It’s 2018 and along with a new sense of self, diets, gym memberships and resolutions, Facebook have launched the biggest changes to the News Feed in some time.
Now, I am not one for scaring people into action and there will be no change with these new updates regardless of how big they may seem. When it comes to these latest changes at Facebook, I’m pretty excited by it and those of you serious about digital marketing, your business and how social media fits, you should be too!
In a New Year update Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, announced:
“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.”
… a sentiment I don’t think anyone should disagree with. To do this, Mark has completely changed the goal product teams deliver against from focusing on helping users find relevant content to helping users have more meaningful social interactions.
What This Means
The main change here is in the News Feed; the main focus of Facebook. Expect to see more from your friends, family, groups and a lot less from Public Pages – That’s companies, brands, organisations, etc. This means for most it’s going to be even more challenging to get your company Facebook Page to achieve strong organic reach through posts and updates.
In basic terms, getting your company, organisation, etc’s content seen by people on Facebook; even those who have ‘Liked’ your Page, is going to be harder than ever before. Facebook doesn’t want Public Page content to be shown to users unless it’s something they deem is important or of value to the user. That they may like it or feel it may be relevant is no longer good enough to have your content shown.
Expect performance of content you post to decrease unless you have strong community engagement or a wider content strategy.
So What Now?
All this aside Facebook and social media in general continues to be a truly incredible platform for marketing, business development, growth, brand, reach, engagement, influence and so much more. Even that is a huge understatement.
If you have invested in social media and digital as a platform to reach, engage, build appropriate communities and align it all with your business objectives then you are already heading in the right direction.
If you have invested in series content, video, live-streaming, engagement, building your community and its business successes online then you are doing great.
If you are doing the above, aligned with a digital content and ad strategy across social and web properties to reach and engage your audiences, I salute you!*
If you use social media because you should, have a habit of broadcasting, regurgitating PR activities, posting without any real direction or strategy, then this is going to seriously affect your social media performance and the valuable reach you need to have online. The time to act is now.
It’s no longer time to just pay a little attention, it’s seriously time put focus on social media in your business. Having concerns about low reach and next to no real commercial results is the least of your worries, it’s now about brand damage, demotion and falling behind competitors at a level that will be hard to catch – Reaching and engaging your current and future clients.
Why It’s A Good Thing
It’s true what they say – Marketers Ruin Everything… They really do and the growth of social media as a platform to achieve free and easy reach is over. Facebook (and the others) really, really want to create to social, community based product that brings its users real personal value (yes, I know… The Facebook business is a topic for another time.), and this year Mark is driving Facebook into a meaning platform and not one that simply serves up content you may like.
“Now, I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too. … we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent.“ – Mark Zuckerberg
That’s a great move, one that echo’s a Facebook of the past whilst finding its place in our human and digitally diverse society.
This refocuses the future of Facebook towards a positive place for users, a valuable use of their time, emotion and energy and in doing so provides a quality audience and community for organisations like never before. Marketer or not, we should all welcome this at a human level.
The future of social is changing and both personally and professionally I couldn’t be happier!
* Reach out, I’d love to do a story on the great work you are doing!