3 Facebook business opportunities in 2017

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With a 17% increase in daily users and a 16% increase in monthly users, it’s fair to say that Facebook is finally making its revival, following a 21% decrease in personal updates early last year. Facebook’s recent success could be due to a combination of factors, such as the introduction of Facebook Live and the decreasing popularity of Twitter, but one thing is for certain – there are plenty of opportunities for businesses on Facebook this coming year.

Social and paid content opportunities were some of the hot topics on David Bain’s Digital Marketing Radio Christmas Special back in December, with over 100 experts giving their digital marketing strategy tips for 2017.

If you missed the show there’s no need to worry – David is releasing a full book, covering all of the expert marketing tips from the show’s guests, in early February. You can pre-order ‘Digital Marketing in 2017’ now.

In this blog, we take a look into some of these different opportunities that Facebook offers to businesses:

 

Facebook Live

Live video platforms only really began gaining huge popularity this past year or so, with 81% of internet and mobile audiences watching more live video in 2016 than they did in 2015. The live video platform that seems to be getting the most interest, from both consumers and businesses, is Facebook’s-own Facebook Live.

You may be thinking that video isn’t the right strategy for your business, but the list of ways you can use Facebook Live to your advantage really is endless. You could live stream a behind the scenes at an event, do live Q&As, live tutorials, and – as Andrew and Pete mention in ‘Digital Marketing in 2017’ – you can even do Facebook Live takeovers, as well as so much more.

FB blog 2As Amy Schmittauer also highlighted in ‘Digital Marketing in 2017’, you can use live video to promote your other channels – if you’re already creating video content for your business, for example on YouTube, then Facebook Live can be a great platform to talk about and promote this content too.

The main benefit of Facebook Live, when compared to other live video platforms, is that there are already over two billion Facebook users. When you compare this to similar platforms (like Periscope with 10 million users and Meerkat with 2 million users) the difference is clear. Facebook Live also has other advantages, most notably the increase in engagement – Facebook Live videos see 10 times more comments than regular Facebook videos do.

 

Facebook auto-bidding

Facebook Advertising has come a long way since it first launched in 2004. Even in the last few years we’ve seen massive changes. For example, you now have the ability to refine your target audience down to pretty much anything, from if they have a ‘family member with a birthday in the next seven days’, to if they are ‘interested in snowboarding’.

One of the aspects of Facebook Ads that we’re excited to see more of in 2017 is auto-bidding. It’s a relatively new concept in which Facebook automatically sets bids for you, depending on your budget, audience, ad type, and a variety of other factors. Facebook currently ‘recommend automatic bidding if you don’t have a specific value in mind for the result you’re optimizing for, or are still trying to figure out the right manual bid’, but you can expect auto-bidding to become the more popular option over the next year or so as it is developed further and is given greater capability.

Experts, such as Andrew Foxwell also recommend bidding on impressions as a more effective alternative to bidding on clicks, when using Facebook Ads. Cost per click tends to be an easier option for those who don’t spend much time optimising their ads, but this means you’re less likely to get the ROI you’re looking for. Cost per impression seems to be the better option for people who are able to invest more time or resources into optimising their ads. This article could help you decide which option is right for you.

Facebook auto-bidding is definitely something to watch out for and get involved in this year, especially if you’re an experienced Facebook Ads user. If you’re new to Facebook Ads, this ‘how to’ guide could be useful!

 

Facebook Messenger Chatbots

Did you hear about the launch of automated ‘chatbots’ on Facebook Messenger, in April last year? When they were first introduced, there was only a small number successfully working – all with very limited capabilities – but since then Facebook has seen a massive surge in chatbots, now with a total of over 30,000.FB blog 3

Chatbots are great for customer service. Their purpose is essentially to have automated conversations with your customers, and answer any of their questions or queries. As Purna Virji highlights, companies like Sephora are already successfully using chatbots for customer service. In terms of automation, we can expect to see these chatbots develop even greater capability over the next couple of months and years – maybe they’ll eventually be able to have full conversations with your customers?

There are several different ways you can create a Facebook chatbot, and anyone with a Facebook business page has the ability to set up a chatbot, and then submit it for review by Facebook. There are even companies out there that design chatbots for businesses, or, if you already have a preferred developer, it’s likely that they’ll be able to design one for you.

 

Facebook is definitely the platform to keep an eye on in 2017. These different elements of Facebook could all easily be applied to your business’ marketing strategy, and, with the rate of Facebook’s continued domination of the social media market, it’s likely there could still be more opportunities to be announced in the near future!

To discover all the expert tips and advice for 2017 from 110 different digital marketing professionals, including tips on Facebook, technical SEO, content marketing, customer journeys, and more, make sure you pre-order ‘Digital Marketing in 2017’ today!

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