August 27, 2020
It is with great sadness that I relay to you that the “Classic” Facebook display we all know and love will very soon be put to rest. While the newest Facebook update (referred to as FB5) has been rolling out for well over a year, it will now be the only display option beginning September 1, 2020. With that said, we all have some familiarizing to do.
As the pseudo-optimist that I consider myself, I’ll keep this positive and in terms of how to turn these changes into opportunities for your business.
First, a few general points:
- The new display creates a uniform look across the mobile and desktop platforms, causing much less confusion for non-cross-platform users.
- Facebook now boasts more white space and less clutter for a cleaner and easier user experience. They consider the new look “simpler, faster, and more immersive.”
- There is now more emphasis and quicker access to events and groups, two features that align with Zuckerberg’s mission of “putting your communities at the center” of your timeline. We will get to events and groups in more detail.
- Finally, Facebook is displaying the features they’re looking to promote at the forefront of the new layout, giving top real estate to features like Gaming, Stories, Marketplace, and Facebook Watch.
Why are events so important?
The main reason for emphasizing the events feature is that 700 million people engage with events across the world every month. The event feature is a great way to publicize a function your business is hosting. It’s a secure place to publish details like the location, times, and prices. You’re able to send personal invites to anyone on your friends list. When a user RSVPs as “interested” or “going” to a Facebook event, it’s published to their news feed for their network to see, generating additional impressions and exposure. It also sends them notifications leading up to the event to remind them of their obligation.
Events are another way users can pay to promote their business to new audiences. You may see a button that says “boost event” to reach more people daily. It’s a promising opportunity for new exposure, specifically in settings that charge for admission. The new Facebook allows for online events too, which can serve as an alternative for businesses who can’t interact in person. I’ve attended some pretty cool online events in the form of concerts, live podcasts, and watch parties.
Coordinate with your friends using the Events tab to see what’s happening in the area and who’s going to be there.
Why are groups so important?
This number isn’t as impressive as the Events tally, but a mere 400 million people actively participate in Facebook groups. Users join groups for tailored content that relate to specific subject matter. People are more likely to spend time scrolling through groups because they came for a reason. When I want guitar news, I go to my guitar group. When I want to know what people have to say about the Phillies, I go to my Phillies group.
Facebook wants users to spend as much time on the platform as possible. Since groups are the way they’re making it happen, expect to see a lot more of your group feeds.
For businesses, it’s a huge benefit to add your page to a group opposed to your personal account—it makes for effective social listening and direct input from your target markets.
Since people go to their groups for product recommendations and reviews, Facebook has included a “Suggested From Your Groups” tab in their marketplace to help serve targeted listings. If you’re selling products, it might be a good idea to circulate them across relevant groups in hopes they appear on the suggested tab when people shop on Facebook.
As our world becomes more digital…
The newest Facebook update many features that pertain to live interactions. For live videos, we can send money to streamers in the form of “stars” which help fund channels who post regular content. Gamers, Influencers, Musicians, and Yoga Instructors are examples of trades that benefit from sending stars.
Streamers can also support causes with the new donation button that appears on live videos. I’ve witnessed great success in this function over the past few months in the form of social justice, pandemic relief, and more. Keep up the great work!
Similar to Instagram, live streamers can now invite guests to join their videos. Here’s a great opportunity for guest speakers, collaborations, and of course, interacting with friends. We’ve seen podcasting become a major player in marketing with the decrease of in-person human interaction. I look at Facebook as one of the best ways to host a discussion online and speak with real, engaged, live viewers.
Finally, Facebook has joined the web-meeting world by opening chat rooms up to 50 people with the capability to invite non-facebook users (if there’s any of you out there?).
Leverage FB5’s Capabilities with Milk Street
These new features are great opportunities to make the most of your Facebook experience. Building your brand online has never looked so bright! Contact us today to learn how we can make the most of your business’s Facebook presence.