Navigating Your Way Through Facebook's Most Recent Changes
When it comes to social media, one of the most difficult things for marketers is how quickly things change. And, as any of them will tell you, 2018 has already been packed with significant changes.
Facebook has been at the center of most of these shifts. Between recent congressional hearings, new data privacy laws, and the growing issues around “fake news,” Facebook has overhauled so many features of its platform that brands all across the country are being forced to reevaluate their social media strategies with every new change that rolls out. Franchises particularly feel this pain as these adjustments are multiplied when dealing with the real life and online presence of 10, 100, or 1,000 locations or franchisees.
As we have been working with franchise brands to navigate these changes, we have identified four main pillars of the Facebook ecosystem where franchisors should be making strategy changes: 1) Facebook posting, 2) Facebook Messenger, 3) Instagram posting, and 4) Facebook Advertising.
Franchise brands that are successful in navigating the changes in these areas are gaining the attention of their consumers, avoiding many of the problems from the recent Facebook changes – and are using these changes to leave their competitors in a dusty cloud of confusion.
If your brand is still working to navigate some of these updates, here are some ideas to make these changes work in your favor.
1) Facebook posting
- Stop promoting your brand in organic posts. Organic posts that are purely for self-promotion are hurting your reach! Constant self-promotion is now the biggest killer of organic reach. If all you’re doing is talking about your own brand, product, or service, your reach will dwindle to almost nothing.
- Create content that is hyper-local and informative. Facebook prioritizes local content and rewards brands that post content that is relevant to their local community. You will be rewarded with continued high placement in your fans’ newsfeeds if the content you or your franchisees post:
- is relevant to their local community.
- includes calls-to-action.
- is mixed with truly informative pieces.
- includes some amount of video and images.
2) Facebook Messenger
- Set up and use Messenger. Another rapid growth area in Facebook is the use of Facebook Messenger for customer service. Setting up auto-responders can help streamline an extremely time-consuming process that is now mandatory for good customer service. Auto-responder bots will prove to be fast and helpful for your customers’ FAQs and efficient for franchisees.
- Set up ordering. Facebook continues to develop ordering and scheduling services inside Messenger. Your customers can easily use Messenger to order a Chicago-style Italian beef (with peppers, of course), check a hairstylist’s availability, or schedule a quote for a plumbing job.
3) Instagram posting
- Get on Instagram Stories now. Stories are the best feature to be added on Instagram for businesses since its inception, as it essentially guarantees screen time with your followers, rather than just being the next thing they scroll past. They’ve “borrowed” the best functionality of Snapchat and made it easy to use for both large and small brands. Go to your brand or local franchisee’s Instagram account and start using Stories right now!
- Start analyzing Instagram. If you’ve already converted your account to a business account, you can now get insights on your Instagram engagements and can finally track how effective your Instagram strategy really is!
4) Facebook advertising
- Rebuild your audiences and rethink the planning of your targeting preferences. The biggest changes in all of Facebook involve advertising tactics. This includes the removal of many (but not all!) third-party data sources and some fundamental changes in Custom Audiences targeting and creating Lookalike Audiences. Facebook has begun forcing many saved audiences to be rebuilt, so before you launch your next campaign make sure your audiences have been updated.
- Experiment with new placements. New areas of Facebook that are now open to advertising are providing a great return, depending on your services. These include ads in Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Stories, and Instagram Stories.
- Local Ads = Higher Placement! With so many large corporate brands doubling down on Facebook advertising, the average cost per click (CPC) on regional and national Facebook ads is rising. Ads for local stores, franchisees, and outlets, on the other hand, are still seeing very low CPC and are without question the best bargain out there, getting a high return for a low cost. With Facebook giving priority to local ads, doubling down on local store Facebook ads can allow you to win more bids at a lower cost. The bottom line is that it’s good to be local, and it’s good to be a franchise!
Jack Monson is the chief revenue officer at SocialJoey and has been working with franchisors in social media for 10 years. He’s the host of Social Geek Radio, the most-listened-to podcast or radio show in franchising. Mike McDowell is the director of operations at SocialJoey. He’s certified by Facebook as an Ad Buyer and Business Planner, achieving the highest credentials that Facebook offers in the U.S. Contact them at 844-204-5700 or visit their website.
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