6 Awesome Features Recently Added to Facebook

With 2017 in full swing, how is your Facebook marketing strategy looking these days? If you haven’t paid much attention to it, there’s no need to sweat it – at least yet. With a handful of new features and additions recently rolled out by the social giant, now is as great a time as ever to update your strategy.

Let’s check out six of the most recent changes made to Facebook and how you can use these features to grow your business.

2017 Best Posting Practices

Curious to know which types of posts do best on Facebook? Luckily, Facebook has no problem sharing their insight, though there is no one-fits-all answer. It all boils down to your audience and the types of messages they respond best to.

That said, the latest research tells us that the top-performing posts are:

  • Short and sweet. Brief posts – under 50 characters – are most engaging.
  • Posted during off-peak times. Posts shared during less busy times tend to see more engagement.
  • Video. Adding a video to your post is a great way to receive more shares.
  • Questions. Believe it or not, questions tend to get more likes than other post types. Plus, you can learn something new about your audience!
  1. Optimized Cover Photos

Your cover photo should be optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. Facebook displays cover photos at 820 x 312 pixels on desktop and 640 x 360 pixels on smartphones. If you drop in an image, it will adjust to these settings, but the image could look different from desktop to mobile, so be sure to check both.

If you have text on your cover photo, optimizing your images is even more important. To avoid the text getting cropped, make an invisible buffer of 134 pixels on either side of the image. Place the text in the middle, otherwise known as the “safe area.” This way, your cover photo will be optimized for all devices.

  1. Custom Reminders

Facebook Reminders is a helpful little tool for Page administrators that helps them remember important dates. While much of your content is probably already planned out, you definitely want to be relevant and use seasonal events, holidays and other happenings to lead some of your content. Reminders will remind you of holidays, or you can set up your own based on time and date.

  1. 7-Second Video Profile Picture

Video received a ton of attention in 2016, and we can expect the same for 2017. To demonstrate just how popular video is for sharing messages, Facebook now gives the option to use a video as your profile picture rather than a standard still photo.

You can record or upload a video into the profile photo, up to 7 seconds long. You can only add a photo from Android or iPhone.

  1. Captions Added to Video Ads

When users are on social media and interrupted by an ad that plays loudly and unexpectedly, they have a negative reaction to it. To avoid this, people prefer having the option to opt out of sound on videos. While understood as a viewer, as a marketer, it’s difficult to tell your story without sound. Captions help bridge this gap so that you can tell your story without disrupting the user experience.

Note: You can only use captions if you are in Power Editor.

  1. Live Broadcasting Features

Facebook Live is relatively new, but it’s already seen an update that gives brands more control and flexibility over their live streaming. For one, you can now broadcast live from a web browser as opposed to just mobile. This means that you can launch a video from your webcam, which opens up a lot of opportunities.

Another change is the Live Contributor role that is now available. This feature gives specific individuals the ability to broadcast live rather than having to go to the page and then go live. To add a Live Contributor, visit the Assign New Role section within Settings > Page Roles.

Finally are enhanced video metrics, which allow brands to measure the impact of their live streaming. Only profiles with 5,000+ followers will have metrics provided to them. Metrics include total minutes viewed, total number of viewers and total engagement.

Facebook is constantly changing, and this is just the beginning of what we can expect in 2017. What are you most excited for?