There’s no such thing as a static social media platform. Like most of the internet, social sites and the algorithms that power them are continuously being updated. Sometimes the changes are sweeping and make our lives easier. Other times they’re hardly noticeable at all, but can still have a huge impact on your social media marketing strategy.
The most recent algorithm changes to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are a mixture of both, but definitely ones your small business needs to act on. Ahead is a recap of what you should be aware of moving forward and how to plan accordingly.
Facebook Compresses Mobile Ad Format
Social media advertising is mission-critical in the pay-to-play world marketers are contending with, and that goes double for ads viewed on mobile devices. Ad format changes on the largest social media network mean social media marketers will need to make their new paid posts even punchier with less space for images and copy.
Last month, a Facebook Business blog announced the compression, stating that as of August 19th mobile News Feed ads would shrink to, “match the look and feel of the new Facebook design introduced earlier this year.“
Now, images and media will be capped at a vertical 4:5 aspect ratio, down from a previously generous 2:3. Copy, which used to show a lengthy seven lines, will now be reduced to a mere 3 lines of primary text before being truncated.
Why the change? According to the same post, Facebook is looking to “drive increased ad effectiveness and make it easier to use the same assets on Facebook News Feed and Instagram feed.” Essentially, this is great for cross-promotion between the two Facebook-owned channels, and not simply about looks.
What businesses need to do: Starting now, you can maximize your Facebook ad potential by making your first three lines of ad text as irresistible as possible, and formatting all your media to fit the predetermined height ahead of time.
LinkedIn Adopts Reaction Buttons
For the last three years, Facebook users have enjoyed emoting via their reaction buttons. Now, LinkedIn is following suit, offering desktop and mobile users the chance to not just “like” a post, but respond using a professionally-appropriate “celebrate,” “love,” “insightful,” and “curious” reaction.
They certainly took their time rolling out this feature. Now that it’s more than just a passing trend, the professional networking platform is hoping the reaction buttons will ultimately help them remain relevant among other social media players and increase overall engagement.
What businesses need to do: Make sure you’re posting regularly on LinkedIn. Include a variety of professional content so you can capitalize on these projected increasing engagement rates.
Instagram Cracks Down on “Offensive” Posts
All businesses want to make sure their Instagram posts and stories are seen by as many target audience eyes as possible. But they will need to be extra cautious to see that what they’re sharing doesn’t border on “inappropriate content.”
Now, even if a post doesn’t technically violate the network’s Community Guidelines, content that is too sexually suggestive or otherwise offensive will still have a drastically reduced reach. According to one Facebook Newsroom article, the demotion will limit, “those types of posts from being recommended on our Explore and hashtag pages.”
For the time being, your Instagram Stories bar will not be subject to the same problematic content management strategies, but best to steer clear anyway.
What businesses need to do: Before you post, verify that nothing you’re putting out into the world can be considered clickbaity or fake news-worthy. You should also be very careful about sharing any offensive memes (especially if they or the comments contain hate speech) or content that can be perceived as sexualized. In other words, don’t even attempt to push the limits. It’s also a good idea to review the “borderline content” section of the Instagram Help Center.
As the saying goes, “the only constant is change.” But don’t spend too much time mourning the past. If you need a hand to help your social media content roll with the changes just make contact.