Facebook Updates Its Policy On Cover Photos … And Other Hot Topics

Facebook Updates Its Policy On Cover Photos … And Other Hot Topics image Coverphoto 600x289Facebook Updates Its Policy On Cover Photos … And Other Hot Topics

Since introducing Timeline for Pages back in 2012, Facebook has had some strict limitations on what businesses and organizations can and cannot put in their Facebook cover photo.

At the end of 2012 the list of what you couldn’t have on your cover photo included:

  • images with more than 20% text
  • price or purchase information
  • contact information or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section
  • references to Facebook features or actions
  • calls to action

That hasn’t left Page managers with much flexibility—until now.

That’s right; Facebook is lightening up on cover photos and guess what? They also have even more new tools and features in the works.

Read about these top stories and more in this week’s marketing news roundup.

1. Facebook updates its cover photo rules and restrictions

With its latest policy update, Facebook has eliminated rules against calls to action, contact info, and references to price or purchase information.

It has however maintained a rule that limits text in cover photos to 20% or less.

Here’s a closer look at the new policy.

Bottom Line: For business’ that were aware of Facebook’s restrictions on cover photos, this is a good chance to finally try something new. For those that were not aware, continue as you were!

Keep the 20% text restriction in mind. While it’s unlikely that anyone at Facebook will be shutting your Page down for having 30% text, you don’t want your cover photo to become a text-heavy sales pitch.

You can use tools like PicMonkey to add text to any image, just don’t overdo it.

Need some inspiration? Here are 16 small businesses with awesome Facebook cover photos.

2. Study: 3 in 10 consumers are likely to unsubscribe if emails don’t look good on mobile

Over the last few months business owners have heard a lot about why it’s so important to provide a good mobile experience to customers and prospects. This is especially true when it comes to your email marketing—with 43% of emails now being opened on a mobile device.

What are the dangers of not providing a good mobile email experience? According to a new study from BlueHornet, for 30% of consumers a poor mobile email experience is enough to subscribe from a business’ contact list. That’s up from 18% of consumers who said they would unsubscribe in the same survey just a year ago.

For those consumers who aren’t opting-out altogether, 80.3% said they are likely to delete the email right away—up from 69.7% in 2012.

Bottom Line: Today, the number of people reading emails on mobile devices is up 138% from 2010 and has shown no sign of slowing down.

This means that you need to be creating emails that are mobile-friendly. A mobile-friendly email is an email that displays optimally between a desktop/laptop and a mobile device, ensuring that it will look great regardless of where your customers and prospects read it.

Here are five simple things you can do now to ensure that your emails are mobile-friendly.

3. Facebook experiments with “Reply” button on comments

Facebook announced this week that it is currently testing a new feature that could make it easier to spark conversations on Facebook posts.

The new “Reply” feature will enable users to respond directly to someone who has commented on a particular Facebook post, rather than the current system which only allows users to post a separate comment on the post.

This feature is still being tested and is currently only available on some of Facebook’s most popular Pages.

Bottom Line: The ability to engage and encourage feedback from your customers, members, or supporters is one of the biggest advantages of having your business or organization on Facebook.

By simply asking a question or sharing a post encouraging fans to share their thoughts, you can spark a social conversation, which in time can help get your Page in front of new audiences.

If the Reply feature becomes a reality, it could help promote conversations among your fan base and could provide an additional reason for new fans to join your social community.

4. Facebook officially launches Lookalike Audiences

Over the last few years, Facebook has rolled out a number of new advertising options for businesses and organizations using the site to grow their audience and reach new customers.

One of the most exciting advertising options Facebook has offered is Custom Audiences—an advertising tool that lets brands upload email contacts to Facebook and target their ads to their current customers on the site.

This week, Facebook rolled out another advertising tool—Lookalike Audiences—which is designed to extend the reach of Custom Audiences beyond your current customers. With the new tool, Page mangers can upload their list of contacts and Facebook will generate a list of contacts that have similar attributes to your current contacts.

Bottom Line: For businesses and organizations that are interested in making the investment, Facebook Ads are a great way to amplify your message and reach new audiences on the social network.

With a tool like Lookalike Audiences, you have the opportunity to reach people who are likely to have shared interests, needs, and expectations as the people who already shop in your store, eat in your restaurant, or support your organization.

And because Facebook does not store your contacts or share them with third parties, you won’t be at risk of compromising the relationships with the people who already subscribe to your emails and interact with your business online.

Learn more about Lookalike Audiences.

5. Study: Multiscreen behavior and what it means for marketers

A new study from Microsoft, titled Cross-Screen Engagement, is providing some revealing details into the ways in which consumers are using multiple devices at the same time.

The study indicated four kinds of consumer behavior when they engage with multiple devices:

  • Content Grazing: This is the most common way consumers interact with multiple devices. 68% of consumers use two or more screens simultaneously to access unrelated content; for example, watching a show on TV while checking email or texting.
  • Investigative Spider-Webbing: 57% of consumers use one device to find information related to what they are doing on another device. For example, they may watch a movie on the TV and look up what other movies the actors have been in on a tablet or PC.
  • Quantum Journey: 46% of consumers use of multiple devices to accomplish a task. For example, taking a picture of a pair of shoes on a phone then looking up reviews about the shoes on a PC before purchasing.
  • Social Spider-Webbing: This is the least common use of multiple screens. 39% of consumers share content about activities they’ve accomplished on other devices. An example of this is sharing scores from a gaming console on a smartphone or tablet.

Read the full report here.

Bottom Line: The world has changed, your customers habits have changed, and if it hasn’t already—the way in which you create and share content with your target audience needs to change as well.

Whether it’s designing emails that work on mobile, adjusting your social media strategy to fit the needs of your mobile audience, or revamping your website so it works across all devices—there’s a lot that you can do to meet the needs of your customers.

Here are a few resources to help you get started:

  • Ask an Expert: What Small Businesses Need to Know About the Influence of Mobile on Social Media
  • 8 Things Small Businesses Must Know About the Future of Mobile Marketing
  • A Discussion About Mobile [Speakeasy Podcast #27]
  • [New Data] How Local Businesses Need to Evolve to Today’s Consumer Search Behaviors

Looking to give your emails a fresh look for mobile? Get inspired with our free guide, 10 Small Businesses & Nonprofits with Great Results from Email Marketing!

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