by Brittany McSorley
Our lives are dictated by several unspoken, immutable rules. If you’re very late for an appointment, you will hit every red light on your way there. Begin to even suspect you’re getting a cold, and you’ll wake up the next morning with a stuffy nose and the voice of Harvey Fierstein. And every time a bell rings, Facebook initiates another sweeping, unnecessary overhaul.
Who hurt you, Facebook? Why do you do this to us? It was only like, five months ago that we started to feel comfortable with the “react” buttons, yet you never pass up an opportunity to update your platform and throw society into unknowable chaos. I swear, I would be so out of here if I didn’t need your services to brag about travelling and keep tabs on my enemies.
Anyway, Facebook has been weird lately. (Who hasn’t, really?) For those who only use the platform personally, these unexpected changes merit a brief “Ugh, again?” before moving on. But for business owners, each new tweak is a potential hiccup in their social media marketing efforts. Here are a few changes that we’ve bumped on recently at KDC and, where possible, advice on working around them.
People love clicking on things. I strongly believe this has been the tenet driving every meeting in America since the dawn of MySpace. As such, Facebook has added a new button option for business pages. When creating a post, you can opt to include a button allowing followers to contact your business. They appear as options at the bottom of a post, inviting customers to “Send Message” or “Call Now” or “Accept the Robot Uprising Peacefully.”
Facebook refers to these as “call to action” buttons. At KDC, we refer to them as rather pushy. Yes, it’s important to make it easy for customers to reach you, but these buttons can make even the most personalized posts seem ad-like and sales-y. We’ve found that the buttons are sometimes showing up automatically when creating a new post—to get rid of it, you must locate and click a nearly transparent “X” over the message before you publish your content.
But hey, to each their own. If you’re into this specific customer communication boost, this guide to CTA buttons is here to show you the way.
Some Facebook pages (both personal and business) now feature a circular profile picture. There’s a joke here playing on the term “square,” but I’m better than that, and so are you. This started as far back as last August and has been a slow rollout, because Facebook is sneaky. You know how your mom can slowly manipulate your behavior by dedicating fifteen Pavlovian years to making pointed comments and rewarding you with baked goods? Facebook has taken you on the same ride, my friend.
The round look has been called “more engaging,” which makes sense. Smoothness is soothing. Corners are harsh and upsetting, like literally any experience you’ve ever had at Dunkin’ Donuts. This change doesn’t mean much, and there doesn’t appear to be a way to reverse it if you’re a fan of the square. Why have I told you about it then, you ask? I don’t know, man. I’m just taking stock at the end of another year. Give me a break.
On the bright side, if your profile picture has made the transition, you can now hover over the picture and click the appearing “+” button to create a new post. That’s… something.
Mark Zuckerberg Hates Your Business
At KDC, we encourage using Facebook to make personal connections with customers. The potential for engagement is what makes the platform such a great marketing tool. In 2018, however, that same potential for engagement has actually hindered marketing efforts.
At the beginning of this year, Mark Zuckerberg used his dangerous brainchild to announce an algorithm shift that would prioritize personal content on newsfeeds. He wrote, “Public content—posts from businesses, brands and media—is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other… I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”
Cool, Mark. Helpful.
Don’t worry, though. There are workarounds for this. Videos are getting a larger share of the limelight with this algorithm shift, so increasing your video content will increase engagement. Bait your customers with fancy moving pictures just as you’d bait a fussy child with a shiny object.
Follower engagement is also being given major priority, so the more comments you can elicit from your followers, the better. Use your posts to ask for customer input and encourage discussion, and you’ll secure a better spot in the newsfeed.
Share too many links and you’ll be tagged as too market-y, so opt for a “check out our website” rather than dropping in a URL. Hey, you could always use those horrid CTA buttons.
Finally, pay attention to your timing. Share content when more people are on Facebook for an effortless added boost. There’s all kinds of data available regarding who is using Facebook when. You can schedule your posts based on when your specific followers are online, or when certain demographics are logging in, to increase engagement.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated when, inevitably, Facebook throws us all for another loop. In the meantime, if all else fails, there’s always Twitter! (I’m kidding. Twitter is a whole thing right now. Give it some space.)