Facebook is at it again. It’s a new year, and the social media giant has rolled out a few changes. As usual, if you adjust your marketing strategies – i.e. play by the rules – you’ll find that these changes will positively impact your marketing efforts.
Call To Action Buttons Launched
This is my favorite new roll out for 2015 – a customizable CTA button right on your cover photo. You can now choose from a selection of seven pre-made options: Sign Up, Shop Now, Contact Us, Book Now, Use App, Watch Video, and Play Game.
I’ve got a hunch that over the course of the year we’ll see more options made available; but for now, this is a pretty good selection. You can link these buttons to “any destination on or off Facebook that aligns with [your] business’ goals,” according to the official announcement. And you can easily track your weekly CTA clicks without even going into the Insights section. You’ll find the data immediately to the right of the cover photo.
This new button is just one more way to direct users to your request appointment page, registration page or YouTube channel. Give it a try!
Changes To The News Feed
You’ve got to love those ever-evolving news feed algorithms. Keep in mind that what was once the Wild West of Facebook territory has now become a highly competitive marketing place. And Facebook is looking to improve this area’s experience for the user (not the marketer). So play by Facebook’s rules, and your business page can still be an excellent tool for converting potential customers.
Facebook recently surveyed users to measure how they feel about the content coming across the news feed. The results proved overwhelming in favor of seeing more stories from friends and businesses and less promotional content.
So what does this mean for your page?
First of all, avoid promotional posts, or at least reduce the ratio of your promotional posts to high content value posts. I still recommend 5:1 – five educational posts for every one strictly promotional post. Promotional posts typically do the following:
1. Get a user to buy a product or install an app
2. Push a sweepstakes with no context
3. Use the exact same content as paid ads
If you want to use promotional material yet still perform well in the news feed, try the Facebook Ads feature. Facebook will be hiding more of your organic promotional posts, but they have not changed the reach of paid advertising. One of my favorite influencers in the industry, Jon Loomer, recently wrote, “Users don’t like being sold to. If you share content with the primary goal of getting a sale or install, expect it to perform poorly in the news feed. If you really want people to see it, promote it with an ad.”
Local Awareness ads
Facebook is making advertising for local businesses even more effective with the local awareness ads. Keep in mind that Facebook’s goal with the news feed is to show users information they actually want see. And it makes sense – when people see content that’s relevant to them, they’re more likely to be engaged. Local awareness ads do that at just the right moment, when a potential customer is physically near your business.
Here’s how they work: ads for your business show up in a user’s news feed when that user comes within a few miles of your business. I’ve tested these ads out a bit, and here’s what I’ve found.
- They’re great for driving in-store sales: think pizza shop, delis, fast food chains, coffee shops, grocery stores.
- They only allow one CTA: “Get Directions.” So it’s a highly targeted, specialized ad. Not for everyone, but really good for the right kind of business.
- They bring in spontaneous foot traffic with coupons and promotions.
- They only work for users who have the Facebook location services enabled. This is roughly 30% of Facebook users.
Staying on top of the constant changes in social media marketing is no small task. But if you are willing to do the research and be flexible with new changes, you can still leverage the power of social media to drive sales and traffic. Or better yet, hire a marketing company to do it for you!