5 Facebook updates every marketer should know

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Facebook’s annual developer conference, titled F8, has just wrapped. Agencies, marketers and brands have been holding their breath for the past month in anticipation – for good reason, as it turns out.

Many updates were covered. Some have been a work-in-progress since 2018 and some are new to us. Let’s focus on the changes that are going to affect us immediately.

1. Major Facebook redesign

The new design puts communities at the centre of the experience. This comes with new tools that make it easier to discover and engage with people who share your brand’s interests. Many marketers have ignored Groups up till now, saying they’re too time-consuming and restrictive. Let’s hope these updates make Groups a little easier to manage.

2. Events will be localised

The current Events tab will be updated to function like a hyper-local news feed (a fusion between Facebook Local and Facebook Events). For customers this means their attention is pulled in yet more directions. For marketers this means more content, tailored for different audiences, in more places, more often. Sigh.

3. Privacy prevails

Zuckerberg’s new vision for Facebook responds to a greater social demand – more privacy! So, in order for businesses to reach customers, Facebook suggests direct messaging. Why is this challenging for marketers? 

  1. Marketing solutions via Messenger aren’t plentiful or creative
  2. Customers complain that Messenger ads are too invasive and spammy
  3. Sponsored messages are hated by many users and often deter them away from the brand

What’s the solution?

  1. Prioritise Stories, for both organic and paid activity
  2. Look to Facebook Groups and reprioritise community management
  3. Test new Messenger tools as soon as they become available

4. Messenger Lead Generation ads & Appointment Scheduling

Finally, some good news for marketers. Lead generation templates and appointment scheduling are now in beta mode, to be rolled out later this year. Although these aren’t new they’re being tweaked and improved with the marketer in mind. For example, the booking feature within the Messenger Platform API can be integrated with calendar systems so customers can book an available timeslot directly through Facebook.

5. Ad relevancy reporting improves

Since 2015 the Ad Relevance score has been an important KPI for marketers. Its gives advertisers greater insight into the quality of their campaigns. Yet this single figure has been pretty useless for giving any insight into what is working well with the ad and what isn’t–is it the copy, creative, targeting? Here’s the good news – from this month Facebook has introduced three new relevance metrics instead of one. This means marketers will be able to determine how creative audience targeting or post-click experience are affecting ad performance. Here are the three metrics to look out for:

1) Quality Ranking – your ad’s perceived quality compared to ads competing for the same audience
2) Engagement Rate Ranking – your ad’s expected engagement compared to ads competing for the same audience
3) Conversion Rate Ranking – your ad’s expected conversion rate compared to ads with a similar optimisation goal and targeting the same audience

It’s not what marketers want to hear, but it’s becoming crucial for brands to be just as quick at trying new tactics as Facebook is at rolling them out. The key is not to become overwhelmed by trying to adopt every new tool that comes out. Get started with one or two things, then review and adapt as needed.