Facebook’s F8 Conference: Key SMB-focused Takeaways

03/31/2015

Facebook has steadily turned itself into a digital marketing powerhouse, one of the most trusted tools for SMBs and multinational advertisers alike for reaching consumers. That was evident last week at the company’s F8 developer conference, when the social network announced several new advertising and technology products, many of which will impact marketers of all sizes. Here’s what SMB leaders need to know about Facebook’s recent announcements:

Video
Video is one of the most effective advertising formats on Facebook, and SMBs that leverage this tactic just got a lot more control as Facebook looks to improve the video experience. One of the biggest developments is a video player that will allow users to embed Facebook video on other sites, as Campaign reports. For SMBs who host video on Facebook, this means that their videos just became much easier to share.

Facebook Messenger
One of the developments aimed squarely at business and e-commerce was the launch of Businesses on Messenger, an expansion of Facebook’s existing app that will allow businesses to better communicate with consumers. Right now, the application is aimed at larger e-commerce merchants who can use Messenger to manage orders and returns. AffinityX will continue to monitor this channel as it develops to help our SMB-focused clients determine when and how to integrate it into their offerings.

Marketing Evolution
Finally, some news emerged just prior to F8 that illuminates how Facebook works with its SMB partners. In an interview with StreetFight, Jonathan Czaja, the head of small business in North America at Facebook, talked about how the platform has evolved, the effect that this has had on SMB advertisers, and how the network plans to work with these businesses moving forward. In particular, Czaja discussed changes to Facebook’s ad products that minimize organic reach. "We started with ads based on social metrics, and what we’ve done is spend a ton of time building advertising products based on business objectives rather than social actions," he said. "We’ve seen this platform evolve and now our advertisers are having to evolve with us."

SMB advertisers and those that sell services to SMBs should read the full interview to understand the role Facebook can play in SMB marketing efforts – as well as the limits of that role.