So, how are you doing? I enjoyed a quiet week off in Wales with the family last week, returning calm, well-fed and a little windswept. I was, however, sad to hear that those poor old social media businesses worked right through the half term break… making deals, developing new functionality and continuing their quest for global domination.
Anyway, in case you missed it, here’s our roundup of the biggest stories from October and how they could impact your social media marketing.
Facebook Tests Dual Newsfeed
Facebook has announced that it’ll be testing dual news feeds. What this means is that your page followers may end up being offered one feed for content coming from family and friends, and another (called ‘Explore’) coming from brand and business pages that they follow. This would allow people to have more control over their browsing experience, depending on whether they feel like hearing from family and friends, or exploring their favourite brand offerings.
The testing may go on for several months and is only for a limited number of people in a few countries. Facebook has been at pains to make clear that this is only a test and may not be adopted, and that it currently has no plans to force businesses to pay to distribute their content.
What does this mean for my social marketing strategy?
If the dual feed is adopted more widely it will affect the way your customers experience Facebook. Some of the time people will completely ignore the Explore option, instead choosing to use the platform purely as a way to connect with friends and family. The only way to reach this group is likely to be via paid advertising.
When people actively select the Explore option they will be in a different mind-set, perhaps more open to receiving brand offerings. This may, in turn, affect the tone and style that you should be using to communicate via the platform.
The dual newsfeed is early stages of development, but definitely one to keep an eye on. And, just in case, it might be worth honing your Facebook advertising skills to make sure you’re a step ahead of your competitors.
Twitter Honest Ads
In wake of claims that Russia used social media advertising to interfere with the US General Elections, Twitter has announced reforms to make advertising on it’s platform more transparent.
Twitter will ensure that all adverts coming from political accounts are clearly labelled as “Promoted by a Political Account” and may use a purple badge to indicate political accounts themselves. It will also limit the target options on their ads.
Additionally, it will launch an Advertising Transparency Center which will enable everyone to view every advert currently running on it’s platform, and find out which are targeted specifically at them. People will also be able to report inappropriate ads or give negative feedback to any ad, including those not specifically targeted at them. You will also be able to see how long each advert has been running. Additionally, for adverts coming from political accounts, you’ll be able to see the identity of the advertiser, its historical ad spend, and the targeting parameters used.
What does this mean for my business?
Unless you’re campaigning on behalf of a political leader or intentionally spreading misinformation this is unlikely to impact you massively. This is a positive move by Twitter but it may still find itself falling under more strict regulatory control, as traditional advertising does.
It remains to be seen how many people will actually spend time browsing the Transparency Center, but it’s worth being aware that soon anyone will have the ability to see all your live adverts. So when targeting different groups or running multiple creatives it’ll be important to ensure the information and style don’t conflict. Having the ability to see your competitors’ live adverts will also help you track their performance, and to tailor and shape your own ad campaigns.
Facebook enables Stories feature for Pages
In an effort to promote their (currently underused) Stories feature, Facebook has announced that it will be enabling this capability for business pages as well as individual profiles. Business page managers will soon see an option to ‘Create Story’ and post this to the Stories and/or News feeds. Much like Instagram and Snapchat these stories will only be available for a short time – 24 hours in this case. This feature gives brands the opportunity to connect on a more social, low-fi level.
How can I take advantage of this?
As a business owner you could use the Stories feature to take people behind the scenes of your business and help develop a more personal connection with your customers. Some ideas might be to:
- Give people a view into the day to day life of your business
- Introduce some of the members of your team and help them tell their stories
- Show a production practise – how is the end product put together?
- Talk about the ethos and values of your business. What do you believe in? Why did you start the business?
- Show off any extra-curricular work activities – does you company have a 5 a side football team, or offer yoga at lunchtime? Or support charitable causes?
Remember, Facebook is essentially a social platform. People go there to connect and build relationships with friends. The most successful businesses entering this space understand that they need to communicate with customers as a real person would, in order to be accepted. Facebook Stories is a great way to do this.
If you’d like to book a free meeting to discuss how we might be able to help you implement any of these ideas or get you up to speed with social media marketing and advertising, give us a call on 07766 310317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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