2018 Facebook Update:  What to Expect and How to Stay Ahead

If you are unfamiliar with the new Facebook update or Explore Feed, take a look at our PowerPoint update we send to all of our clients.  We include a full brief on the the update, as well as specifc best practices going forward.  

#1 Optimize Ads for Different Placements

While advertisements will still appear in people’s News Feeds, Facebook has more placement options for ads than ever before.  Sidebar ads and messenger ads being some examples of frequent places for promotional content to display to users.  By optimizing various versions of ads to fit specific placements, advertisers can prioritize themselves in these spots by being the most engaging ad for that placement.  This will ensure that ads appear in as many locations in the platform as possible.  Placements for various ads can be adjusted on the ad set level in Ads Manager, with different ad sets within a single campaign being created for different placements.  As always, optimize for mobile before desktop.

#2 Encourage People to Communicate with Your Brand Directly

Facebook ads can be customized with all sorts of specific calls to action, whether it is directing people to a landing page on your website, encouraging them to like your page, or even to fill out specific forms with lead information.  Choosing the correct ad objective to match the intent of its message is essential to an ad’s success.  A new ad objective that Facebook released late last year is the ability to have people message your page directly in Facebook Messenger via a call-to-action button in your ad.  This feature will be increasingly important as it becomes harder and harder for pages to organically get their brand in front of people.  This type of personalization is also exactly what Facebook is hoping will improve its user experience, and these types of ads will place very well when used correctly.

#3 Encourage Meaningful Engagement

Facebook's intent with this update is to enhance the user experience by facilitating  "more meaningful social interactions."  Posting multiple times a day will not guarantee you exposure anymore.  Instead, Facebook will allow posts that it sees as helpful to this model to linger at the top of the feed for longer.  Focus entirely on curating content that encourages engagement, facilitates discussion, and is relevant to your audience.  Pages that are able to do this effectively will earn more impressions and time at the top of the Explore Feed.    

#4 Think Mobile First

Mobile makes up 88% of Facebook impressions.  With more daily users on the mobile platform than ever before, it is becoming absolutely essential to make sure everything from your website landing page to your ad text displays comfortably on mobile devices.  Content that is mobile oriented will perform better and secure more time at the top of the feed.  It is not uncommon for us here at MAKA to see less than 2% of our ads displaying on desktop, so do not waste your time - craft posts for mobile first. 

#5 Schedule and Target Posts

While targeting posts is nothing new to the paid Facebook world, it will be introduced to organic posting for the first time.  Posts will now not only display to people who follow your brand, but people you target as well.  This also gives brands the powerful ability to be able to portray different Facebook presences to different segments of their audience.  For example, a clothing brand could target their posts in such a way where their page would appear to be centric to men’s fashion and clothing to a male user, and women’s to a female follower.       

#6 Leverage Video Content

If Facebook has been telling us anything, it is that it cares about video.  With the launch of “Facebook Live” and “Facebook Watch” over the past couple years, Facebook has been pushing video more than ever, and that does not slow down with this update.  Video posts garner by far the most engagement for pages, and will make up the majority of content we will see at the top of the Explore Feed..  Businesses who can effectively leverage Facebook Live to interact with their audience will have a leg up.  Download our full PowerPoint on the update to see best practices for video.       

#7 Ask Loyal Fans to Prioritize Your Page

Facebook has had a feature for a while that has, perhaps up until now, been vastly underutilized.  Users can actually customize their News Feeds to an extent by limiting or prioritizing posts from certain pages.  With this new Explore Feed update, businesses could benefit greatly from asking followers to prioritize posts from their page.  This will ensure that these posts end up at the top of people’s feeds who opt in.  Offer time sensitive content such as flash sales, or break the mold of similar-feeling business posts by offering unique types of content.  Click here to learn how to prioritize posts in your feed.