Many businesses and publishers should expect to see a downturn in reach and referral traffic.
The start of the year saw Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is putting an emphasis on ‘meaningful content on users’ feeds’, prioritising posts from friends and family in the News Feed and taking priority away from businesses, brands, and media/publishers! What does this mean for you as a business?
Simply put, this means your users will see more posts from their friends and less content from the pages, like yours, they’ve liked. There are a few key motivations behind these changes and now is the time you need to be re-evaluating your Facebook social marketing.
Content creation & social sharing
Over the past few years, Facebook has seen a continual decline in creation by its everyday users, as brands and media publishers began to oversaturate the news feed space. As a result, there was a rise in rivals like Snapchat where users create and shoot video and photos to their Snapchat friends, almost obsessively.
Culture of connectedness
Zuckerberg has agreed that the volume of passive observation has made users feel alienated. The changes to come are directly meant to combat passive information consumption and re-prioritise talk value and community engagement on the platform.
Zuckerberg feels the spread of misinformation and rise of fake news content in the News Feed as of late, creates a culture of negativity and conflict rather than connectedness and community. As a result of these shifts, we anticipate a number of implications for businesses. One of them will be Ad cost increases to gain more visibility in your precious consumers News Feed.
More than likely, Facebook will increase it’s advertising costs as News Feed inventory becomes a premium placement. The shift to an engagement-driven model suggests there are new, engaging ad products on the horizon, which should justify the higher costs of the placement.
Facebook began as a place that brings people closer together and enables meaningful social interactions. While Facebook is saying they’re focusing on ‘how time is spent’ vs. ‘how much time is spent’, a shift in the types of content seen and driving active engagement amongst friends could lead to more time spent on the platform.
It’s still early and there’s a lot of speculation about how this may or may not impact marketers, but there’s one definitive takeaway for small and larger businesses in this shift: say more with less. Define what matters to your business and your audience. For many, it may mean talking or posting a lot less and being creative in how you bring it to life in ways that drive the conversation. This shift is going to require you and your marketers to evaluate their content strategies in their entirety and ask the question – is the content we’re creating and publishing talking with consumers or at them?
If you’re concerned about the recent updates and how this will affect your social marketing or not sure where to go from here to create a successful Facebook user reach, get in touch. We’re open 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday if you fancy a chat – 0800 689 0253.