Rock Rose Digital, Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
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Rock Rose Digital blog

Here you’ll find my musings about all things social media, building a brand, female empowerment and everything in-between. Expect plenty of tips, myth-debunking, client case studies and personal insights into my very own business journey.

May 2019 F8 Facebook & Instagram updates

Every week it feels like there’s a new thing to learn or a change to adapt to with social media doesn’t it?! The last few weeks in particular has seen some big updates either roll out or be announced to be happening soon. Earlier this month was Facebook’s annual F8 conference, where industry leaders shared their insights into where it and sister platform Instagram are headed for the rest of 2019.

Here’s my quick rundown of what’s going on and what it means to you…

1) Facebook Groups - You’ll notice groups are becoming more of a focus as Facebook is pushing the sense of community. If you haven’t created a community for your brand yet, it’s not urgent you follow suit, but is something you will want to consider in the next few months. Have a think about how you can best do this around your current following. In the meantime, make sure you or your business are participating in other groups to build your presence elsewhere

2) Facebook Stories - You’ll also notice subtle changes to the homepage feed emphasising ‘Stories’ which suggests they’ll be given more prominence and weight in your brand’s visibility. Something to think about using if you’re not already.

3) Facebook Events - These are also being pushed a lot more as Facebook is driving us to connect. We’ll soon be able to see what is happening in our local or specific area, similar to Eventbrite. A great tool for building organic reach if you’re offering events through your business.

4) Engagement bait - This refers to phrases and tactics like ‘Comment below’, ‘Tag a mate’ ‘Share this’, especially ‘Like, Tag, Share’ competitions. Facebook has been against these for a while but an update to their policy means they’re taking stricter action on anyone who pushes engagement in this way. Instead, it’ll favour more genuine and authentic calls to action.

5) Appointments in Messenger - If you’re an appointment based business, Facebook are rolling out a function allowing clients to book appointments easily through Facebook Messenger. Could be a game-changer for anyone reliant on booking systems for their business.

6) Facebook Ads - While this isn’t my area of expertise, I have seen and heard a lot about Facebook making the Ad’s tool simpler to use, especially for small businesses. Unfortunately, you still need a pretty hefty budget to be able to make an impact with their ads. But yay for easier!

7) Hyperlinks in Facebook Captions - Until this week, if you wanted to include a link to another website or platform in a post on Facebook, it’d look pretty hideous. Now, we can actually highlight specific words and hyperlink them to other pages without it looking clunky.. Great for driving traffic to blogs, service pages or even linking to people’s pages. So far I’ve seen it used a lot for linking to Twitter accounts of various industry influencers. Will be interesting to see how it’s used as it rolls out.

8) Instagram Stories - The camera is getting a bit of a face-lift. This will make all of the various functions more accessible and less laborious to make your Stories look swanky. Cannot argue with that.

9) Instagram likes - Ok, this is a big one. Instagram have chosen to start hiding post likes from public view. The idea being it’ll protect mental health from pesky comparison and stop the focus on pretty meaningless statistics. Whilst I do think it’s a positive step, I can see there being a rise in spammy bot comments as that will become the main measure of engagement success for influencers. ‘Great post *thumbs up*’

10) Instagram Quiz Sticker - This has been out for a couple of weeks now and it’s proving a popular tool for boosting engagement and having fun with your followers. If you haven’t made use of it yet, give it a go!

11) Instagram creators platform - We all know about personal and business accounts on Instagram, well now they’ve launched creator accounts too. Specifically for public figures and influencers, as an easy way for them to share the products they’re promoting with links to purchase and a simplified way to track their affiliate earnings.

Overall, some really big and beneficial moves. Whilst it does feel like a lot is changing, the main take-away is the focus on real authentic engagement and building communities around your brand. Big numbers won’t cut it anymore if they’re not getting involved in your content. Focus on developing that side of your following whilst all of these updates are rolling out and you’ll be way ahead of the curve.

As always, any questions, give me a shout!

Rock on! Jen x


jen eastwood