Social media is constantly changing and adapting to the needs of users. When it comes to Facebook, the social network that started it all, these updates can drastically change the way the app is used, especially for businesses. 2.23 billion people log into Facebook each month with India topping the list with 270 million users. That makes Facebook one of the most powerful platforms for engaging with potential customers.
Anyone who actively uses Facebook knows that the platform doesn’t stay the same for long. Mark Zuckerberg and his team are constantly changing and updating the social network. Throughout 2018 and into 2019 Facebook has rolled out, and will continue to roll out, significant changes that impact the way brands can interact with their audiences. The updates below are vital to know for any organization looking to optimize their social media strategies in 2019.
Augmented reality ads
Facebook now enables brands to create a virtual try-on experience that uses augmented reality (AR) to allow users to digitally try out anything from lip gloss to the latest sneakers with the click of a button. Businesses can create ads with a “click to try on” button that will direct customers to an AR platform within messenger to “try on” their products and purchase right in the app if they desire. Not only will this boost potential sales, but it will also drive higher potential for repeat buyers.
Facebook (and Instagram) Stories became advertisement-enabled in late 2018 and have grown in popularity since the start of the year. At Facebook’s F8 conference in 2018, Zuckerberg noted that, “stories are on track to overtake posts in Feed as the most common way that people share across all social apps.” Stories ads use targeted advertising to place the right ads with users and offer performance-based statistics for businesses who use them.
Playable game ads
For any user who wanted to download a game but didn’t want to pay for something they weren’t sure they’d like, playable ads now allow users to “try before you buy.” Customers can test out a game before buying and ensure they’re getting something they’ll enjoy. From a business standpoint, playable ads drive installs from users who are most likely to continuously play after downloading.
Facebook ad policy updates
Businesses that advertise on Facebook have probably all seen the “Ad Not Approved” notification at one point or another. With their updated ad policies, guidelines have gotten more strict. For example, cryptocurrency ads have been banned from Facebook as well as tobacco, weapons and marketing schemes. In addition to prohibited subject matter, ads with creative mistakes and landing pages will also be denied. Brands need to follow policy in order to post their advertisements on Facebook.
Business recommendations and actions
Rather than posting reviews on a business’s Facebook page, customers will now post recommendations to friends and other users. They can include photos, descriptions, and tags directly on a company’s page, providing authentic customer opinions. Additionally, from a business’s site, users will be able to click an “actions” tab and immediately make an appointment, place an order or send a message right from the page.
2019 ad disclosure update
Last year Facebook announced it would be cracking down on ad-targeting and ensure users were only being shown ads they consented to. According to TechCrunch, starting on February 28th, Facebook’s “why am I seeing this ad” button will show users exactly who paid for the ad, biographical details being targeted by a brand and if that brand uploaded your contact info. Consumers will be able to see the entire trail leading up to their viewing of the ad and get a full understanding of why they are seeing it.
Value-based lookalike audiences
Although lookalike audiences have been around for a long time, value-based lookalikes take the idea a step further. Businesses that advertise on Facebook can place value on each existing customer based on their worth to the company. Facebook then takes that information and creates audiences that are similar to your highest valued customers. In doing so, ads are tailored to users most likely to spend the highest amount of money and produce the highest return on ad spend.
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Video creation kit
Video ads have become the most popular and one of the top ways to engage customers on social media. Facebook’s video creation kit allows advertisers to turn photos into videos optimized for both newsfeed and Stories platforms. The videos range from 6 to 15 seconds and vary in detail based on a brand’s goal. Video creation was released in late 2018 and is quickly gaining popularity as brands are seeing results moving into 2019.
As businesses put together their social media strategies for 2019, keeping Facebook’s latest updates and capabilities in mind will be vital to successful campaigns and the highest return for your advertising investments.
Amanda Peterson is a contributor to Enlightened Digital and software engineer from New York City. When she’s not trying to find the best record store in the city, you can find her curling up to watch some Netflix with her Puggle, Hendrix.