The Future of Facebook is Here

Facebook is changing...again. But this time, it's significant. There are clear indicators, actually, more like certainties, that if you're not creating video content for your Facebook page on a consistent basis, you might as well be posting nothing. Harsh, but true. Let's have a look at Facebook's 10 year plan.

We're just shifting into the last 5 years of this 10 year plan and if you've been paying attention, they've ticked all their boxes in years one through five of their heavy hitters. They've purchased Instagram and WhatsApp, they've separated out their Messenger platform and are slowly growing their groups offerings. Of course, they've also made video king. Or Queen. I prefer queen!

Looking ahead to the next five years, it's clear to see that Facebook is making a focused effort to fully dive into the world of video, artificial intelligence ( I love the way they use it...more on that later) and connectivity.

Here are my "Must Haves" for getting prepared for the next few months of creating content for Facebook. And yes, I said few months. If you haven't started creating video yet for your pages, you're going to want to get that moving.

Mobile 1st

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The truth of the matter is, nearly all of us are connected at any given time to the world wide web and using our mobile devices before any other device. This is called, Mobile 1st. Everything, not just your socials, needs to be optimized for mobile use. Think about it. The statistics show that 80% of social media usage is coming from mobile devices. 80%!!! It's critical you are making sure your website is mobile first friendly. As for Facebook, what can you do?

Ensure your cover page photo is optimized. Low amounts of text and the good stuff in the middle. Mobile phones cut off the edges of cover photos for Facebook, so don't put anything you must let your clients know on the edges.

Create a clear, consistent profile picture that is recognizable in a tiny thumbnail size.

Use the Live broadcasting feature. It works best on a mobile device.

Optimize everything! This means your cover photo and profile pic should be clickable. This is a simple fix. Video content must provide a clear call to action that is mobile friendly. Most mobile first users do most everything on their phone. If it's taking them too much time to scroll around, or they can't figure out where to go next, you've lost them.

Video

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It's time. it's time to feel the fear and do it anyway. Start gently with picture montages and work your way up to "How To" videos, then try actual real, live videos. The fact of the matter is, Facebook isn't pushing ANY text, only video content into the algorithm. It's a complete waste of your time to post text, or even graphics now. You've got to get on the video bandwagon. You can now even create a video cover photo. They are really cool and eye catching and that's the end goal, right?

A great way to start thinking about every marketing project is, what type of video content can I create with this piece of material? It can be Live, highly produced, low production value, or whatever your client would want to see. The younger your demographic gets, the more critical this starts to happen immediately. Millenial markets and younger rarely watch traditional television. They are watching social tv and guess what? Facebook is about to start in with this game. Are you ready to play to win?

Facebook Messenger

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Look out, Facebook Messenger is about to start to change the way marketing departments direct sell. It's the next highly effective marketing channel, and it's already being sent to your inbox. What you need to do is figure out how to use it to harness both the power of Facebook and the power of knowing your ideal client. This marketing route works perfectly with the mobile first thought process. It's like getting a text, but highly targeted and warming up your potential new audience.

Facebook Messenger is also a fantastic tool for events, hosting forms and interest sign ups. We here at the Socialvert will be testing it and utilizing all its functionality in the coming weeks and will report back our findings!

Advertising

In the next few weeks, Facebook will be implementing restrictions on boosting posts from your pages and to be truthful, it's about time. I never recommend the post boost. There are much more effective ways to boost a post that will offer you long term gains and insights into what's working for you.

The Power Editor, while not intuitive, is Facebook's most powerful tool. I am a firm believer, that hands down, this is the best place to put your marketing dollars. It just takes a fair bit of playing around to get the hang of it.

In another blog, I'm going to get into a few of my favourite features of the Power Editor, but in all honesty, it's so much more than that. It's a combination of knowing your client, using the Facebook pixel and taking a course or two to help gain some ground with the Power Editor. Many are upset that Facebook is becoming a Pay to Play environment, but if you're shifting dollars to this platform and using it correctly, you'll make that money back hand over fist. It's just that good.

Intuitive Thinking

Moving along hand in hand with the power editor, Facebook has jumped firmly into the world of AI. Artificial Intelligence. Social media has actually been playing in this sandbox for a loooong time already. Think about it in terms of Facebook alone. Has your newsfeed suddenly become a curated content pusher? Isn't it delivering up stories that are relevant to what you want to know without you telling it to? Are there sponsored posts that make mostly perfect sense to your needs? Are there redirected ads that are coming to you right after you've visited their websites?

It's so exciting for this marketer and the coolest thing! The power editor has the capability to create lookalike audiences (target ads to large entities on Facebook that have similar ideal clients) that combined with your needs and the data they've mined from their users, they can focus in on only those that are now considered "warm audiences" to you and your brand.

This technology, combined with Live broadcasting is my favourite mix of "best of both worlds" in marketing. You're creating various touches, that are face to face, algorithm friendly and creating a consistent, quality stream of content!