If you’ve spent any amount of time using social media as a marketing tool, you know that the big social networks are constantly making changes. Not only are they continually working to improve their design, functionality and user experience in order to attract more users, they also make frequent updates to their policies and work to increase revenue by expanding their advertising offerings. It’s important for marketers to stay on top of these changes and know how they might affect your campaigns and overall social media strategy.
5 New Facebook Updates that Affect Advertisers
Today we’re looking at five new Facebook updates that could have an effect on the way users interact with your Page, your organic posts and your paid ads.
1. No More Like-Gating
“Like-gating”, also known as fan-gating, is when you require users to like your Page before allowing them to take some action on your Page, such as entering a contest or obtaining a free download. Many contest and sweepstakes apps offer this functionality. In August, Facebook announced that like-gating will no longer be allowed, effective November 5th.
As Jon Loomer explains in his post on what this means for advertisers, Facebook wants to ensure that brands are growing their followers through valuable, relevant content rather than “artificial incentives”. Overall, he predicts that this will improve the user experience for both fans and advertisers, but it is a change you need to be aware of if you have used (or are currently using) like-gating on your Business Page.
2. Making News Feed More Focused on Trending Topics
It’s fun seeing your friends’ comments about a show you’re watching or a current event as it’s happening – now, that will happen more often. Facebook has updated the News Feed so that users will see more timely information from friends and Pages, particularly when posts are related to a currently trending topic. It’s all part of Facebook’s ongoing efforts to provide users with the best, most relevant content in their News Feeds.
Prediction: You’ll start to see more brands experimenting with real-time marketing on Facebook in an attempt to take advantage of this update and appear in more of their fans’ News Feeds. Tip: Don’t try to jump on the bandwagon of a trending topic if it has absolutely nothing to do with your brand or the content you’re posting. That just annoys people and will probably get your posts hidden by fans, if they don’t unfollow you altogether.
3. Ads More Tailored Based on User Feedback
Facebook recently started giving users the option to not only hide ads (and any other posts) from their News Feed, but also to provide feedback on why they hid an ad. Facebook says they will use this info to show individuals ads that are more interesting and relevant to them, and it will also affect how they display the ad to other users – for instance, if enough users describe an ad as “offensive or inappropriate”, Facebook will likely stop showing that ad altogether.
Facebook made a point of saying that “most advertisers will see no change to the delivery of their ads or how their ads perform on Facebook.” Still, a good takeaway for marketers is to continually evaluate your ad campaigns to make sure they are relevant and interesting to your target audience. The last thing you want is for users to start providing negative feedback to Facebook about your ads.
4. Local Awareness Ads
Local awareness ads are a new product that Facebook just rolled out earlier this month to help local businesses target Facebook users who live nearby. The “Local Awareness” option now appears in the list of ad types available in the Ads Manager. You simply enter your business’s address and the size of the region you want to target, and Facebook will target your ad to users who live in the area or who were nearby recently (as evidenced by their phone’s location-tracking, if they have this feature enabled).
This is a great new advertising option for local businesses, who can now promote things like in-store sales or special events to people right in their neighborhood.
5. Ads Manager for Mobile
Over the summer, Facebook updated their mobile app to allow advertisers to manage campaigns via their phones. The app still doesn’t offer access to all of the features you can get on your desktop, but you can now pause campaigns, edit your campaign schedule and budget and view alerts and insights from right within the app. The update is very handy for monitoring your ad campaigns while on-the-go.
Stay Informed, Stay Flexible
Constant change is a fact of life in the social media marketing world, but staying flexible means you can be quick to take advantage of new features while also keeping your brand (or clients’ brands) ahead of the curve.
What other recent social media changes have affected your marketing efforts? How do you stay informed of the latest updates? Share your tips in the comments below or give us a shout on Facebook.