Upon its inception in 2004, Facebook has made sharing the details of our lives and reaching out to our friends online the new normal.
Fifteen years later and the platform has become even more commonplace, boasting over 2.4 billion users worldwide. It’s in addition to its subsidiary channels including Instagram and Messenger, which has millions of followers on their own—and while it’s true that social media is already saturated, with new platforms being introduced almost every day, it has opened an indispensable opportunity for businesses to be where their targeted audiences are.
Indeed, a lot has changed when digital marketers have first penetrated Facebook and the past six months was an interesting one. It’s when we saw a host of new features and updates that affected how businesses should advertise on the network.
Before we take a look at what’s happened in the first half of the year on Facebook and what it means for you, we reveal the statistics that prove that the Mark Zuckerberg-led platform continues to be the most effective network to be in.
The State of Social Media Marketing
In an almost-unsurprising study by market analyst G2, Facebook continues to be the most used platform for social media marketers, outranking any other social media networks by a large margin. About 80% of the respondents attest that Facebook is by far the easiest way to get your message in front of the right people.
Following Facebook in popularity was Instagram, with 61.2% of respondents claiming to use the photo-sharing platform as part of their marketing efforts. While Instagram doesn’t have the same number of following as Facebook, it outweighs all social sites in terms of the willingness of users to engage with the ad and it may be enough reason to prioritise Instagram as much as they would—if not more than—Facebook.
Below is a list of the most popular social networks for digital marketers as of half of 2019:
In the study, Facebook and Instagram were the only networks used by more than 50% of the respondents and it can be explained by the fact that none offers an experience similar to those offered by the two.
What’s more, because the two platforms are closely related—being operated by the same company—their services (e.g. live streaming and 24-hour stories), making it particularly easy for you to repurpose and share content across the two platforms at the same time.
Having all these said, we now move forward to the most significant updates that happened on Facebook and Instagram, each targeted to help you maximise your digital marketing efforts and see the greatest ROI:
Top Facebook Updates in First Half of 2019
Respond to Instagram Messages through Facebook Page
In 2018, Facebook released the ability for Facebook Page admins to view and answer comments on their Instagram page through their Page inboxes. Later in February 2019, Facebook took a step further, allowing Page admins to also access and respond to Instagram’s direct messages.
Relevance Score is Divided into Three Categories
Your relevance score estimates how well your ad will resonate with the audience you want to reach. Earlier, the score is based exclusively on a single metric until Facebook announced that it’s replacing it with three new metrics which include quality ranking, engagement rate ranking, and conversion rate ranking.
New Cost Cap Bidding Option
Releasing its Cost Cap Bidding Option in April, Facebook has also paved the way for you to get the most out of your bids by allowing you to set a limit on how high you’re willing to bid on your campaigns. It helps maximise your conversion volume while you maintain a budget.
New Ranking Factors for Videos
Early in May, Facebook announced that they’re updating how videos are ranked in the platform, saying that they’ll be prioritising three factors including loyalty and intent (repeat viewership), viewing duration, and originality. Hence, when creating videos, it’s a must for you to focus on quality over quantity.
Augmented Reality Ads
Facebook has given you a new way to show off your products with augmented reality. It works by helping users interact with and virtually test your offerings via a “Tap to Try” CTA. Brands including Michael Kors, Sephora, and Pottery Barn were some of the ones to test out the feature with success.
New Business Tools for Messenger
Besides Facebook, Messenger is getting its updates, too. For instance, the messaging platform will have a new set of drop-in options including appointment-booking tools, lead generation templates, and easy authentication to allow you to provide customer service and in return, generate leads.
NOTE: These features are still in beta-testing but you can expect to see them later in the year.
Shopping in Instagram Stories
On Instagram, there has been plenty of updates as well, one being the ability to tag products and drive traffic to your website with the new product stickers for Instagram Stories. With the feature, users viewing your story will be able to get product details and click through to make a purchase.
Branded Content on Instagram Ads
Given its success on Facebook, branded content ads were also introduced on Instagram where seemingly organic posts are used as advertisements. Users often see them among influencers and celebrities, which are identified with the name of the sponsor indicated underneath the post.
This list of updates gives you a look at the features digital marketers already love, and on which there are benefits to be an adopter.
If you’re looking to gain the most ROI, you’ll need to have the best understanding of which features you should be considering for the rest of the year.
Need help with your Facebook marketing strategies? OOm can help! Get in touch with us today!