Summer 2020


2019 marked Facebook’s 15th consecutive year of growth for both active users and time spent on the platform, and 2020 has shown no signs of slowing down. With more potential customers on Facebook than ever before, many marketers consider Facebook to be an essential part of their social marketing plans. What changes have come, and will come, to Facebook’s family of apps, and how can marketers best navigate these changes in order to ensure success for the second half of 2020? Mari Smith, CEO of Mari Smith International, Inc., and a premier Facebook-marketing expert, provided us with guidance and insight to help keep your social media marketing on track. To start, Smith says that Facebook’s pivot

to privacy has continued to expand. She sees changes to Facebook’s desktop design that will mimic the existing mobile app design and prioritize groups and Stories over the News Feed. This redesign leaves the News Feed with much less ad space, while ad placements in videos (both pre- and mid-roll), in Stories, and in Messenger will grow. Smith also believes that Facebook will emphasize smaller, more intimate communities to users, creating a challenge for

marketers who are used to measuring organic reach and targeting ads through the News Feed. With challenge comes opportunity, though, and Smith says that marketers can achieve success by focusing on four areas:

MESSAGING The open rate for ads in Messenger is an amazing 84.3 percent, with a click-through rate of 28.3 percent, making Messenger ads a terrific complement to any email marketing strategy. Look for greater Messenger marketing automation through chatbots, which can allow users to set appointments and can provide automatic updates and generate leads.

GROUPS Groups have a prominent position in Facebook’s new desktop design, and Smith believes they are one of the best ways to engage users. Some ideas to engage audiences through groups include broadcasting “live” in your group and by posting a high-performing blog post as an in-group ad to help redirect traffic to your site or to a landing page. Useful analytic tools you may notice in groups include reach stats and a boost button.

[1] [Top Four Takeaways]

Publish Engaging Video Content

Video, especially live video, gets the highest reach and engagement on Facebook. Smith suggests a content ratio of 70 percent video, 20 percent image, and 10 percent text or link posts. Keep in mind that video and image posts can also include links and CTAs, so there’s no need to create separate text posts for them.


Embrace Stories

Create native, vertically integrated micro-content for both Instagram and Facebook. Always remember that mobile users love to touch their phones! Be sure to include interactive content such as polls and quizzes to increase engagement and involve your audience in your story.

STORIES Stories are growing five times faster than feed content, according to Smith, and they are a quick way to engage users through a countdown to an event, a poll, or a short quiz. Marketers are probably familiar with Stories from Instagram, which has 500 million daily users; what you may not know is that Facebook and Messenger also have 500 million daily users, making them ripe for your story content.

VIDEO Content is still king, and video will remain the king of kings. In fact, Facebook suggests posting video to your business page twice a day to foster engagement. Streaming viewers will have the opportunity to purchase products and services in-stream, making video even more important to your social media marketing strategy. How long should your video be? Smith suggests short videos should be 5–15 seconds, while a long-form video should be at least three minutes in length. Facebook especially wants creators to publish long-form videos, since that is the length Facebook uses for inserting ad breaks (in-stream ads, pre-roll or mid-roll).

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Adopt Messenger Marketing

The future of Facebook is privacy, and that includes conversations between businesses and consumers. Messenger ads function just like email campaigns, with higher open and click-through rates. Messenger chatbots can help generate leads as well as improve conversations and customer service. Check out or

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