The news that Facebook is changing its news feeds to feature more advertising and sponsored stories was not met with much enthusiasm from the online marketers around the world. Very quickly, the social channel that had most people excited about engaging with brands, was starting to become something that people did not like: a paid advertising medium.
Let’s take a look at the developments released by Facebook this year, and how you can use them to improve your online performance, in the social network and beyond.
Facebook Is Leading The Way With Engagement
It’s not all bad news though. While Facebook may not be the leading channel through which to acquire new leads (this award is actually reserved for email marketing, believe it or not), it is currently one of the most effective platforms for engaging with acquired leads. And even better news is that, while volumes might be going down, Facebook engagement is actually increasing.
This excerpt from a Brafton.com article shows that Facebook customer engagement is on the increase:
According to research by Socialbakers, Facebook is actually experiencing the greatest period for engagement in its entire history – and the trend shows no signs of letting up. Even since Q1 2014, there’s been a 30 percent increase in overall Facebook engagement. This is good news for brands looking to reach fans and followers on Facebook, who were worried about the shrinking reach.
Company Pages Have Had A Facelift
Perhaps, as a peace offering the new pages were rolled out to give businesses something to be happy about. The new look Pages layout is quite impressive and seems to have pacified businesses for now.
And while the changes may only have been applicable to the web interface, Facebook has done businesses something of a favor as the new look is vey similar to the layout for personal profiles.
Facebook Has Launched Pages To Watch
Business pages have had another small boost, with the launch of the “pages to watch” feature. If you haven’t used it yet, Hubspot explains how:
Besides the visual changes, Facebook also unveiled a competitive monitoring report called “Pages to Watch” to all admins, located in the ‘Overview’ tab of Page Insights. You add the Pages you’d like to watch to that dashboard, and you can see how their Likes and engagement have changed over the past week.
So how exactly does this benefit you? Well, if you have noticed your competitors are doing a lot better, or have more followers that are engaging better, you can insert them here and keep abreast of what they are doing. In a similar way, if fans see you and want to keep up-to-date with your posts, this is where they can keep a preview, in dashboard format.
Making The Changes Work For You
Moz.com offers the following list; summary of how to use the changes for their benefit, and lose all the negativity:
Focus, focus, focus on engagement. Study, analyze, and understand why your fans click the like button for your content, Avoid overusing strong calls to action, Avoid using memes, Analyze outbound links to determine which source is the most well received, Increase post frequency, Test different times of day for different types of content (e.g. news stories in the morning and product promotions in the evenings).
In addition, it has been noted that posts featuring images and links are better received, and get more activity than plain text updates. If your company still relies on Facebook for customer engagement, these rules will go a long way in keeping your brand in direct line of sight online.