Facebook doesn’t fall behind Instagram, since Facebook user statistics say that the number of active monthly users reaches a whopping number of 2.8 billion. Two-thirds visit the platform on a daily basis and they are aged under 35. These facts place Facebook as a top-1 advertising platform. We can dwell on the statistics for hours and this means that this massive audience is simply impossible to ignore. Facebook significantly differs from Instagram and has developed its own trends for you to follow in order to keep abreast of the latest SM strategy.
Here is the list of Facebook Do’s 2021:
Do #1 Stories, stories, stories! They’ve become extremely popular. They are a perfect way to announce any event a day before, as sales start, company updates or even film premiere, etc. They are perfect, because they require a little production, but get a wider reach.
In April, is a long-awaited tool, especially for SM Managers, became available. We are talking about the ability to schedule both Facebook and Instagram Stories. Business Suite allowed composing and scheduling them to go live on both platforms. Third-party platforms used to offer this option, but the native tool is a perfect option to stay in touch with your audience. We, more Stories!
Do #2 More focus on video, even within ads. This year video content gained its momentum, so Facebook developed many useful hacks. A recent survey shows that users prefer videos to text-based content, that’s why the vast majority of businesses are integrating video content into their marketing strategy.
With its shift to video content, Facebook focused on short videos and allowed creators to get profit from videos just one minute long. This feature was launched in March. In this case, a video is interrupted by an ad at 30 seconds. Three-minute-long videos stop for the commercial at 45 seconds. The opportunity to monetize short videos could be an attempt to put some more pressure on TikTok. Facebook is also about to start testing Facebook Stories Monetization with sticker-like ads. New rules are actually welcoming for new short-form creators.
Video content got one more useful feature back in June – “Smart Crop”. A new smart tool identifies the most interesting areas, which can be reused. Now, this feature is available in the Creator Studio upload flow. Smart Crop automatically generates a 1:1 or 4:5 version of any clip using machine learning. This feature allows reviewing and publishing a video directly from the Studio. If you’ve got a lot of videos to work with, this tool is well worth experimenting with it. So, SM managers would probably be the first users.
In August the US became the first country to start live testing, which allowed sharing Instagram Reels to the main app. In this way, Facebook is trying to enable users to share short videos within the application News Feed and Groups. Reels became available on the Reels Section at the top of your News Feed or you could simply tap a “Create” button while watching it. Users were also given the ability to share Instagram Reels to your Feed. These features might give a boost to short videos creation and prevent users from migrating to TikTok.
Besides that, using videos in your strategy allows you to combine two more trends into one global strategy – authenticity and UGC (user-generated content). Those, who have already tested or experienced your product/service, can make a video review of it. Thus, it will help you build a more persuasive marketing strategy.
Do #3 Chatbot can streamline your work. You must have noticed Facebook Messenger popups once you click a Facebook Business Page. That is a chatbot. As per the recent survey by the end of last year, almost 90% of B2C communication was handled by the customer without interaction with a human being. This is the software, which can imitate human conversation in a live manner on a Facebook Company Page. It meets customers’ needs and provides 24/7 customer support.
More information about chatbots here on the VAfromEurope blog: (https://vafromeurope.com/a-chatbot-will-revolutionize-your-business-communication/)
Do #4 Augmented Reality and VR get momentum. Augmented reality became even more important in 2021 because it provides virtual augmentations, filters, etc. that create a unique experience. More and more brands tend to use their own AR filter to enhance customers’ experience.
In June Facebook announced a new stage of AR development – Multipeer API for creators. This process allows creating AR effects for several users at a time. With the development of AR brands will get a lot of opportunities for enhancing customers’ experience. For now, all the creators can participate in beta testing.
Back in February Facebook made an attempt to improve functionality on its Oculus devices and launched Multi-User Account Support. The Oculus Device had allowed only a single user account before that. As of February 2021, users were allowed to log in multiple accounts into one headset, which made using it much easier for all the family members.
In June, Facebook even launched ads tests within the VR world in a limited capacity since the VR world requires significant investment. August brought one more piece of news on VR – new Horizon Workrooms. In the long run, it will be a workspace for those, who cannot be physically together. Colleagues will be able to join it as an avatar or by a video call. These workrooms might come in handy amid this seemingly endless pandemic.
By the way, Facebook has already announced the date for its Facebook Connect, which is a virtual conference on its AR and VR tools. Be sure not to miss the date.
Do #5 Facebook Shopping gains its momentum and it’s one of the fastest-growing trends. Any kind of business, whose primary goal is to sell, needs to set up a shop on their Business Page, where customers may view and even buy products/services without even leaving the platform.
In February, Due to eCommerce growth, Facebook launched shops for users in Canada and the UK alongside the US. Now they see a shopping bookmark on the menu and are able to see personalized offers from brands within their News Feed and via notifications. And, after some testing, Facebook launched “Shops” as a single one store on both platforms – Facebook and Instagram. SM giant also promised to provide businesses with a link to “Shops”, an extension to Page tools.
Last month Facebook even made an attempt to widen its payment reach and make a platform a checking-out option. So, in August third-party websites got an option of enabling Facebook pay without having to enter any passwords again. This would probably speed up the checking-out process and improve customers’ experience.
Are you following them all or at least some of them? If you need more ideas on your marketing strategy or you’re not simply sure if you do it right, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.