If you have a personal Facebook account, you know the social network is constantly rolling out new layouts, features and updates. As one of the largest and most powerful sites in social media, Facebook understands that if you’re stagnant for too long something newer and more interesting will overtake you. While other earlier social media sites like MySpace have gone the way of the dinosaurs, Facebook continues to reign as the king of social media.
Facebook isn’t just dedicated to improving the experience for personal users. In the age of social media and content marketing, Facebook is also working hard to help businesses connect with customers and take in more revenue. A few years ago Facebook started to design pages specifically for businesses. It also started to host advertisements. Facebook’s profits are at an all-time high, and many businesses have successfully attracted new customers through the site’s ads. Similar to the way it always makes changes for personal accounts, Facebook continuously improves things on the business end. In the past several weeks, Facebook announced a slew of changes that will affect businesses who use the site. Here are some of the most important changes, as well as how you can expect them to impact your business.
Facebook Audience Network
Facebook Audience Network is one of the biggest changes the social network is making for businesses. It will enable advertisers to host ads outside of Facebook and will be primarily mobile-app based. Hopefully, this will allow businesses to get more mileage from their ads.
The great thing about advertising on Facebook is your ads are highly targeted. Facebook extracts personal information from user accounts to determine who would most likely be interested in your products. That means it’s fairly likely that your target demographic is seeing your ads. After all, when you log in to Facebook as a personal user, most of the ads you see are probably for products and services you would actually be interested in buying. For example, if you’re a 25-year-old female, Facebook might host ads for Anne Taylor.
Premium Video Ads and Video Metrics
In March, Facebook made Premium Video Ads available to businesses. These are high quality15-second ads that will start playing automatically without sound as users scroll down their newsfeed. Users can click the ad to enable sound. The advantages of video ads are pretty apparent. In many cases it’s simply easier to demonstrate what your product is and how it works in a video. For example, if you sell environmental equipment you can show users a brief demo of a water lever meter.
To expand its video advertising services, Facebook will make Premium Video Ads available to a select number of international businesses. Facebook users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom will be some of the first to see Premium Video Ads on Facebook. In addition, Facebook will release video metrics to those using video ads. This way businesses can see exactly how well their video ads are doing.
Updated Privacy Controls
For those with personal accounts, Facebook will be making privacy controls a little more selective. This will make it easier for users’ posts to reach their intended audiences. Previously, a number of Facebook users have been concerned that their information would be shared with the wrong people. The default audience for posts has traditionally been “everyone,” but Facebook is changing it to just “friends.” When users post something for everyone to see, Facebook will also remind them who is seeing the content before it’s posted. For businesses, this means you’ll probably be able to see fewer posts than you were previously. This could make customer interaction and market research a little more difficult on Facebook.
More Ways to Discover Music, Movies and TV Shows
Facebook will also make it easier for users to share their favorite music, shows and movies with a new audio recognition feature. When you post content from a mobile device, Facebook will allow you to connect to your microphone. The way it works is pretty similar to the mobile app Shazam, which helps you identify what song is playing. When the microphone is enabled, Facebook will identify what you’re listening to based on the audio. This way, you can share what songs you’re listening to or movie you’re watching without even typing. If you share a song, your friends can also hear a 30-second preview.
This new development is great news if you’re in the entertainment business. Facebook is a more relevant platform for advertising movies, shows and songs than ever before. Even if this update doesn’t directly affect how all businesses share content, you can bet there will be much more user engagement with certain businesses than ever before. The update doesn’t just apply to filmmakers and recording artists, either. It also serves as another example of how Facebook is becoming a more and more audiovisual platform. Last year, Facebook released status emoticons, and now users can share their favorite audio. As a business this means you should probably ramp up your video and interactive marketing efforts.
What do you think of Facebook’s latest updates? How do you think they’ll affect your marketing campaign?