This week we’ll cover what you need to know from F8, things to remember when building an engagement strategy, and how to create a buyer persona.
What Marketers Need To Know From F8
Last week Facebook held its annual developer conference – here are the updates you need to know. Read the full story here.
Facebook announced a completely new design:
What it is: Facebook is restructuring their entire site on desktop and mobile to better match the app. The redesign puts a central focus on groups, minimizes the news feed, and places even greater importance on real interaction.
Why they did it: In the wake of people abandoning Facebook and user backlash regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the platform wants to become less controversial and more family-and-friends focused. It’s going back to its roots as a social platform, not an advertising platform.
Why it matters: This shift is the nail in the coffin of organic brand reach on Facebook. The future of Facebook simply isn’t made for brands. Marketing plans will need to change, and if your brand doesn’t own an active Facebook group yet, you need to start one. You’ll enjoy a higher newsfeed ranking and better reach if you focus on your communities instead of your organic marketing. And of course, this means ads are no longer optional – organic reach is pretty much done.
Creators will be able to sell directly on Instagram:
What it is: Rather than having to use a third-party platform, creators will soon be able to sell products within the Instagram app. This means their customers won’t have to leave the app to complete a purchase and that will create a more seamless process which is likely to increase impulse purchases.
Why they did it: Users are less likely to complete a purchase if they have to visit another site, and offering purchases through the app itself means parent-company Facebook will likely get a larger cut of the profits.
Why it matters: This is a win for marketers – tracking influencer sales will be much easier and will also increase how much product is bought through the platform.
Instagram is testing hidden likes:
What it is: Instagram has finally confirmed that they are testing hiding like counts. Rather than seeing how many people have liked a post, you’ll just see a few friends who have liked it.
Why they did it: A huge amount of research has come out recently on the pressure that social media creates and how detrimental it can be for a user’s mental health. Hiding like counts eliminates the pressure to perform and instead lets posters focus on genuine expression.
Why it matters: Hidden like counts will make it more difficult to find influencers and track performance in the short term, but will help create a more authentic platform in the future. Currently, with the prevalence of engagement bots and purchased likes, it can be difficult to know what’s real and what isn’t. Hidden like counts means that the influencers you find will be evaluated by the quality of their content and comments rather than likes.
How to Build a Social Media Engagement Strategy
We all know that engagement is the key to beating the algorithms now, but how do you actually get it? Check out our favorite tips, below, from the experts at Social Media Week.
Host a contest or weekly series: People love prizes and they love sharing things they created so combine the two. Or have regularly-scheduled free-for-all threads, invite people to share selfies, or ask questions that are fun to answer. Followers are likely to participate and you’re bound to see engagement.
Feature community members & share UGC: Share something that a member of your community posted or accomplished. It makes your members feel special and it encourages others to contribute more frequently for the chance to be featured.
Go live: Live streams are not only pushed to the top of the feed, but they also tend to drive more likes and comments. Try it out and see how many people are willing to participate – just make sure you pick a time that’s convenient for your followers.
Ask questions & feedback: People love to share opinions online, so encourage this behavior! Ask questions about your audience and learn what they’d like to see more of – putting those suggestions into practice will encourage more contributions and they’ll be more likely to want to get to know you.
Get to know your community: When you get to know your audience, they feel more comfortable with your brand and you’re better able to create content that speaks to them. Take the time to find out who they are and why they love your business.
Build honest, transparent & genuine connections: People work with people they like, and people like you more when you’re honest with them. If you can admit your mistakes, correct them, and take feedback gracefully, you will build loyalty. Similarly, get to know your followers and you’ll know what makes them feel or take action. The more posts you create that spark emotion, the more dedicated your followers will be.
How to Create a Buyer Persona
Every piece of your strategy comes down to one thing – the buyer persona. So you need to make sure you do it right. This infographic can help, found on Social Media Today.