One of the most surprising things we saw in this year’s Small Business Internet Marketing Study was the rise of Facebook. While it had been growing steadily as the primary small business tool in the last few years, in 2017 Facebook moved into first place as LinkedIn dropped to second place.
As we reviewed the data we assumed the shift was caused because more B2C companies participated in the study, but that wasn’t the case at all. There are actually more B2B companies using Facebook.
So what is happening? We think the shift is being driven by some aggressive moves by Facebook to be the go-to resource for small businesses. From new post options including notes, photo slide shows and live video to their simple to use advertising platform, Facebook is working hard to be a one-stop shop. In his recent open letter, Mark Zuckerberg laid out goals for Facebook to build informed, safe, supportive, civilly engaged and inclusive communities. On the surface, there is a noble tone, but the reality is if Facebook builds all those communities, it will become the only place you go on the web, making individuals available to advertisers.
So as a small business owner what should you be doing to take advantage of the social shifts?
- Images in all shapes and sizes. While simple images still dominate the timeline, Facebook has given businesses many other options to interest excite and engage their fans. Multiple images, albums, slideshows and carousels allow you to tell a story with images and video that is much more engaging than a single update.
- Targeting a mobile community with canvas. This is a cool feature to create mobile content. It allows you to mix video, text and graphics in one update. Use with caution, because it doesn’t display the same way on desktops.
- Gifs!!! Everyone seems to love the short animated GIF. Somewhere between a static image and a video, the GIF grabs our attention long enough to make us smile. Now advertisers are smiling too as they discover they can use GIFs in boosted posts.
- Expanded functions for Messenger. When they first spun off the messenger function I have to admit I was confused. Why did it need to be a separate app? It seems Facebook has grand plans for this app. The expanded camera function rolled out late last year. It includes the ability to doodle over photos or videos using your finger, add stickers and emojis, add real-time masks, effects and art filters to your selfie and other images. This is clearly an attempt to woo younger users back away from Snapchat. And when they arrive, you will soon be able to display advertising in the messenger app.
- Speed is everything. With the new Facebook Hyperlapse app anyone can create fast motion video for Facebook and or Instagram.
This is the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more interesting things you can do on your company page. Not sure how to get started? Download our Facebook Content Planner today.