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“Change before you have to.” ~Jack Welch
What a day it was. I was having a nice Wednesday morning: clearing email, writing my next blog post and getting ready for the Facebook Marketing Conference in NYC. I set up Livestream and within moments I realized I was “not in Kansas anymore”.
To say these changes to Facebook Business Pages are monumental is an understatement. Whether you felt it or not, there was a Facebook “off the Richter Scale” earthquake yesterday and it means life as we know it has changed forever.
One main theme rose above all else for me during the conference: engagement is what drives Facebook success and awesome content is how you do that. Before I make my point however, here are some of the highlights that are key to dealers and their community managers:
1. Timeline for Pages deadline is March 30th. You can preview and publish now if you want to but you’ll need to work out your Page’s marketing strategy before you do that. Read on.
2. Cover Photo. This new image located at the top of the Timeline offers you a great chance to include some strong, creative branding on your page. However, your new Cover cannot contain:
• Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download at our website”.
• Contact information such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section.
• References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features.
• Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”.
(See, I told you it was rocking our world!)
3. Death of the Landing Page. For years now I’ve been preaching about greeting your visitors right with a Welcome Page. Good News! Those of you who didn’t do it are off the hook. Bad News? In the past you could set a landing tab for your page (Welcome page, Fan Gate) to attract attention, grow the fan base and collect contact info (leads) for follow up. Well, you can forget that now because there is no such thing as a landing tab anymore.
4. Premium on Facebook. This new ad offering includes the Reach Generator tool that enables you to select your most engaging Page posts to be featured as a premium ad. You also get Offers, a new way to advertise your specials. Premium allows you to distribute the ad 4 ways: 1) the Facebook homepage to the right of the News Feed, 2) in the News Feed on desktop, 3) in the News Feed on mobile, and 4) in the logged-off experience. Facebook says it could maximize reach to 75% of your fans and double engagement. We’ll see.
5. Real-Time Insights. You can now access data and metrics for engagement on your Page in real-time. This gives you the ability to quickly supplement a campaign with paid media or additional posts to capitalize on post performance and maximize audience reach.
6. Pinned Posts. You’ll be able to “pin” a post to the top of the timeline which is a great way to spotlight important marketing content and drive awareness and engagement with any people visiting the Page. A pinned post can stay pinned for up to seven days.
There are a lot more changes, enhancements and new features so be sure to stay informed.
Content marketing is now your most important tool in Facebook marketing. With the loss of landing tabs, you’re going to be forced to consistently supply your fans with quality content. If you’re a regular reader of this blog (of course you are!), you know that I talk a lot about creating internal processes inside the store to foster awareness with your customer. Now more than ever, you’ll need the content collaboration and contributions from your employees. They are on the front lines talking with your customer. They are your insurance policy on engagement.
The lasting effect of all these new Facebook marketing changes will reveal itself in the weeks/months to come. Get a jump on your competitor and make the necessary moves now. If you don’t have a dedicated person to handle Social Media, grow your own NOW. If you have one, make sure they are trained and ready to go. The only thing constant is change. Take action, build your fan base and engage them with content that communicates who you are and what your store stands for.
Your Turn: How will you handle these massive new Facebook marketing changes?
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