The world of social media changes quickly, and one key to staying visible is adaptation. As competition heats up between platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, even these behemoths must adjust. Digital Book World recently posted an article outlining 3 Facebook changes to coming to their platform in 2016, and three ways their changes could impact you as a writer or book marketer.

1. Facebook is getting a facelift. If your page suddenly changes its appearance, don’t worry. Nothing it wrong. It’s a new, cleaner layout that is gradually going to be coming to everyone’s pages. New features include a full cover photo, tabs on the top left of your page (instead of beneath the cover photo), and a big blue “call-to-action” button right below the cover photo.

What to do: be aware that your cover photo may need some attention in the near future. It’s not something to panic about, but it is something that will need tweaks as everyone shifts to this new format. Paying attention to the changes can help you take full advantage of this new opportunity.

2. Fan education: the friends and family edition. Facebook has been getting complaints from its users about their newsfeeds drowning in ad content, rather than the updates on friends and family that they came to see. To fix this, Facebook announced a change to their newsfeed—one that should only impact brands you rarely interact with. Anyone designated as friend or family will receive top billing.

What to do: the best thing to do here is to let your fans know this is happening, and ask them to mark your page as “See first.”

In his article, Chris Syme includes some simple instructions for this step:

“On my Facebook page, hover over ‘Liked.’ Under ‘In Your News Feed,’ click ‘See First.’”

3. More words? Less reach. In the past, Facebook rejected ads that were too text-heavy, meaning you could not create an ad that was more than 20-percent text. This rule has ended. But don’t get too excited yet. Text-heavy ads simply aren’t good marketing practice, so while you’re not hampered specifically anymore, it’s still best to keep things visual. There’s another catch too.

“According to expert Jon Loomer,” says Syme, “Your ads will no longer be rejected for having too much text. However, the more text in your image, you can expect less distribution and higher costs… Going forward, Facebook breaks down text density into four categories: ok, low, medium, [and] high.”

In other words, if you breach the twenty-percent mark, your ad reach drops and your costs rise.

What to do: stick close to what you’ve been doing in the past and you shouldn’t see much change. Don’t let this new freedom tempt you to go overboard on a text-heavy ad—it will increase the cost and decrease the impact.

 

Staying aware of changes to the platforms you’re using to reach and interact with fans is vital. It doesn’t matter how much you update your Facebook page if no one is seeing it! We’ll do our best to keep you updated on changes that will impact your marketing strategies. Until next time, happy marketing!