When establishing a social media presence for your business, making Facebook part of the equation is a no-brainer. However, upon missing revenue projections for two quarters in a row, the social media giant recently unveiled a new strategy that will impact the future of the platform on its recent 2018 third-quarter earnings call. Since these changes will have a direct impact on your ability to effectively promote your business on Facebook going forward, it's critical that you're in the loop with the new direction that Facebook is taking.
While Facebook continues to own the largest market share in the social media space with 2.29 billion monthly active users, CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that there is a major shift in the way that today's consumers are connecting online. Outlined below is an overview of the changing ways that consumers are interacting on Facebook and how the social media giant plans to revamp the social network to appeal to its users:
Emphasis on Private Messaging Tools
According to Zuckerberg, the most notable transition with the way that people are connecting online is that they want to take their conversations with brands and peers alike to the private side, which is why Facebook will begin emphasizing the use of its messaging tools in 2019.
Facebook's main messaging tool is Facebook Messenger, which has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users. Brands are turning to Facebook Messenger to raise brand awareness, enhance customer service, and streamline communications. The latest development with Facebook Messenger is the incorporation of artificial intelligence to create smart chatbots to help humanize online interactions. Considering that chatbots give businesses the ability to interact with customers 24/7, eliminate redundancies in workflows, and strengthen customer service, we can expect more businesses to use Facebook Messenger chatbots in 2019.
Facebook Stories is another messaging tool that is gaining traction with users. In an effort to compete with Snapchat and to appeal to users' desire to share photo or video collections that have been edited with a variety of filters, Facebook rolled out Facebook Stories in 2017. While Facebook Stories can be made public, they can also be shared with a private audience, thus appealing to users that just want to share their stories with select Facebook users via a direct message.
Seeing the demand to take conversations to "the dark side," Facebook purchased the popular messaging app WhatsApp in 2014 and has grown this tool to have more than 1.5 billion active monthly users. WhatsApp is enormously popular (even more so than the Facebook Messenger tool) as it allows users to send text messages, voice messages, video calls, images, documents, and location. Something that has made WhatsApp so attractive to users is that it doesn't impose ads on users. However, Facebook announced that this will be changing in 2019 as it will begin to show ads in the WhatsApp Status tab. From a marketer's standpoint, the new opportunity to advertise on WhatsApp will get your brand in front of a massive audience that is active on the app daily.
Video Will Continue to Dominate Facebook
Video marketing has exploded on Facebook over the past 12 months and will continue to be one of the preferred forms of content by the Facebook algorithm in 2019.
Historically, if you've run video advertisements on Facebook, you may not have had a clear picture of your ROI despite the advanced metrics that the Facebook advertising platform offers. Facebook heard these frustrations from marketers and has made a significant update to its video metrics to help businesses measure true video engagement, gain a better understanding of why consumers are choosing to view the video, and optimize video content based on the user behavior.
Also, for brands that have been hesitant to run video advertisements on Facebook, a new tool offered is the Facebook Video Creation Kit, which allows brands to convert their existing photo assets into mobile-optimized videos. This is a great tool to help brands get their feet wet with video marketing and test out the ROI.
All in all, despite Facebook missing its earnings mark over the past two quarters, it's clear that this social media giant is poised to continue to hold the majority market share in the social media space with the strategic enhancements coming down the pipe for 2019.
How New York Ave Can Help
Are you currently using Facebook to promote your business? Our creative team at New York Ave can help you to create social media content that will allow you to spark more conversations online and keep your audience engaged. We're up-to-date with the latest trends in the social media marketing arena, and the strategy that we will build for your business will take into account the shift in the way that today's consumers prefer to interact online.
Contact us at New York Ave to learn more about how we can help your business to excel with social media marketing in 2019.