With the June 2016 changes to the Facebook News Feed, businesses should take this time to reevaluate their marketing plan. Recent announcements make it clear that the latest Facebook updates will make it even harder for businesses to connect to consumers without buying advertising.
Below are some of the recent Facebook Business and site-wide changes, and how they will affect small and medium businesses.
1. News feed changes mean less exposure
Facebook intends to prioritize news from friends and family over content provided by favorite brands. Even native advertising is expected to slow, so businesses that have used feeds to gain more exposure will have far fewer hits.
2. Instant articles may become less useful
While larger publishers remain committed to using Facebook Instant Articles for new content, changes to the News Feed mean that smaller businesses are skeptical it will still work for them. Businesses should expect to evaluate whether giving content to Facebook makes financial sense, despite substantial growth from Instant Articles.
3. Video Live opens to smaller businesses
Facebook is investing in their Facebook Video Live service and has opened it up to all users this year. They’re also committing to making Live videos easier to find. Marketers have the ability to create live video events for followers and get real-time feedback from audiences.
4. Pic Frames could lead to brand support opportunities
Facebook is allowing users to change their profile pics to a logo and may support business creating their own branded pics through their Page. Convincing users to change their profile pics in response to a company’s event could lead to greater exposure for their Page.
5. FB Messenger improved for business use
Messenger now allows businesses to personalize greetings and instant replies to people visiting their Facebook page. Facebook’s page inbox also displays the name and location of the person using Messenger, which could improve customer service responses and marketing data collection.
6. On page Shop & Service purchase functions now live
Businesses can now sell their services or products directly on Facebook without directing consumers to a different site. This could increase the possibility of an impulse-buy conversion, especially on the mobile site, but driving traffic to complete a purchase on Facebook further locks businesses into Facebook’s ecosystem.
Plus, businesses that sell services can’t directly sell to the consumers on Facebook; potential customers can only contact the business for more information.
With 1.65 billion users, Facebook still offers an unparalleled social media audience. However, as Facebook trims brand reach across the platform, industry watchers believe the social media site will force marketers to buy more advertising to reach an audience. Therefore, advertisers should prepare to spend more per cost of engagement and rigorously evaluate their time and capital expenditures each quarter before investing too much into Facebook.