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Meta is a force to be reckoned with whether you’re a new startup or an established business. It is a staple in every marketing strategy and has launched feature after feature aimed at helping businesses grow their digital presence.

Its suite of tools is spread across 4 main platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and the latest entrant, Threads. Meta’s Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2022 Results report 3.74 billion active users on at least one of the platforms within the Meta family, almost 72% of all internet users (5.18 billion).

This blog delves into Meta’s platforms, key features and tools, and their strategic application to elevate your brand’s online presence. 

Facebook

Let’s confront what’s on all our minds, is Facebook still relevant? Here are some statistics that could help us answer this very pertinent question. 

Facebook has 2.93 billion monthly active users

Facebook is the third most visited website, following Google and YouTube 

Facebook is the favourite social platform of the 35-44 demographic

But the final hammer on the nail is this, 

Facebook accounts for 71.64% of all web traffic referrals from social media

So, is Facebook still relevant – it’s a resounding yes!

5 Pro Tips on how to optimize Facebook for your business

1. Don’t just post pitches:
After years of following brands on their Facebook pages, customers can see through posts that are a continuous train of sales pitches versus authentic updates. The best way to balance this is by creating buckets of content. 

Try business updates, industry updates, behind-the-scenes, founder/team talk/tips, promotional offers, reviews, and product feature highlights. This ensures that your audience is not bombarded just with 

sales content but also gets to know multiple dimensions of your brand. 

Additionally, using a mix of images, videos, and text lets your feed breathe and not get monotonous.

2. Use stories and reels:
We mostly think of reels as an Instagram tool, but Facebook also has reels! If you’re creating reel content on Instagram, don’t forget to multiply your reel’s visibility by sharing it with billions of Facebook users. In fact, if a reel is used as an ad, it potentially has an ad audience of 697.1 million people

But be mindful of repurposing content smartly; instead of simply sharing ‘posts’ on your stories, create a system to repurpose the content into story and reel sizes so the user experience is smoother and feels more native, or create a strategy only for reels content creation.

3. Get in on Facebook Groups: As of August 2022, Facebook had at least 10M+ groups, with 1.8B+ monthly users and 70M+ admins/moderators. The amazing thing about Facebook groups is that you get access to a niche captive audience. Admins of Facebook groups are very open to collaborations with relevant brands and can offer a fantastic window into the pulse of your audience. 

Additionally, Facebook Groups are an excellent tool for you as a brand to build your community. For example, if your product is a fitness app, you can bring your users together on a private FB group and open up a new channel of long-lasting communication where everyone can share and grow together. 

4. Turn Messenger into a Sales Funnel: People are 53% more likely to buy from a business they can message. Facebook Messenger can be used as an end-to-end sales funnel tool to turn visitors into customers and retain them as loyal customers.

Source: Sprout Social
Source: SproutSocial

Generating leads: FB Messenger opens up a direct line of communication between you and your potential customer. By talking to them and answering questions 1-on-1, you can nurture them into a sale through conversation. 66% of people surveyed by Meta say that messaging a business makes them feel more confident in the brand, and 50% said they received better advice and care through messenger conversations. If you’re a larger business expecting more conversations than you can handle, Facebook’s automated responses can be set up, or even third-party messenger bots can be plugged in.

Customer Service: FB Messenger can be used as an after-sales tool for customers to track their orders or leave feedback. In Canada, FB Messenger is the most used messenger by brands, and a Sprout Social study reported that in the US, consumers and brands used FB the most for customer service. 

Retarget customers: Sponsored messages allow you to get back into your customer’s inbox with a promoted text, opening up a world of opportunities to upsell, share offers, and more to retain them! 

Source: Oberlo
Source: emarketer

5. Experiment with new Facebook Ad Formats: The pinnacle of why Facebook is still relevant, especially to businesses – their exhaustive ads platform. Ad revenues are on a continuous upward trajectory at Meta. Even though many like to claim Facebook advertising is dead, the numbers tell a different story. Instagram is quickly catching up with Facebook, but, as of now, within the Meta family, Facebook is still where the highest ad spending occurs.
As we all already know, Meta Ads gives us in-depth targeting options across gender, location, interests, behaviours, and more, along with a variety of ad formats. We are already familiar with static image and video advertisements, but here is a quick introduction to some new formats that are gaining popularity:

Source: Hootesuite
Source: Hootesuite

Collection Ads: These ads help you showcase products in a visually appealing, swipeable format, like an interactive catalogue, and customers can even click and directly purchase the product. Providing a seamless shopping experience to drive online sales and increase website traffic. If you have a very large catalogue of products, this would work better than standard carousel ads.

Stories Ads: Stories Ads are mobile-only, full-screen vertical videos. They offer creative freedom with emojis, stickers, filters, and video effects to engage users effectively.

Instagram

The 4th most popular social media platform, Instagram, has around 2 billion monthly active users. A primarily photo and video-sharing app, Instagram is the most popular app amongst 18-34-year-olds. This age group makes up 60% of Instagram’s user base. 

Apart from direct access to young audiences, what makes Instagram undeniable for businesses is its impact on its audience as a tool of discovery and action.
Meta’s Global Media Study carried out by Ipsos revealed that Instagram is the #1 platform for people to discover new brands and build relationships with brands in the US. People take more actions, including purchasing products and browsing a business’ website, on Instagram than on non-Meta platforms.

6 Pro Tips on how to optimize Instagram for your business

  1. Optimize your Bio: A lot of businesses underuse their bio section. Instagram has many tools just in the bio section to serve your business needs. Presuming you’ve switched to a ‘Professional Account’, here are some things you need to add to your checklist: 
  • Add keywords to your name: No, we aren’t talking about your handle (@businessname) with major character limitations; this is about your page name. Many people don’t realize this, but your page name can add a lot of SEO-esque value to your page, giving you many more characters to play around with!
  • Add more links in bio: Previously, we needed the support of external link platforms like link.tree to help add multiple links, but as of April 2023, Instagram has added a feature of including up to 5 links directly into your Insta Bio. Now you can send customers to more than just your website from your Insta page. 
  • Add your location: A very simple but effective tool that optimizes your search visibility on Instagram is your location. 
  • Connect Whatsapp Business: Instagram allows you to connect 2 phone numbers – one standard and one that links directly to Whatsapp Business. This is a great way to open direct communication with your customers. 
  • New Action Buttons: Depending on the type of business, Instagram allows you to connect a direct action button like Order/ Book/ Reserve/ Add Lead Form that can be seamlessly integrated into your external platform. 
Source: feelgoodsocial

2. Grid Hygiene: Instagram is 100% about the aesthetic. You can transport and influence your customers with a grid that welcomes them into your world. Colour psychology plays an important role here; if used correctly, you can create a mood or a vibe that suits your brand and get your customers to feel it too. Posting without intent can lead to a messy grid that’s offputting for customers.

3. Say goodbye to hashtags: Hashtags are no longer the primary method of searching for and exploring content on Instagram. Instagram has also become keyword-focused. Posts optimized for SEO on Instagram saw 30% greater reach and twice as many likes. The best way to achieve this is to use keywords in the caption, add detailed alt text with relevant keywords to describe your photos, include target keywords in video subtitles for better search visibility within Instagram and search engines, stay consistent with a specific theme or niche in your posts to signal relevance to Instagram’s search engine and engage with accounts ranking for your keywords.

4. Instagram for customer service: Similar to Facebook, Instagram users are also big on connecting with their brands on Instagram for support. As a small brand, you can use this opportunity to speak and answer queries 1-on-1 with your customers or use the Instant Replies tool that allows you to input pre-saved responses. 

Apart from DMs, keep a very close eye on your comments. Comments are a common place for customers to leave feedback as well. Ensure you respond to them immediately and redirect critical support conversations to DM.

Source: Instagram

5. Beyond posts and stories: Unfortunately, story reach is seeing a downward trend, while posts continue to have a high reach rate, which means keeping your calendar of posts consistent. 

However, unsurprisingly, Reels have the highest reach. Reels take up 30% of the time people spend on Instagram, so we suggest businesses on Instagram invest in a reel content creation and publishing strategy. A study from Socialinsider stated that the average reach rate for Instagram Reels stood at 20.59%, far above other media types such as carousels, images and video. Reels now also have advanced features such as adding ‘topics,’ which is said to help reach the right audience.

 

Instagram highlights, and guides are also rarely used to their maximum benefit. Instagram Highlights are a great way to quickly organize important story content that your audience can find. For example, New product launches, FAQS, How to Order, and About the company can be easily accessible on the highlights section of an Instagram page. 

Instagram Guides are also a method of organizing content and are most helpful when you want to bundle past content and label them by topics. For example, Features of a product, Tips, Tutorials, News Articles, etc. These guides are listed on a separate tab on your page and can be found by your customers whenever they want.

6. Meta Ads or Instagram Ads: Before running ads on Instagram, remember the difference between running ads from Meta Ads / previously Facebook Ads vs Instagram Ads. You can run ads on Instagram from Meta Ads but can’t run ads across Facebook and Instagram using Instagram’s in-app ad platform.

Using Meta Ads will provide you with a much larger campaign interface and detailed targeting options. Additionally, Instagram also has limitations on in-caption links and shorter video ad durations, but for smaller promotions of posts or quick reel boosts, it’s okay to use Instagram ads directly from the app.

Whatsapp

Whatsapp is a global platform used by more than 180 countries, the most popular messaging platform, and the 3rd most used social platform in the world. In the world of Business, Whatsapp has become the go-to for personalized conversational marketing. An astounding 90% of consumers worldwide expressed their willingness in this Zendesk report to increase spending with companies that provide personalized services.

4 Pro Tips on how to optimize Whatsapp for your business

  1. Use digital catalogues: You can organize products into collections for easier browsing using Whatsapp catalogues. For example, if you own a fashion brand, you can create catalogues for your Summer Collections, Autumn Collections or holiday-themed sale catalogues for customers to access quickly. Whatsapp allows up to 500 items in one catalogue, which means customers can enjoy a browsing experience directly on your Whatsapp Business profile. You can also share catalogue links in conversations with customers. Additionally, enabling the Add to Cart feature within the catalogue provides a seamless checkout experience, encouraging customers to complete their purchases in-app.
  1. Use Quick Replies to save time: Quick replies are a time-saving solution for handling frequently asked questions on WhatsApp, such as store hours or product availability. You can create up to 50 unique responses, but it’s advisable, to begin with 5-10 initial quick replies and gradually add more as necessary!
  1. Broadcast Lists: If a customer saves your number to their contact list, you can include them in broadcast lists. This means you can simultaneously send the same message to multiple customers, multiplying marketing efforts. However, it’s essential to exercise caution and adhere to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), as overusing this tool may alienate customers who value your business. 

4. Whatsapp Channels: Whatsapp is also rolling out Whatsapp Private Channels, a one-way messaging tool where users can choose the channels they want to follow and stay updated. This could be corporations, government departments, sports teams, or small businesses! 

Threads

Source: Meta

Meta’s youngest platform, Threads, infamously known as a rival to X (previously Twitter), is a platform for sharing short text updates and participating in public conversations. To get started, you can just use your Instagram login. 

It is still early to discuss its impact on people and businesses, but if you like to stay ahead of the curve and don’t think X/Twitter is as solid as it used to be, don’t think twice. Take on the first-mover advantage and start building your following on Threads. 

Threads allow you to share pictures and videos like Instagram but gives you 500 characters and clickable link-in-text features, unlike Instagram. Additionally, videos can be up to 5 minutes long on Threads.

It has similar features to Twitter, like heart, repost, quote, and share. 

Threads is also working on being compatible with ActivityPub, enabling interactions with other apps like Mastodon and WordPress. This would mean that someone who does not have a Threads account would still be able to see your profile (if it’s public) – this would be a new era of cross-platform visibility without any extra effort. But only time will tell how this works out. Until then, this is a good time to familiarise yourself and your marketing team with the platform. 

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