Social Media Close-Up: Facebook

When it comes to social media platforms, there’s no question that Facebook is the mothership. 

With more than 2.2 billion users, (for reference, that’s more than ¼ of the total world population) there’s absolutely no question that a brand should have a presence on Facebook. But the platform and the way users consume content has changed significantly over the last decade. For years, Facebook was the hub for social sharing, especially between friends and family. More recently, brands have gotten in on the action, and now the platform is a crowded content ecosystem that encourages engagement, conversation, and interaction.

The trick as a brand, however, is figuring out how to connect and engage with consumers in an authentic way. With a barrage of content constantly landing in front of users at every moment of the day, how does a brand stand out? Creativity is certainly one answer, but in reality, there’s so much more. 

Facebook Insights

Creating quality, engaging content for a brand is a combination of several elements like understanding brand tone, knowing the audience, staying up-to-date with trends, and tracking and studying analytics. The last piece of the puzzle, tracking analytics, is one that’s often ignored due to team bandwidth and resources, but it’s arguably one of the most important steps. 

Studying data and analytics can be time-consuming, but understanding what an audience is responding to on which social media platform is incredibly valuable — more valuable than pumping out irrelevant or evergreen content without basis. This is where Facebook Insights comes in. The platform’s native analytics tool, Facebook Insights details of vast amount of data, including a post’s organic reach, audience demographics, page actions, link clicks, video views… you name it, it’s probably there. This type of analytical data can help steer strategy and add insight where creativity might be lacking. 

Any user who manages a page on Facebook has access to Insights. Regardless of a user’s previous understanding of analytics or background in digital strategy, Insights is a fantastic resource to simply dive in head-first and get a solid understanding of who is interacting with the page or content, what type of content is most successful, and any trends that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. 

Native Videos

Facebook added the ability to add and publish videos directly through the platform versus sharing from a hosting site such as YouTube or Vimeo. While videos on external sites will still play on Facebook, there are slight differences in how Facebook responds to these videos that might result in higher levels of engagement.

The primary difference lies in the autoplay feature of Facebook videos. Any videos that are added natively to the platform (i.e., is hosting it) will play automatically as users scroll through their feeds. Videos that are hosted on other sites may not always autoplay, thus creating an extra step for users, which could mean all the difference when it comes to video views. Additionally, it’s been speculated that Facebook and other social media platforms prioritize native video content versus third-party videos in feed algorithms. In layman’s terms, this means that any video published directly through Facebook is pushed to the top of a user’s feed more often than videos hosted on sites like YouTube. To overcome this particular Facebook nuance, post videos natively whenever possible to maximize the potential for engagement.

Creator Studio

Publishing videos on Facebook brings us to the Creator Studio, the platform’s newest attempt at developing a hub for all things content creation. Creator Studio’s clean interface allows users to manage their content all in one place, which is particularly useful for users who manage multiple pages (and Instagram profiles, too). It allows users to see content assets across a variety of pages, manage and post videos for different pages, create and publish ads or paid posts, and track and monitor the performance of these initiatives. It brings together all of the tools you’re likely to need and helps you utilize the latest features and opportunities to monetize your content.

A brand’s Facebook strategy doesn’t completely revolve around analytics, but these tools and nuances within the platform can help guide content creation and hopefully result in higher engagement numbers. A complete winning strategy is a combination of creativity, relevancy, and data, but most importantly, fluidity and adaptability. Familiarization with the platform’s tools and an understanding of its unwritten rules will go a long way in strengthening your brand’s Facebook presence.

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