What Facebook’s Latest Update Means For Brands

Facebook's overhaul of privacy and publishing controls, plus the new tagging and sharing features, will require marketers to change their strategies for reaching desired audiences, says guest writer Lawrence Mak, product marketing manager at Context Optional.

Facebook announced a major overhaul of privacy and publishing controls on user profiles, plus new tagging and sharing functionality.

These changes mean that the strategy for reaching a desired audience will change.

More Precise Targeting For Deals

In addition to tagging both friends and non-friends, users will be able to tag content with location data. More importantly, deals won’t require a check-in, gaining more exposure as a result.

People won’t only see deals when they’re in the vicinity of a business, but well before arrival and long after departure from the area.

Marketers will be able to offer a wider variety of deals, both ones that require redemption right away, and longer-term offers; campaigns could span offers at the point of sale and appeals to people who’ve already completed a transaction.

More News Feed Opportunities

Another plus for advertisers: Location tags in the news feed will make deals appear in more users’ news feeds.

That will make deals more visible and engaging. People spend the majority of their time on Facebook reading the news feed and are more likely to engage with content there.

Advertisers would see increased impression rates and possibly in deal redemption.

Brand visibility would therefore expand as a user’s friends and non-friends share and comment on the content.

Impressions And Engagement

Users will be able to choose whether to publish individual items publicly, to friends or customized subsets. The latter two might affect a brand’s search engine results and rankings.

Users may choose to limit sharing of brand-related content and that might reduce impressions and engagement for brands.

To ensure their messages continue to be heard and shared on Facebook, marketers need to start thinking now about improving audience targeting and content relevancy when posting things that show up in fans’ news feeds.

Change Is Afoot

Ultimately, these updates to Facebook will appease users concerned about privacy and give marketers new reasons to increase local ad spending.

We think these changes are a precursor to greater changes for users and marketers in the near future; Facebook will continue to improve the user experience while increasing the quantity and quality of money-making opportunities for marketers. Revenue will grow for all involved.

Guest writer Lawrence Mak is product marketing manager at Context Optional.