Spring Cleaning in Social Media Strategies: Adjusting to Facebook’s Updates

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Facebook recently made a number of updates to the social network’s design that as a brand you should be incorporating into your overall social media strategy.

The changes, which will roll out over the coming weeks, mainly concern the overall design, the users’ newsfeed and a brand’s cover image.DisplayMedia

WHAT’S CHANGING:

Design Updates

An overall design refresh will create a consistent look and feel across all screen sizes. The desktop Facebook experience will match the mobile experience.

Newsfeed Updates

Media will be more prominent in the newsfeed. Expect to see larger images, videos, link thumbnails and other multimedia pieces.

  • All Friends: Feed shows you everything your friends are sharing.
  • Photos: Feed shows photos from your friends and Pages you like
  • Music: Feed shows posts about the music you listen to
  • Following: Feed shows posts from Pages you like and people you follow

Cover Image Updates

While the 20% limit on text is still in place, several guidelines about what content is allowed has been relaxed. Cover images can’t be deceptive, misleading or infringe on anyone’s copyright. Brands also cannot encourage fans to upload your cover image to their personal timelines. However, bans on price or purchase information (i.e. “40% off”, “download now”) and calls to action (i.e. “Tell your friends”) have been lifted.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOUR BRAND:

These changes will result in fewer clutter for users, which should be exciting for your brand. While the full implications of these changes on your social media strategy won’t be realized until all users have access to the newsfeed, there are some immediate updates you can make now.

Content Strategy

  • Engagement is Key. If you were using Impressions or Reach as a metric before, it’s time to switch to Engagement. Fan engagement will help your content show up in more of the subfeeds. Combining compelling content and specific Call To Actions (CTA) like “Share” and “Comment” will help your content get more presence in newsfeeds.
  • Visuals are More Important. If you’ve avoided including images in your posts because it’s too time consuming, it’s time to break the habit. More photos mean more opportunities to appear in the main newsfeed and the new Photos newsfeed. Facebook recommends photos with a minimum width of 552 pixels.
  • Cover Photos are More than a First Impression. Stories and sponsored stories will now incorporate the bottom portion of your cover photo along with the profile image. In the past, cover photos were primarily only seen by new fans; with the new updates, your fans will see your cover photos more frequently. Our recommendation: update your cover photos regularly to highlight new products, trends or seasons.

Ad Strategy

  • Start Investing in Promoted Posts. To secure reach and newsfeed placement, you’ll need to start incorporating Promoted Posts into your marketing budgets. If you’ve been apprehensive to start advertising before, do small tests with several different content types to figure out what works best.
  • Make Marketplace Ads More Compelling. More and more space is being dedicated to the newsfeed, so an eye-catching image in the right rail marketplace advertising is vital. Try setting up A/B tests with multiple types of images to see what works best for your target audiences.

What changes are you making for the new updates? Share your Facebook and social media tips in the comments!

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