2013 saw some big changes in the internet marketing industry, particularly in social media. A lot of the major platforms took large steps to enhance monetization, particularly Facebook, and visual marketing has seen quite a boost. Want to know what Facebook marketing trends to expect in 2014 and how to best take advantage of them? Here are some of the most important.
Spamming Your Fans’ Facebook Feeds Won’t Cut It
If you’ve been wondering why your Facebook page’s reach has been dropping steadily for quite some time now, you’re not the only one. According to Mashable:
Since Facebook tweaked the News Feed algorithm in early December, brand posts have been appearing less often. Brands noted it and Facebook admitted it.
Don’t Just Spam. Be Useful.
It’s not like we haven’t been expecting this! With more brands competing to appear on users’ feeds, it’s only natural for organic reach to drop. So if you want to minimize the impact of Facebook’s news feed algorithm tweaks, you need to refocus your strategy. Social Media Examiner recommends:
* Become more useful in the news feed. This starts with listening to the storytellers within your fan base, and publishing content that is 100% about making them look useful and interesting to their Facebook friends.
* Wisely integrate other marketing channels like email, other social media and events to encourage current customers to share branded content. After all, Facebook is essentially word-of-mouth marketing that begins with real fans telling their friends!
* Finally, start that blog you’ve been talking about. In the end, Facebook is about driving traffic to your website so that they buy, join your email list or make a donation. Publishing useful content on a blog is one of the best ways to achieve this across all social media channels.
Of Course, You’ll Still Want to Pay to Play
Those are great ways to ensure you still have great organic reach, but it’s no secret that Facebook has been implementing these changes to its algorithm to get us to buy advertising. Mashable says:
…a sales deck from Facebook acquired by AdAge highlights Facebook’s recommendations that the lack of unpaid appearances of brand pages on the News Feed – known as organic reach – could be offset by increasing ad buys.
The bad news is that organic reach will continue to decline. The worse news is you’ll want to advertise on Facebook if you don’t want to get left behind. The good news is that Facebook advertising is actually quite affordable. The better news is that some of the ad formats are quite similar to Twitter’s Promoted Posts in that they look just like your typical news feed post so users don’t get turned off the way they usually do when they encounter an ad.
A More Video-Friendly Facebook
If 2013’s redesign was meant to better highlight images, 2014 will see a news feed filled with videos. Whether they’re autoplaying video ads or just your typical post with an embedded video, there will just be more of them, and users will love it. However, what will really shine are micro-videos. Forbes says:
With the emergence of micro video apps like Twitter’s Vine and now Instagram’s video sharing feature, we’re seeing even more movement toward real-time video sharing. And not just any videos; with Instagram allowing 3-15 seconds per video, and Vine allowing precisely 6 seconds, users are even more likely to create and share videos from their smartphones.
Many companies are already embracing the use of micro videos because they are quick and easy to produce and are pretty effective at telling a story.