achieved by combining the Ads Manager with the Power Editor, and the results are quite fascinating. The new update allows users to create a draft campaign of their ad before adding in other ad sets. With the ability to review the ads, the marketer has more control in the creative process since you no longer need to follow a single workflow. By doing this and also including charts and activity history from the Power Editor, Facebook has turned the Ads Manager into a highly efficient tool for marketers. This also makes it easier for marketers to get all the information they require while designing ads under one roof.
Apart from this, there’s also a “Pay to Play” platform where businesses are encouraged to promote their posts and pay for their ads to get the exposure they need. What this means for the marketer is that the amount of exposure your posts get is not determined on the techniques you use in Ads Manager, but rather on how much you have paid. Since ranking isn’t based on a per post basis, the algorithm looks at all campaigns combined to come up with a rank.
#9 — Dealing with Misleading Content
Recently, Facebook came down hard on 470 fake accounts that were reportedly used to create over 3,000 ads. What makes it worse is that a Russian-based company is said to be behind the fake Facebook accounts, which were used to buy ads during the last US presidential election amounting to $100,000. The social media platform has always been vigilant in weeding out fake accounts, and especially on “cloaking” a tactic that’s used to show Facebook content moderators the content that looks genuine while displaying spam-filled content to users. As mentioned by Rob Leathern, Project Director of Facebook ads, misleading content and fake Facebook IDs will be kicked out with a combination of machine learning and people power. While the markers that Facebook has put into action to find out what’s fake and what’s not have not been revealed, you can bet that the new security update is going to make it harder for spammers and fake Facebook account holders to use the platform.
#10 —Event RSVPs Integrated with Ad-Targeting
Facebook has shown interest in allowing marketers to send targeted ads to RSVP-ers for Facebook events. This kind of event-targeting has never been seen before on any social media platform and will prove to be a significant advantage for marketers and advertisers on Facebook. Using the Custom Audience feature on Facebook, now brands are able to send out targeted campaigns to the list of RSVP-ers by using the RSVP list to create a new Facebook Lookalike audience. With the new feature, businesses can include users who RSVP as “going” and “interested” or include users in both these lists for their targeted ad campaigns. While Facebook events was already been used as an effective way for marketers to promote their brands, the new RSVP ad targeting feature makes it even easier for businesses to reach out to a wider audience, and having a better chance of converting that audience since they have already shown interest in the product or service.
Facebook continues to lead the pack when it comes to social media marketing, so it makes sense to use the platform as a tool to reach out to a wider audience. Making good use of these new Facebook updates will ensure that you get the most ROI while using social media marketing to promote your business.