Get Ahead of Social Media Changes (Without Losing Your Mind)
Be honest… when you log into this Facebook, Messenger, or ManyChat recently, do you feel like Alice in Wonderland? Nothing quite makes sense? Things aren't where they used to be? There is a secret hiding in these changes which may be causing you to lose your mind!
The secret is… THESE CHANGES ARE A HUGE OPPORTUNITY, if you know how to maximize them and use them to drive your business forward rather than letting them cause you to scream running in the other direction. Listen, you've got this… and I've got the key to help you unlock the magic! (And get your head back on straight. Haha!) Big thanks to Be.Live for making it so easy to go live!
Why Do Social Media Changes Happen So Often?
Let’s say you’re at Target. I walked into Target a year ago, and I was in the food section. Instead of having all of the food tools near the food section, women’s clothing was next to food. I didn’t understand it at first. But then I was attracted to a sweater with stars on it. Their message totally got me. Stores change their layout all the time to sway customers into buying things they don’t actually need.
Social media networks use the same tactic. For their benefit, we get into the habit of doing the same thing over and over again. But they don’t even realize these other things exist. Watch Parties and Stories have both been around for a long time, and a lot of people aren’t using them. Facebook has done as much as they can to highlight these new tools so their users actually use them.
Another reason is there is so much empty space in the new Facebook layout. There are these huge columns of white space with stuff on the sides. The intention of these platforms is to connect us. The objective is to make money to sustain what they have built. They have to have advertising space. Think about ways to utilize this new platform as a business owner if you use Facebook ads.
In the United States, we are in an election year. There was a huge problem that happened in the last election cycle with Cambridge Analytica. They are doing so many things to make sure they are staying compliant and that privacy is protected.
- I actually saw this morning that Messenger will be bringing out privacy features. Once your phone is unlocked, you can have a password or face or thumbprint detection just to open Messenger. So others can’t get into your Messenger if they have your phone.
How do these changes benefit me?
If you take advantage of these changes, then your content will stand out, and you will get more engagement. When you use the change in your favor, it has the same effect as moving sweaters near food at Target. You can create content that allows you to stand out.
Also, Facebook and Instagram want you to use their new features, as they had to invest in the systems and personnel to create them. If you do use the new features, they will give you more organic reach in the algorithms. Keep on reading for some of the major changes happening and how to use them to your advantage!
Change #1: Tagging Details
- If I am on Facebook on my phone, and I go to all the comments on my most recent video, if I am going to tag someone in a new comment, but it’s someone I don’t know too well so I can’t remember their name, one thing I noticed is when you start to type @ and their name, people’s names pop up. But what also pops up is whether or not they are your friend, you have mutual friends, and if they have commented on this video. It speeds up the ability for you to network.
- I had never seen this before this week, and I think it’s a super neat feature. These details now give you insight into the relationship you have with the person you are tagging. Facebook really is an amazingly powerful networking tool.
- In April 2020, an infographic was created that shows how Facebook has the most monthly active users. Even if you feel your clients are not on that platform, there is no better platform to find new people.
Change #2: Facebook’s Live Streaming Platform
- Things will be more glitchy as everyone is working from home. So they figured now would be the time to launch an entirely new live streaming platform… I have always advised not to go live straight through Facebook because it’s so confusing, but they are finally starting to get it together… kind of. When it was first launched, it was awful, but they have been updating it over the past couple weeks.
- If you use Be.Live and schedule the video ahead of time, you can get into the live producers and make some changes.
- A live streaming platform, Streamyard, has done some shady stuff inside of our Facebook group, messaging everyone who utilized Be.Live to try to convert people to that platform instead. That was a huge breach of trust. So before moving onto the next tip I’m going to talk about why I love Be.Live and Ecamm instead. When we are using these tools for networking purposes, we have to use them in an ethical way.
Why I LOVE Be.Live (and a few tips)
- Be.Live is browser-based, and you can use it on any kind of computer. Ecamm only works on a Mac.
- If you are on your business page, click “Create Live Video.” On the new Facebook, when you go to create a post, it brings your post into a separate pop-up window. But on the new Facebook, the Live button is underneath “Create Post.” This will bring you into the Live Video Producer, which is the only way on new Facebook as to how you can go live directly through Facebook.
- At this point, it asks you how you will go live. The first option is a stream key. you may ask what a stream key is. If you are using Be.Live, you don’t need a stream key. But with OBS or Zoom, if you are pre-scheduling those meetings, you do need a stream key. Zoom does have a tutorial on their website.
- You can also click “Use Camera” or “Use Paired Encoder.” The camera allows you to go live straight through Facebook. A red light will pop up, and then you should click Next.
- This will then show you your stream health, things like how strong your WiFi is.
- Comment Moderation is cool, too. You can decide what type of people can comment on your videos and what comments are allowed.
- Say if people haven’t liked your Facebook page, their comments won’t show up (the Restricted option). Another option is Protected, meaning they have to have been following you for at least 15 minutes. These options help limit spammers. You can also speed up or down the rate of comments. If people leave comments that are too long, you can block those. And you can even make sure that accounts who leave comments have to be at least two weeks old, meaning if someone just started a fake account for spamming intentions, they can’t.
- Clippings is how to clip pieces of your video. You can do this after the fact as well.
- On the left, you can share the live video to a page you manage, your timeline, or a group. Make sure before you click the “Go Live” button, you are sharing it to the correct destination. If you manage multiple business pages, make sure you are sharing it to the correct one, an option that is also on the left.
- Even if you go live through Be.Live, you can adjust all of these things through the Live Producer.
- Audience settings determine who actually sees your live video.
- And there is a slew of other things you can set up:
- You can schedule videos through here. You can decide after you have scheduled it that a video is instantly shared to all of your groups that you manage, too. You can crosspost to multiple pages in addition to groups.
- There is a setting to end live video if the stream stops, like if your Internet cuts out, or you can keep it going.
- You can also embed the video inside a page on your own website, even when it’s live, or have someone else be able to embed the video.
- And if you want the window in which the video can be viewed to be limited, say you want it to expire when you’re done going live, you can just unpublish it. The replay won’t be available, but you can still view all of the comments that happened during the livestream.
- You can allow viewers to rewind the video, meaning even when it’s live, viewers can go back to segments they missed. You can still do the rewind after the fact if you turn this off.
- I turn this feature off in these videos because this weekly video series is a marketing tool allowing me to accomplish my business objectives.
- You can turn on auto-generated captions while you are live.
- Reminder that I love to schedule videos through Be.Live. But you can click Edit and see all of these options in the Producer and make these changes.
Change #3: Facebook’s Photo Layouts
- If you are posting photos on Facebook, you can choose one of four new layouts if you are posting more than one photo. You can select a banner version and say something in the middle of a group of photos if you want.
- Why do you want to do this? It’s different and will capture the attention of your viewers. Plus Facebook will reward you with more organic reach.
Change #4: IG Pinned Comments
- There is a way to pin up to three comments on an Instagram post. When you swipe or click on a comment to delete it, there is now an option to pin it in those options. If there is a comment you want to highlight, you can bump it up to the top of the section so others see it right away. Or if you have a comment with a call to action, you can bump it up. This way you can also hide the hashtagged comments…
Change #5: Be.Live Simulcasting
How to Create a Facebook Watch Party
- In either a group or on your News Feed, click to create a post. One of the options of what you can add in this post is “Watch Party.” Facebook will then ask you to “Add Videos.” You can type in the name of the page you are sharing a video from, or there are other options to search. The videos are sometimes shown in chronological order, sometimes not. Even if a video is live, you can set up Watch Parties with them, which we did with today’s video.
- Once the Watch Party has started, it can be a little bit delayed. The Watch Party then appears in the post, and you can click “Join Us.” Then the watch party broadcast will begin. As someone doing the Facebook Live, I cannot see the comments in the Watch Party link; any comments have to be left on the actual video livestream in order for the host to see the comments. Comments left on the Watch Party link are only accessed via the Watch Party link.
- Below I will address some of the problems currently happening with Watch Parties.
- In the Live Producer on Facebook, you can crosspost your videos. This means you can go live on Facebook, on the Be.Live page, and on a business page all at the same time. When you crosspost, those viewers are shared in an audience that can be retargeted in ads. The comments are split across those multiple pages though.
- Another problem is you can’t crosspost onto your personal profile, just business pages. If you wanted to crosspost, you could do a Watch Party, which would also have separate comments. You can’t trigger the MollyBot across all of these different pages and places.
- BUT. As of today, Simulcast is now available with Be.Live to all paid users. This means that if you have a paid account, you can go live on your business page and your YouTube channel at the same time. All of the comments are in the same stream. You can also go live on both your business page and your personal profile. You can’t retarget through the personal profile because Facebook doesn’t allow this. You can also crosspost onto another business page and do a Watch Party and embed something in a blog post. I could be live in like 10 places at once.
- But here is the danger of that. You are splitting your viewership between all of those places. My favorite way to use this right now is to go live on my business page. Every once in a while, maybe once a month, simulcast onto my personal profile and on my YouTube channel. This allows you to spread the word to those audiences and ask them to view through your business page in future weeks. If you have more interaction on your personal page, this is a great way to market your business page to that audience.
- Noting that Be.Live does not go live on Instagram yet because Instagram has not yet opened their API to third party tools. No livestreaming tools are allowed to go live on Instagram. You could get in trouble if you have figured out a way.
- Another idea is if you simulcast in both a group and your business page, and include the caption, “As soon as this video is over, the replay will only be available inside the group. I will expire the video on the business page.” What a way to get people to join your group!
Change #6: New Comment Growth Tool within ManyChat
- It is majorly awesome, and it is super different. Let’s start with what a bot is. A bot is an automated version of your Messenger on your business page. ManyChat is the tool we love and use. You can create these growth tools, which are ways to bring subscribers into your bot. We have templates for bots, and we often offer workshops about bots. ( Want to know more about bots? Read our blog posts HERE and HERE )
- In the ManyChat dashboard, because this tool is still in beta, you want to do this inside the Flows section, which is a subsection of Automation. When you are inside a Flow, you are able to put the Comment Growth Tool inside it. Facebook used to make you have another auto response with a button folks had to click on in order to get into the Flow, but now you can go straight to the first message in the Flow. The opt-in action section is gone.
- When you are using this new Comment Growth Tool, the Content Type for the first message in a Flow has to be set as “Comment Reply.” If you don’t, bot messages can be stopped for fear of being non-compliant messages that Facebook may have flagged.
- If you are trying to create a brand new Flow, the Starting Step allows you to add a trigger, which is any of the Growth Tools. It can be a pop-up on your website, a link, or so many more. Facebook Comments 2.0 is what allows you to set up the trigger word that MollyBot uses to send show notes. Then, as I said, you have to turn it into a Comment Reply. If the person who comments hasn’t engaged with the bot in the past 24 hours, the message will be blocked so Facebook doesn’t flag it due to compliance issues.
- What’s annoying is that certain growth tools are not being tracked on ManyChat. Certain tools are saying a number of people came through the tool, but conversion/opt-in rates are not being tracked.
- For those of you using bots, the main menu is now inside Settings. Go into Messenger, and then you can edit the Default Reply, Welcome Message, and Main Menu in there.
Change #7: Facebook Hashtags
- Hashtags are available in an even more powerful way now. Like the Explore tab on Instagram, they now have an Explore tab on Facebook for hashtags. It brings together a news feed of every post that mentions that hashtag.
- You can also search for a hashtag that you think your community would use. For example, my community may use #marketingtip. They will show us all the posts with that hashtag, and I can see that 45,000 people are talking about this. You can engage and connect with people using this hashtag.
- I would not suggest using a ton of hashtags on Facebook the way you do on Instagram. Use 5-10 tops here.
- A hashtag ladder is the strategy you want to use. Start with your branded hashtags, like how we have a trademark for #StandforJoy. Next would be your niche hashtags, something that is more specific to your small niche. For me, I could use #LiveVideo, which has 20,000 posts currently. Then your mid-range hashtags. Then your higher-level hashtags. It will be harder to gain visibility in a hashtag with three million posts. Gain more visibility by using a lower level hashtag, working your way up to the higher levels.
- My sister Mary Pendleton has this cool Hashtag Huddle where you can learn all about hashtags.
Change #8: New Facebook Layout
- There is a new Facebook layout. Essentially, all of the things you expect to be on the right are now on the left. I keep going to the arrow on the top right-hand side, and nothing is there besides the settings.
- Same with the groups. I keep going to the left-hand side to look for the units. Units are now in the middle, and the admin stuff is on the left.
- It seems like this new layout is here to stay. I have to start learning the new version so I can use all the new features to stand out, even though I have currently switched back to the old version, which I prefer.
Change #9: Screen Sharing in Messenger Rooms and Video Chats
- I called my sister on Messenger on my phone as an example. Whether or not she answers, I can swipe up to share my screen. The line above all of the buttons, swipe up. You can share your mobile screen right away, allowing me to send pictures or do whatever I want from other aspects of my phone. So just swipe up, click “Share Screen,” and show something right away. So good.
Change #10: Facebook Ads
- If you are doing any ads to the state of California, there is a privacy thing in place similar to the GDPR that says, and I am not your lawyer, if your company is doing over $25 million, you’re not allowed to track conversions. And I’m not sure about the pixel. Facebook automatically turned off conversions for California, but make sure you are careful about the new law.
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- Hashtag Huddle by Mary Pendleton
Monthly Active Users Infographic