Facebook is changing, in more ways than one. Coming off their F8 summit, and controversies about public security following a breach last year, Facebook has a clear goal in mind with their new branding: make social media more private.

How are they doing this? By focusing on groups, niche communities where like-minded people can come together and discuss topics – privately. Facebook has always been about connection but now they are zeroing in on how to make their platform safer and more enjoyable for its users.

The new Facebook mobile app and desktop shows that they are working towards putting communities at the centre. To stay ahead of the curve, think about how you can adapt groups in your marketing strategy. Maybe a product group to showcase your newest features like our HeyOrca Product Pod! Or a group for like-minded folks in your industry like our Life in Social group. In any case, putting your focus into Facebook groups for your brand will be rewarded in the algorithm.

We had a look at the four big changes you’ll see on your new Facebook desktop and how will it affect marketing for your brand.

Facebook redesign layout

1. More prominent access to groups

Facebook is transparent about what they want to focus on in their platform next – private groups. Mark Zuckerberg has said that he wants groups to act as “the digital equivalent of a living room” where you can interact in all the ways you’d want privately—from messaging and stories to secure payments and more’. In their new look, Facebook prominently displays groups on your left sidebar for easy access. This is why creating groups for your brand is more important now than ever. Gone are the days of page population on newsfeeds. Facebook wants you to connect with your members in a private safe space and will put emphasis on this in their new design.

2. Emphasis on Stories

Facebook knows that stories are a hot feature – just not on Facebook. Only pulling about half the daily users from Instagram (and even less on messenger) Facebook is focusing more attention on how to promote stories. Stories have always been better suited for mobile users but Facebook is hoping to change that in their desktop view. Instead of just your friend’s circular profile picture, you will now see an elongated icon of their story. This way you can easily see what the story is about before clicking, enticing the viewer to interact with the content they like on stories.

Cross posting fr Instagram

Stories continue to grow as a feature of Facebook and Instagram so implementing these tools into your marketing strategy will payback big time as Facebook showcases stories on your newsfeed.

3. Suggested groups

Again it’s no surprise on Facebook’s new look to see what they are prioritizing. Facebook not only wants you to have easy access to groups they want you to join groups based on your likes and interests. This way Facebook gets to know a little bit more about you – and how to target you for advertising. Because of this, it’s important to get your brand integrated in groups as it will push your group to your ideal customers.

4. Dedicated Messenger Space

In late 2017, Facebook said 1.3 billion people use messenger every month, and that number is only expected to go up. Messenger is clearly a very successful feature of Facebook but up until recently, they haven’t made it very prominent on their landing page. On the new Facebook page messaging is more prominent to the ride hand side of your newsfeed. On top of that Facebook plans to roll out a desktop app for messenger separate from its webpage.  

Facebook’s new changes might seem like a hindrance for marketers. With everything so private how can you reach out to new customers? While Facebook’s new design certainly makes outreach a little more challenging it allows connecting with your customers on a deeper level. By investing time in groups you open that conversation with your customers and build a stronger relationship with brand loyalty.

Watch our video tutorial below highlighting these new changes and how marketers can take advantage of them!

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