Did you hear it? Savvy marketers around the world shouting a collective ‘Oh-No’ on and around
January 12, 2018? That’s the day our friends at Facebook announced changes to their news feed.
If you’re one of those still wondering what the future holds for this all-important marketing tool, well, read on as we have tried to summarize the key highlights for now.
It all started when Mark Zuckerberg posted on January 12 that Facebook wanted to promote more “personal moments” and less, well, “crap” from brands and publishers.
Ok, he didn’t really say that, but what he did say was this:
“But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands, and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
All this really stemmed from the criticism Facebook received and is still receiving around the Russian involvement in the most recent presidential campaign. As frustrating as this may be for some, it also shows the power that social platforms like Facebook have on today’s culture and communications – and why it should be part of your marketing mix.
In any event, initially, we marketers thought our brand pages were doomed – never to be seen another newsfeed every again. And worst of all, marketers who had moved marketing budgets from print advertising to social media were scrambling on where to move those dollars to next.
But wait a minute. Facebook doesn’t make money off of Grandma commenting on your child’s band concert post or from you wishing a second cousin on your mother’s side a Happy Birthday.
So what gives? Facebook isn’t going to mess with their money cow with this new Facebook feed change.
What Can You Expect From the Changes to the Facebook News Feed?
Here’s our insight as it stands today.
1. Person-to-Person communication will be encouraged in the news feed.
2. Better engagement = higher ranking. Posts receiving long, thoughtful replies will show up more in the newsfeed.
3. Regular video and content encouraging “passive engagement” is no longer the next great thing, however, live video will be rewarded. (Facebook Live, anyone?)
4. Tons of clicks does not mean replies. Try the “click-bait method” and Facebook will punish you.
5. Facebook ads will still be effective.
HOWEVER, brands should not be breathing a sigh of relief quite yet. These Facebook changes will require a change in content approach for many. Brands using Facebook successfully cannot rely on paid ads alone. Organic reach is still important. As Jon Loomer puts it, the focus will have to be on generating a conversation; less on “me, buy and click” and more on “education, information and “what-do-you-think?”
But that’s been the whole point of great content marketing anyway.