Many people who depend on Facebook to drive business their way have been in a bit of a panic since last week when Mark Zuckerberg made his post about some changes to the Facebook feed.
It can be scary to think that what has worked well for you as an integral part of your marketing plan could become ineffective with the flip of a switch. I don’t think this is something that we truly need to worry about, though it may mean you need to make a few changes to your Facebook strategy.
Let’s look at the situation.
On Thursday, Zuckerberg wrote this post. In it, he tells us that Facebook will be making changes to the feed to provide a better, more social experience that is “good for our well-being”.
“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That's why we've always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.”
The line that seems to scare people the most is, “As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard something like this, and it won’t be the last. Facebook didn’t become Facebook by being short sighted. They, just like every business, must evolve. As people’s news feeds become more and more polluted with businesses trying to sell them something, there is eventually going to come a point when people will stop spending as much time there. That’s bad for Facebook’s business.
As the news feed changes, it’s going to force us marketers to change with it. But rest assured, Facebook will continue allowing businesses to use the platform for marketing, both organically and paid. This is one of Facebook’s biggest revenue streams. The day that it quits being an effective marketing medium is the day they lose that revenue stream.
Here’s how I see it affecting those using Facebook as a marketing platform.
Organic - The posts you’re not putting money behind better be really good stuff that’s going to get interaction. Interaction will continue to breed exposure. It’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Also, you’re going to want to encourage your biggest fans to set your page to “see first” in their feeds (learn how to do that here). You’ll find that recorded video doesn’t get as much reach as it used to, and live video will be the king of content. Beyond this, if you’re not already doing it, you really need to be putting some money behind your posts. Regardless the success you may have had in the past, it’s time to “pay the man”.
Paid - As good as Facebook is at targeting, this is going to force them to become even better. When they relieve our feeds of a lot of the social commerce, what they do show us better count. This means that even though people will see less commercial content in their feeds, what they do see is going to become (even more) scary relevant to them. Cost per impression will likely go up. Cost per click will likely go up. But I’m betting that cost per conversion either stays the same or goes down.
What you need to do.
If you’re a client of ours, rest assured it’s being handled. We test everything we do to make sure we are getting you the best return possible. We also have the luxury of managing the pages of many businesses, so everything we see in our testing is amplified by seeing it over and over. Zuckerberg’s post says that they will be rolling out these changes over the next few months. If anything changes that you need to know about, we’ll keep you in the loop.
If you’re managing your own social - test, test, and test again. Try new types of content. Read what the experts are doing. Jon Loomer and Mari Smith are great people to follow. They make their living teaching people how to market on Facebook, and because of that, they stay on top of all of the changes and share them with their tribes. Another thing to do is come to our workshops. We love teaching people to do their own marketing.
Keep on marketing!