As many of you know, Facebook hosted its F8 Developer Conference in San Jose, California on April 30th. At the conference Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced a variety of changes to Facebook and Instagram that will be rolling out from now through the summer. Zuckerberg deemed these changes to be some of the biggest ones in five years. These changes will affect your business, especially if you are in a small to medium-sized company.
To understand what actions your marketing team will want to consider in order to market smarter, we must first look at what is changing on Facebook and the platforms they own.
Facebook’s News Feed
Recently, Facebook has begun making changes to the look and feel of its News Feed both on the mobile app and desktop version. One major change is the focus on Facebook Groups, which appears at the top of the feed.
This change illustrates Facebook’s transition to becoming a more privacy-focused platform, something many marketers saw coming as Facebook’s News Feed has been under scrutiny of violating personal privacy laws over the last couple of years.
Zuckerberg also announced new changes to Facebook Messenger that will make it more accessible and easier to use for personal users and brands. New features that will be introduced specifically for brands include:
Creating lead generation templates using Messenger bots
WhatsApp Business: A New Platform for E-Commerce
For e-commerce companies worried about not being able to advertise on the News Feed, it was announced at the conference that WhatsApp Business will be rolling out an e-commerce part of their platform, which will allow brands to share their product catalogs and accept payment within the app.
Instagram to Hide Like Count
Soon you will no longer be able to see the number of likes on a post. You will still be able to see the people that liked your post but the like count won’t be present. This has not rolled out in the United States yet, however, Instagram will slowly test this feature in the coming months.
Instagram hopes people and brands will focus more on producing authentic content instead of focusing on likes. The company also hopes this will also have a more positive impact on personal user’s self-esteem.
New Instagram Story Stickers
Instagram is also working on ways companies can create more engagement within their stories feature. During the F8 conference, Instagram showcased the new Donation sticker that allows users to donate money to nonprofits. This sticker is available for U.S. accounts only at the moment.
Another cool sticker that will be introduced to the Instagram platform is the Chat sticker, which enables you to start a conversation with a person or brand by tapping the sticker. As of right now, there is no ETA on when this Instagram Sticker will be published for use.
Organic Reach Will Continue to Decrease
Over the last couple of years, organic reach has continued to decline for brands as competition increases for audiences attention on Facebook and Instagram.
Why is this occurring? Because Instagram’s algorithm is only showing your followers content from influencers, people and brands that they interact with often. Instagram deem comments and shares to be the highest form of engagement on the platform.
Facebook has a similar set up while also focusing on reactions as a stronger indicator of connection versus a like. Systrom notes “What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30% possible”.
Continue to Engage with Your Followers
At this point you may be thinking to yourself, So should I just stop investing on social media altogether if I can’t rely on organic engagement anymore?
I am here to assure you that you don’t need to take this drastic measure, however, I encourage you to not allocate more of your marketing budget to organic growth on social media.
This is a good time to take stock of your current social media strategy. Notice which posts your followers like engaging with and replicate that content more.
Also, continue to interact with every comment that appears on your posts. This will signal to the algorithm that you care about engaging in a meaningful way with your followers and it will increase your chances of showing up on more of your followers feeds.
Invest More in Facebook Ads to Grow Your Email List
As Facebook continues to change its algorithm the less control brands/companies have when posting on the platform. In order for your company to have more control of reaching people that are more likely to purchase from you as well as building a loyal customer base, it’s essential you begin to develop stronger strategies to increase your email list.
You can grow your email list using paid ads on Facebook. Make sure you are being intentional about how you are growing your email list by knowing exactly what you are advertising and the specific conversion you want to track whether that’s email sign-ups, adds to cart, purchases etc.
Don’t forget to set up your Facebook conversion pixel correctly before running your ad or else you won’t be able to track the conversion. If you are unsure of how to set up the pixel you will need, click here.
Also, understand what your audience’s pain points are and create a complimentary resource or gift that you can give to them in exchange for their email address. Here is a list of possible giveaways you could offer based on your business.
A one-time coupon to be redeemed at your restaurant
A special event invite
Sign up for a birthday gift promotion
Sign up for your loyalty program
A one-time only discount code
A free download for a recipe using your product
A gift with purchase of one of your lower level subscription packages
If you are overwhelmed by these new social media changes, are interested in learning more about creating ads on Facebook or you are looking to implement new strategies to grow your email list, please join me for a complimentary 15-minute consultation where we’ll be able to talk through the right solution for your marketing needs.