8 key updates for Social Media Marketing from Facebook’s F8 Conference
Every social media agency on the planet has had their eyes trained on San Jose, California this week, where Mark Zuckerberg and the team gathered for the annual Facebook F8 Conference.
First held in 2007, this event has quickly become the one to watch for developers & agencies offering social media services, with many of the industry’s most game-changing new features & launches of recent years announced at the event.
This year was no exception, with a whole host of new developments revealed that open up new opportunities for your upcoming social media campaigns.
So to save you time, we’ve condensed the action from this pivotal event into 8 key updates social media marketers should take notice of.
1.Instagram Creator Shopping
Given the meteoric rise of influencer marketing and the fact that some studies have found influencer endorsements generate 11x higher ROI than online display ads, this one is a biggie.
Influencers will soon have the opportunity to tag products in their posts so consumers can purchase within the app with just a few clicks, without having to leave Instagram. Naturally, this will make influencer partnerships an even more important element of any brand or content marketing agency’s offering, particularly in industries like travel, fashion, hospitality and homeware
2. Messenger Lead Ad Templates
Many brands have started to comprehend the value of Messenger Bots for providing valuable cost efficiencies in functions like customer service, but the process of designing and setting up a Bot can still be off-putting for less tech savvy brands. Messenger Lead Ad Templates help to combat this, creating an easy way for brands to automate the process of booking appointments or gaining customer insight through a simple Q&A format.
It’s not surprising that Facebook is aiming to broaden its service offering with functions like this, as Chinese social app WeChat has found dominance by cornering the local market in everything from messaging and games to payments & travel bookings, almost eliminating the need for other apps.
3. WhatsApp Business Catalogue
While privacy concerns have made many people more cautious about what they share on Facebook, WhatsApp has quietly amassed over 1.5 billion global users as people search for more private ways to share.
This has been a worry for even the best social media agencies, so marketers will welcome Facebook’s latest announcement regarding an upcoming WhatsApp Business Catalogue with open arms. The catalogue will help connect individuals with businesses offering the products they seek, aiding discovery for brands that take advantage of this lucrative new feature.
4. Stories Donation Stickers
It’s not all about driving ROI and budget-saving efficiencies, social media agencies that work with non-profit organisations will also be delighted to hear that Facebook will be introducing a new Instagram Stories sticker format that allows users to donate to a cause through just a few taps. Crucially, it has confirmed that 100% of proceeds will go to your chosen charity.
5. Events Tab
As a Manchester social media agency, we have lots of experience representing some of the region’s most exciting businesses and hospitality venues, so it’s brilliant to see that Facebook is continuing to invest in options designed for a more localised region. In particular, a specific Events Tab will be offered within a redesigned layout of the overall Facebook app, with functions aimed at offering users more tailored recommendations for local business listings and events.
6. Desktop Messenger Group Streams
Many of the main social media networks have introduced or upgraded group video calling options in the past few years, but given the shift towards mobile-first development, some business and B2B users have felt left behind. The announcement that Facebook will be launching a desktop app for messenger with the option to host live group video calls will therefore be a helpful new development, enabling video conferences through the app and providing a free alternative to traditional B2B conference call services.
7. Instagram Create Mode
Instagram has announced a change to the camera interface, including a specific new ‘Create’ section alongside the ‘camera’ and ‘live’ options. Create Mode will include tools to create content without using photos or video, such as colour gradient backgrounds, text tools and stickers.
Though these features have always been accessible, making them into a more prominent section could make non-photo sharing more common & expected amongst consumers. In turn, brands could use this visual style as an inexpensive way to generate interactive content, without it feeling too unusual or low-quality for the platform. This is a good option for small businesses without content production resources, but ultimately high-quality photo and video content is still likely to perform best.
8. Messenger Group Video Viewing
Having already launch communal video viewing options within Groups and Instagram, Facebook has also announced a group video option for Messenger, allowing friends to watch the same video in parallel, sharing their reactions & feedback with each other in real-time. Though use cases for marketers aren’t as immediately evident as some of the other new features, it will be interesting to see if this encourages brands to invest in longer-form content, since it represents a more natural fit for group viewing than a 10 second clip.
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