Facebook & Instagram Icons

Following on from our review of 2019’s updates to Twitter and LinkedIn we delve deeper into recent changes at Facebook and Instagram in our second instalment on the social media updates that matter to your business.

This year has seen Facebook strive for a greater level of transparency and put privacy first amidst recent controversies, whilst Instagram begins to trial some major changes on how engagement is measured.

Here are some of the key updates in more detail:

Facebook

General users might not notice the most recent updates to Facebook but business users should be aware of some of the newer features. Given the latest controversy surrounding the Facebook group, it is easy to understand why the company has introduced a more stringent privacy policy and terms of service that revolve around greater transparency.

What does this mean for your company page?

Page Transparency on all businesses

Scroll down the right-hand side of your company page and you will find ‘page transparency’ This details your page history and also lists Ads you have run in ‘Ad Library’. This is an interesting feature that also enables businesses to research competitor advertising activity.

Change to Ads

With transparency at the heart of these updates, users will also be able to see why they have been served an advert and other details on the ad set and creative.

Laws governing discrimination have meant that certain industries can no longer target by age, gender and race. This includes housing, employment and credit. Facebook have also introduced a more regulated advertising policy around the health industry, reducing any posts that sensationalise or over-exaggerate health benefits.

Facebook have also launched Automated Ads to help small businesses. Designed to be a simplified way to advertise on the platform, Facebook can help to create an advertising campaign based on your objectives and audience behaviour.

A small tweak to the mobile formatting of ads favours a square image creative and reduces primary text to 3 lines to improve user experience. This is worth noting when creating copy for new ads!

Appointments

In another move to help small business, Facebook have introduced a function to help manage and book appointments. This feature can be synced to a personal calendar and other appointment management apps and reminders can be sent to customers via SMS and Messaging.

Organic targeting – Top Fans

Business profiles with over 10K followers are able to serve organic posts to ‘Top Fans’ (followers who are most engaged with your feed). Companies can use this feature to drive engagement by offering exclusive content to their most loyal fans.

Video editing

According to Animoto’s Social Video Forecast Social Video Forecast, 76.5% of marketers and small business owners are getting results with video marketing. Facebook has responded to this growing demand for quality video content by introducing new editing tools for both longer and shorter-form video creative, including auto-cropping, stickers and video trimming.

Instagram

This time last year, we looked at several major changes introduced by Instagram. Whilst we haven’t seen updates on that scale in recent months, there has some big news that has left many marketers leaping for joy!

Scheduling

Parent company Facebook are rolling out an Instagram scheduling function through Facebook Creator Studio. This will allow you to schedule and pre-edit posts, including multiple image posts, video and IGTV content. The studio also gives you your feed analytics in greater detail and on the desktop to help drive future activity.

Some question whether scheduling will adversely affect engagement levels and algorithms, as has been a problem with previous independent scheduling apps. Ultimately, we won’t know until we try! It’s definitely worth experimenting with the Studio and monitoring the results.

No more ‘Likes’!

Instagram is trialling the removal of ‘likes’ in several territories currently. The move is seen by many as a way of tackling the negative mental health issues which have been highlighted by several high-profile personalities, such as Selena Gomez and linked to social media, specifically Instagram. It also addresses the over-reliance on likes to measure engagement levels, encouraging more comments and authentic conversation.

This raises an important question for influencer marketing. Will this be the end of influencers on Instagram? We don’t believe so. Whilst it will be more challenging for newer influencers to build their brand, established influencers will still have their reach, follower and impression stats to add credibility to what they offer brands. The move will surely drive better quality content to engage and achieve genuine interaction with their audiences.

So, there you have it – the principal changes to social media that matter to your business and digital strategy. Further updates will continue to be trialled throughout the coming months as each social media platform evolves its own product offering, brand and strategy. What remains clear however, is that quality content is key across all social media and algorithms will always favour authentically high-engagement levels over volume and bot activity.

Get in touch with our team if you would like to see how to effectively integrate social media into your marketing strategy.