It is without question that Facebook is a key tool for many small businesses, with over 80m SME businesess currently using the social media network giant, it must be working. But, things are changing.
Throughout 2018 we have seen Facebook hit the news more frequently with concerns over the way they handle their client data in response to the new European GDPR regulation and their announcement on the changes that the network will present updates in your news feed.
Over the last few weeks many of you may have received an email from Facebook advising that they are changing the templates of their business pages on 23/ 24 August, unless you decide to take action and do so first. According to Facebook “this new design will help people more easily connect with your business.”
From what I can see, I think this is going to be a positive change making your page even more professional looking in design. You will be able to choose from a number of different templates, depending upon your business type, enabling you to provide more information clearly about your products and services. For us here at Rimu Marketing it would be the services template. Here is a great article from Facebook advising you how to make the changes to your template in advance of 24 August, should you choose to do so.
It got us thinking though, what other developments are taking place? Facebook continue to develop, build, evolve and enhance their platform, so what else is changing this month with this key social media platform? From our research we wanted to share the top 5 changes taking place:
1. Cross promoting posts from Facebook into Instagram
As a marketers we are big advocates that every media channel works in a different way and so therefore should be treated as such, this is no different across the social media networks. Each network works differently with different audiences, optimum times to post, hashtag usage and the way you write content. With this in mind I am not yet convinced that this upgrade is the best way forward. Although there are the obvious time efficiency of sharing the same content across two networks. For us the jury is out as to whether this is the right way forward. Are we heading to a time where Facebook and Instagram will merge? Although they do currently attract different audiences, only time will tell.
2. Helping Charities
There are two recent changes for charities to help them engage further with their audiences, providing them with the best technology tools out there to support their cause. The first change is giving them better functionality in their “Workplace for Good’ programme and the second is giving people the ability to collect and raise money for your chosent charity, working in a similar way to sites like Just Giving.
3. Tracking your time on Facebook
They are also introducing the function to help track the amount of time you spend on Facbook, this will really help present more accurate user figures to their advertisers, enabling them to clearly define their target audience. On the flip side it will certainly help us as individuals to manage how long we spend and adjust as we feel we need to.
4. Keyword Snoozers
This functionality will help you to block out certain key words in the content of your news feed. This will be particularly relevant around election time and should you not wish to see the results of your favourite football team’s match results in advance of watching the game!
5. Subscription Groups
Facebook are also planning to introduce a new function to give you the chance to charge a small monthly fee to set up groups.
I am sure there are more planned changes for the rest of the year which we will aim to share as we go through. What do you think of the new changes? Do you like your new business page template? I would love to hear your thoughts below!