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Facebook is constantly evolving. With a staggering 1.65 million monthly users, it’s the most saturated social media platform there is and this results in a continuous need for change to keep those billions happy, engaged and active.

In the past few weeks, Facebook has announced two significant changes; both of which could have a serious impact on marketing for brands and businesses:

New Ad-Free Page Layout

The most significant physical change that Facebook has introduced recently is their cleaner, ad-free desktop layout that’s slowly being rolled out. The new format sees no adverts displayed on pages themselves giving the page a cleaner, more minimal look altogether. Here’s how it appears on the BritWeb Facebook page:

BritWeb Facebook page with new layout

Not only does the new page layout offer an ad-free experience, it’s also created a more streamlined menu to the left of the page, making the header image more prominent, along with a more pronounced ‘call to action’ button.

Perhaps the biggest benefit to the new page layout is the latter; this gives brands more of a chance to capitalise on their button and increase conversions, traffic to website, enquiries etc. However, the downside to the new format is, of course, the loss of adverts. Whilst your paid-for ads will still appear on people’s main News Feed, their journey with your ad will end as soon as they click off onto a profile; meaning there’s less chance of clicks.

A pain, yes; but yet another reason to up your advertising game and make your paid-for content that bit more engaging, making people want to click immediately.

Friends and Family News Feed

Facebook header

Another big change in the Facebook world is the announcement of a more ‘family and friends based’ timeline for individual’s. On their Newsroom, Facebook stated: “Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family…(their) top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to”. In theory, that’s great. Indeed, many of us will have opened a personal Facebook account in the first place to catch up with friends, stay in touch with family and perhaps do the odd spot of celeb stalking.

The update Facebook is making to its algorithm will mean that eventually, stories and updates from people’s friends and family – those they engage with and chat to the most – will appear higher up in the News Feed, taking prominence over any brand posts, adverts etc.

This change will undoubtedly have an impact on brands and businesses using the social platform. In fact, Facebook confirms this, saying: “Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to delcine for some Pages.” Not good news.

Facebook goes on to say that pages who solely rely on page posts to generate engagement will likely be impacted the most. It will no longer be enough to pop a post or photo up and expect your audience to like and comment freely.

The key to not seeing a dip in your engagement is to post content that’s likely to be shared by your audience. That way, you can hope more people will see the content and engage with it, giving yourself more prominence and more likelihood to be seen. You can find out more quickfire ways to increase your reach here.

Whilst some are complaining that this is yet another way of Facebook getting brands to pay more for advertising and is not offering a “fair” social landscape to its users, we at BritWeb think it’s a good excuse to get more creative with social media marketing and think “outside the box” when it comes to Facebook. As social marketers, we can no longer rely on our audience or fans liking our content “just because they want to”. Clearly Facebook’s update is a result of user demand and people wanting to be connected more with things they actually care about.

Let BritWeb help

We have a team dedicated to social media at BritWeb and would be more than happy to help with your Facebook marketing. Give us a call on 01403 261491 or email info@britweb.co.uk to find out more.

Posted in Social Media.

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