Facebook continually releases new features, that’s an irrefutable fact. Keeping up with their sudden changes is a job, especially for small business owners who, in addition to being up-to-date, must filter what is compatible with their needs and develop a plan to implement the relevant functions on your Facebook page.

For your fortune, we’ve done the dirty work for you. From the entertainment functions to the new marketing techniques and the endless attempts of Mark Zuckerberg to provide transparency to users, we list here ten of the most popular, innovative and relevant Facebook functions that you should integrate into your business plan for 2019.

Organise a Watch Party (group video viewing)

In 2018 Facebook launched an exciting way to unite the communities: the Watch Party (or group videos). All those summoned can, in a virtual way, see the same video and interact at the same time. To use this feature in your profile or facebook for business manager page, you must find the Watch Party feature in the publications box, choose a video and share it. Anyone who has access to the publication you have published will be able to see and comment on it from their screens at the same time.

The function was initially launched for groups but is now open to all, both private users and companies. The main limitations are that you can not upload a new video from your files, but you must choose between the videos that you have previously uploaded to your page, live videos or any of the clips available on Facebook Watch. It is a video transmission service similar to YouTube which aims to offer original videos created by Facebook members. Days ago, Facebook launched several popular programs such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer to stimulate interest in the new feature. All these videos are free.

How to use this function:

Your business can host an exciting event that happens live or a video you want to relive. If you choose a theme suitable for your target audience, you can increase the interaction rate of your page, since you will be offering your followers a new form of content different from traditional publications. Of course, you must ensure that the subject of the video you choose is relevant to your business.

Take advantage of Facebook stories

If you are familiar with the Instagram Stories, it will not be difficult for you to understand the Facebook Stories because they are similar. These are collections of ephemeral photos and videos imported by users that are only visible for 24 hours. The feature itself is not that different from Instagram. Here you can also find stickers, location, boomerang function, etc. The new and exciting is the ability of other users to react in real time to the Stories by clicking on a button like heart or face.

The stories of Facebook had a slow start, but in the last part of the year they have gained ground among consumers and have already reached more than 300 million daily users. Taking this into account and after the great success of the stories sponsored on Instagram (which also belongs to Facebook), the company also decided to implement stories hosted on Facebook. Any company can create an account and direct it precisely to its target audience by taking advantage of the Facebook database. To measure the results, the process is the same as on Instagram: reach, brand recognition, views, conversions, traffic and more. If you link it with Instagram, you can share your stories on both platforms, which allows you to reach more consumers at a lower cost.

facebook-stories

How to use this function:

To get instant reactions in stories, all you have to do is create and share exciting things that stimulate your audience’s participation. It can be videos that show what happens between the backstage of your business, educational advice, promotions of products or services, customer testimonials or anything that may relate to your business. As for the sponsored stories, you can use them to convert users, that is, get them to fulfil an objective: visit your website, buy your products or hire your services. You can use them to present new products, for a promotion or to share a surprising photo or video that will arouse everyone’s curiosity.

Manage everything from the Creator Studio.

If you are among those crazy people who have a different colour folder for each type of document, this could become your new favourite feature of Facebook. The Creator Studio covers all your needs, leaving you to organise the publications, statistics and messages of all your pages in one place. You also have the option to monetise the ads, track the performance and much more. The most remarkable thing for us are the new creative tools such as “sound effects” for videos (available in the “Collection of sounds” by Creator Studio). These are free sound effects which can be used when creating a video on Facebook. You’ll find even a collection of sounds from NASA space.

How to use this function

Play and test the different features (background sounds, import videos and measure performance, etc.) as it is an excellent tool to make the most of videos for Facebook. Also, the ability to manage your creations in one place will help you achieve a more productive work environment.

Offer a preview of your videos with the “Premieres” feature

The ” Releases ” of Facebook, is a new feature that allows publishers to post videos as if they were happening live. You have to do offer a red carpet experience to your followers is to upload a video and schedule your publication (you can schedule up to a week in advance). Facebook will make a publication as an advertisement with an image of your choice and the option for users to subscribe to notifications about your release. Afterwards, there will be a countdown of three minutes before the big launch. Once the premiere is active, the announcement message becomes a video publication. It works like the live Facebook videos, users can see, comment, share and “Like” the video in real time.

How to use this function

This is a new way to attract viewers to your Facebook page. However, it is only worth using it for big events (to avoid spam, especially). It is recommended to launch new products, punctual discounts and liquidations or web page launches. For other content, you can use traditional publications or Facebook stories. Remember that this is an opportunity to direct all the attention to your Facebook page so make sure you are prepared for it.

Improve the performance of your ads with square images.

Facebook ads are the best ways to reach your target audience thanks to the amount of data that Facebook manages about users as well as a large number of active monthly users on the platform. Make your business stand out with square ads (1: 1). What is the advantage of this format? The square images adapt perfectly to the screens of mobile phones since they occupy the entire space capturing the user’s attention. Think of your browsing experience on Instagram, a platform designed for a mobile audience and whose images are square, much more attractive than square ones. That’s why it’s worth trying this format also on Facebook.

How to use this function

Ad campaigns with square images are created in the same way as the others in the Facebook Ad Manager; the only thing that varies is the format of the photo you upload – 1: 1 instead of the standard of 1: 1.91. The recommended resolution for square images is 1,080 x 1,080 pixels. By choosing this feature, we suggest you try both formats for the same ad and see which one works best before completely changing the format of all your campaigns. Along with the Facebook pixel (which we will explain below), this combo will increase the performance of your ad and will quickly attract more users to your website.

Get to know your audience better with the Facebook pixel

You can place Facebook pixel code on your website to measure conversions, optimise performance and create specific audiences for your Facebook advertising campaigns. What’s more, with this tool you can see who is buying your products and services through the ads and optimise the target audience of the campaigns accordingly. On the other hand, it also allows you to understand which devices are better for conversions (computers or smartphones), address customers through Facebook offering just the products they already saw on your website and understand how people use your site. This is the definitive tool to understand your audience through Facebook better.

How to use this function:

If you offer services or have an online store, you need to try this tool. First, create your Facebook pixel through the ad manager and then connect it to your web page. If you are a Wix user, you can see how it is done in this guide. Once added you could start creating ads for your products and services and with a link to any part of your website (the pages of products or services are the best destinations). Occur through the Facebook pixel, the smarter the tool will become to reach the right people.

Use GIFs in your ads

GIFs are very short animations that are repeated in a loop. If you are using social media account or have an adolescent in the family, you have already been exposed to this form of emotional and addictive content. Those who are familiar with these files know the viral potential of these pieces. Even for business, they can be beneficial as it allows to give emotional and funny responses to customers.

Today, Facebook already allows GIF in ads. Given the growing trend of short videos on social networks, Facebook could not ignore this feature.

How to use this function

Unlike video ads, those that contain a GIF require much less investment. Both are an attractive way to publish content to reach your potential customers. Thanks to various online tools, the process of creating a GIF is quite simple. Just upload your images and videos to a GIF creator, such as Giphy, and upload your file from there. To convert these files to ads, create an account in the Facebook Ads Manager (linked to your platform’s business page) if you have not already done so. Then follow the steps necessary to create an ad. The process is the same as to form a traditional ad, only that the format of the content on this occasion is a video. If you are looking for more information about this type of file, see our guide on the potential of the GIF.

Address your customers through Messenger

According to Facebook, there are already 1.3 billion people who use their private messaging platform known as Messenger and which was launched in 2011. Courier services are an upward trend, as the conversations on the networks are increasingly kept secret. Therefore, Facebook created an application for smartphones separated from the main platform. With this decision, the participation rates have increased significantly.

This data encouraged Facebook to create a new Facebook function, Marketing for Messenger. Since many studies indicate that most people are tempted to see your notifications immediately, your ads have a chance of being opened and seen. These reasons are enough to demonstrate that this function is essential for your marketing strategy.

How to use this function

Messenger Marketing is a sure way to interact with your customers through a medium that they are using. There are various ads you can implement: sponsored messages (announcements in conversations that are taking place), graphic ads (selecting specific audiences) and Click-in-Messenger ads (initiating new conversations through Messenger). Despite the method you choose, be prepared to experience better opening rates and clicks than you ever thought would be possible for your company.

Beware of the new ad restrictions

Facebook makes great efforts to ensure that the advertisements that reach its users are as transparent as possible. That is why it restricts low-quality ads or unwanted or disturbing content. Facebook monitors and penalises the offensive and disturbing content of external sites that appear in ads, providing false data and dubious images. Although Facebook does not openly explain the restrictions, here, you can find more information about Facebook’s advertising policies.

How to use this function

Even if you do not have bad intentions, be careful with your campaigns to guarantee their performance. Make sure your content is related to what you’re promoting: the title, the photo, the description and the web page linked to the ad must match. This means not uploading images that cut out critical components within your ad. If you are transparent with your audience, the performance of your ads should not be subject to restrictions.

See any ad from any company

Facebook has added the ” Information and announcements ” section to all business pages. Regardless of whether you follow a particular page or not, you can see the ads that public page. But not only that, but you can also see the date the page was created and the recent name changes. Over time, Facebook also plans to add more useful information to the information section. The purpose of this tool is to provide consumers with more clarity about the companies and to avoid abuses in the platform. The goal is not to increase the interaction since the clicks on the ads in this section are not counted in the statistics. In general, these data increase the transparency of the pages and their campaigns.

How to use this function

As a company, this feature will give users more details about your current ads. Therefore, it is essential that you share information of value and admissible for the general public and not only for your followers. Think that many curious people can approach this section to obtain information about offers that have not been announced. On the other hand, it is an excellent opportunity to see what your competition is doing and learn from its successes.

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