Facebook has recently shared that on Facebook Home, engagement with the social network has increased 25 percent compared to the standard Facebook mobile application. In this case, engagement refers to the expected: commenting, liking and sharing, but also refers to additional time spent in the app such as messaging.
For marketers, this is great news. Any increase in engagement spells more chances to connect with fans through quality page content. Here are a few tips of advice for any marketers interested in optimizing their campaigns for Facebook Home.
Facebook has yet to introduce ads to Home, though Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he is “sure at some point there will be.” Less seasoned marketers might see this as a negative quality, but veteran Facebook marketers should remain unphased. The overarching theme to marketing on Facebook is to focus on content first and reach second. It is more important to produce content that people want to see and engage with before complaining how your posts aren’t being seen by all of your fans. Facebook ads are a great tool to get seen by more people, but are best reserved for content that is engaging. With the higher engagement, now it is even more important to be creating quality content than ever.
Though there is no way to purchase ads on Home yet, there are still ways to advertise and improve your marketing on Home. For example, in addition to friends’ stories, cover feed will share stories from liked brand pages. This makes it important to acquire more fans to increases your potential reach. Marketers can purchase any Facebook ads on both desktop and mobile apps to assist in this. There is also a specific ad type to get users to take this action, page post ads. Some may find that page like ads less valuable than other ad types, but with proper targeting such as custom audience targeting can help to increase total fans. More total fans means a higher chance for these organic posts to appear in the cover feed.
The cover feed is a more streamlined way to use Facebook. Rather than having to navigate through the menus to access the application, cover feed will feed stories to user as the first screen. For Home users, this makes it less important to access the normal news feed. This feed can still be accessed through the standard Facebook application on a Home enabled phone.
This streamlined experience is a main contributor to the higher engagement percentage. If a user is interested in a story, they can easily tap to like it or submit a comment. This all can be done with little delay. The home screen of any phone is can easily be seen by a user over 100 times a day and with Home, users are seeing more stories than they would just browsing through the apps or desktop.
Though you cannot purchase ads on to display on Facebook Home, posts that you share on your page can still come up on the cover feed. However, a cover feed story looks much different than a story in the standard Facebook app.
For example, take a look at this story above. This is a photo taken from Instagram where all images are perfect squares. Regardless of how a photo is uploaded, images on Home are oriented to be seen in portrait view.
Optimizing photos for best display with cover feed may not be the best strategy going forward. For example, panoramic photos would only show a small fraction of a picture in cover feed, but would look great as a page’s cover photo. At this point in time, the amount of Home users make up a tiny fraction of Facebook’s total users so it is more appropriate to target the mass vs. the minority.
With the absence of ads, Home lacks one of the most powerful tools available to marketers on Facebook, targeting options. Though some pages have access to page post targeting, where they can can publish stories to only appear to fans that fit a certain demographic, many pages are without this feature and benefit. Proper targeting is the best way to ensure that the right message is going to be seen by the right people. Without targeting, it is important to curate all content before it is shared. Marketers should be mindful of any potentially offensive, suggestive or vulgar content.
Though the response to about it has not been entirely positive, Facebook Home product is very young. With a continued effort to improve it, Facebook Home can be seen as the future way users are going to interact with the social network through mobile devices. Marketers that adapt quickly to these changes will only see a positive impact.
Want to learn more about Facebook Home and its impact on Facebook marketing? Check out the Facebook Marketing Bible to learn more about the implications of Facebook Home, the new news feed as well as many other topics.
Jonathan Espinosa works at Inside Network as a Social Media Marketing Specialist. He is the main contributor to the Facebook Marketing Bible, the most comprehensive guide for marketing and advertising on Facebook.