Happy New Year! We all recognise that 2021 was a big year for the on and offline world. Never has digital communication been more important for us to remain connected to our friends, families and businesses. It was also another big year for Facebook, who, apart from a name change to Meta, also released a whole suite of cool updates that make this key communication tool even better than ever. We take a look at some of our top favourites that relate more directly to raising awareness and increasing community. Ultimately, if you have a message worth spreading, then read on!
Social issues have their own category
As mentioned above, we often say ‘your message’ as Facebook really is the medium for sharing what it is you care about. If this is your brand or business, then that’s great. But for many, their goal is to spread awareness about a cause or mission that is important to them. If you want to discuss social issue topics, you will now need to go through an authorisation process. This will include a mandatory “Paid for by” disclaimer for adverts pertaining to social issues. So let’s say that you want to run an advert asking for donations to “Save the Stray Poochies” (I just made this up), then this would require this process. However, if you are selling t-shirts to raise money, then this will be seen by Facebook as any other product or service, for which authorisation is not required.
Improved comment moderation for creators and admin
Whilst philosophical battles rage across the world regarding what can and can’t be said, what constitutes hate and what constitutes freedom of expression, one thing remains the same – Facebook retains legal immunity from anything that is published on its sites. However, this does not apply to you! If you have a Facebook page (business or cause) that invites and permits people to comment, then ultimately you are responsible for moderating that content, and there could be real world penalties (especially in Australia) if you do not. It is not just about being protected, trolls and spammers can ruin your live feeds and the environment and spirit of your page and message.
Creators can block or suspend repeat offenders and any associated accounts they have created. New keyword filters can block people using a range of offensive words, codes and any combination that could be used on your comments or Live Feed. If you so wish, you can carefully curate who can comment in the first place.
Facebook adds more community building tools for Group admins
Facebook is determined to improve and encourage more engaging and enjoyable spaces for its users. And as Facebook Groups are a huge part of the Facebook ecosystem, they want to make it easier for you to grow these communities. Meta has therefore created a range of new tools for group admins. These include badges for top fans and contributors to a page (who doesn’t like a good badge to show what you’re into!) to handpicked emojis that reflect the culture of the group. New users can receive welcome messages and other hand-picked automatic comments and suggestions, thereby streamlining the end-user experience and reducing the burden on admin to reply to FAQs. Admins can also set up pinned features at the top of their pages that are visible to new users the first time they enter your group. Collectively, these tools make growing and managing your groups considerably easier.
Never has it been easier to create, moderate and grow your social media following and to spread your message, whatever that may be. Facebook is still the number one platform in the world. If you’ve got something to say, say it! After all, it has never been easier to amplify your voice than it is today.