2017 was a huge year for Facebook, and not always in a good way. They got a lot of really bad publicity because of foreign countries using Facebook advertising to influence the opinions of Americans. Due to this and other factors, Facebook is planning on making a few changes to the way they do advertisements, along with introducing some new features that could impact how you use the service as a small business in 2018.
Changes to the Newsfeed
At the beginning of the year, companies and brands of all sizes got the fright of their lives when Facebook announced they were going to be making some big changes to their newsfeed algorithm.
They felt that people were spending too much of their time on Facebook being bombarded by sponsored posts and paid ads, which was damaging the overall experience. The plan was to change the focus of the newsfeed so it had a much greater emphasis on the content of friends and family. Cue the end of the world predictions. Now that we have some distance from the announcement, things aren’t as bad as they initially seemed. You simply have to adapt and work within the new system to get the social engagement you desire.
The quality of your ads is more important than ever. Without well-written and interesting ad copy, your Facebook ads just aren’t going to get the engagement that you want. Ignored ads and posts are going to vanish into cyber purgatory while ads with high levels of engagement are going to be appearing more often. Make sure that yours are in the latter category by hiring a virtual assistant who is experienced in Facebook ad copy to write them!
Facebook to Take on YouTube
When you want to connect with folks, you head to Facebook. When you want to be entertained, you want to head to YouTube. However, this could be changing in the near future.
Facebook is expected to make a huge push into the world of digital video in the next year, especially with live video. This will provide you with even more opportunities to connect with customers. Vlogs can allow your customers to feel like they are getting to know you personally. Seeing your face and hearing your voice can go a long way to humanize your company. Releasing a weekly vlog on Facebook (and on YouTube as well, as it isn’t going anywhere) can be a great content marketing strategy. If you have never done a vlog before or have never even thought about writing a script, you can hire a virtual assistant to write your “lines” for you, or simply organize the information you want to present in a bullet point form.
The Battle with Ad Blockers
Ad blockers are the salvation of many web surfers and the bane of businesses both large and small. Great ad blockers can block spammy ads, unwanted popups, and prevent loud autoplay videos, but will also block engaging, interesting, targeted ads. Facebook used to be a safe haven from this, as many ads would simply be in the newsfeed under promoted posts. But newer ad blockers can actually hide these ads from the newsfeed. Thankfully, a minimum of Facebook users have these ad blockers installed and hopefully their use will go down with the upcoming changes to the newsfeed.
Is there any way around these ad blockers? Absolutely. Although paid Facebook ads are still an excellent value for your money, you also need to make sure that you have a great Facebook page and/or group set up for your company that you are posting quality content to on a regular basis. No one likes to see spam in their newsfeed, but they do want to see interesting blog posts, infographics, and offers from companies they like. The key is to create engaging content. If you don’t have the time or resources to create daily Facebook content, hire a virtual assistant to take care of it all for you. Developing your Facebook following will provide you a great cushion against ad blockers and allow you to connect with your clients and fans in an organic way.
Customer Service Through Facebook
Nobody likes being on hold with customer support. It’s annoying, time consuming, the music is usually irritating, and you have to deal with poorly designed telephone trees. It’s no wonder that the preferred method of communicating with companies has switched over to online. Now, you can just fire off a message and forget about it until you hear a notification from the company addressing your issue.
Facebook Messenger will become much more user friendly for customer support over the next year. This can provide you with a huge opportunity to directly connect with your customers, especially if you aren’t big enough to invest in 24/7 customer service. And since you don’t want to sit around all day waiting for Facebook messages to come in, why not hire a virtual assistant to help you with client care through your social networks.
Changes to Facebook are notoriously unpopular among its user base. Back the early days of the platform, minor shifts in the appearance of profile pages and the newsfeed would cause online riots. People have become far more used to these changes today, but still, shifts in the platform can create uncertainty for companies who depend on Facebook to connect them with their customers. I can help you maintain, and even grow, that connection throughout 2018 and beyond using my expertise and social media tools. Contact me today to schedule a free consultation and we can talk about how I can help optimize your entire digital marketing strategy for the upcoming year!