Facebook is at it again. The most recent updates have a significant impact on brands that use Facebook as a marketing tool. If you have a Facebook Page for your business, you’ll immediately notice a different layout when accessing on your desktop, including:
- The profile pic no longer overlaps the cover photo, allowing more liberties with your cover photo since you do not have to worry about it being covered up with your profile pic as an inset photo. This update applies to mobile format as well.
- The desktop view is still in three columns, but in a different layout. Page navigation is on the left, posts down the middle, and the about, hours, pages feed link, etc. on the right.
- A new search feature means no more scrolling when trying to find or reference an older post.
Ad Espresso’s article “Top 5 Updates by Facebook That You Need to Know Now” provides detail on the most significant updates that impact businesses. Here are some brief takeaways:
- The audience network will move beyond Facebook
The target audience for ads is no longer limited to just Facebook users. Ads will be shown on third-party websites and apps to anyone who has ever visited Facebook, not just registered users. It’s called “online interest-brand advertising.” The service uses a mix of cookie tracking, its own buttons and plugins, and other data to track and identify non-users on third-party websites. This addition can increase reach and relevancy tremendously. (NOTE: People now have the option to opt out of seeing ads on apps and websites not offered by Facebook.)
- The 20% image text rule is gone
Previously ad images had to be 20% or less text. If the ads did not comply, Facebook automatically denied it. Now text-heavy ads will not automatically be denied if more than 20% text; however, the amount of text can directly impact your ad’s reach. Facebook will rate the ad as: OK, Low text, Medium text, or High text. The higher your text percentage rating, the less your reach may be. This means you could end up paying more for each acquisition.
- Facebook added maps to its Local Awareness Ads
The map add is a cool feature that we will use for a couple of our clients. The enhancement provides insight into how many store visits were driven by your Facebook ad. Another positive benefit of this feature is that it will become easier for your business to “pop up” on users’ maps when they search for local businesses.
- The big News Feed update will lower brands’ reach
A downer for anyone who has a Facebook page for business: the newsfeed algorithms have changed to be more family- and friend-centric. The goal is to show more relevant content and news from friends and family and not overcrowd newsfeeds with articles and op-ed pieces. This means that your posts may not even be seen by those who like your page. It seems that businesses will have to dish out some money for paid ads or find other channels to reach their target audience.
- Facebook Exchange is shutting down
Exchange is a tool for desktop-based ad retargeting and hasn’t been very popular to date. Facebook is focusing more on mobile retargeting since mobile accounts for 82% of Facebook’s overall revenue.
Facebook is still a great tool for promoting businesses whose target audience use the social media channel on a regular basis, although reaching them organically may become harder with these new updates. Your best bet to ensure you’re reaching your audience is going to be Facebook ads. We’ve had great success using it to promote clients’ events, offers, apps, and websites. You are in complete control of your budget, creative, targets, and timeline, which is a huge plus.
If you need help getting started with your Facebook advertising strategy or campaign, give us a shout. We’re happy to help.