Marketers knew this day was bound to arrive. Facebook is resisting their move toward business-sponsored posts, and trying to revert back to friends and family.
The Biggest Thing Since TV
For years Facebook has pushed reporters, editors, publishers and media employees of all sizes to use their network in expanding their audience. According to a study done by the Digital News Report, more than a quarter of 18–24 year olds say social media (28%) are their main source of news – more than television (24%) for the first time. There is a shift away from apps and television, and a growth on social media platforms. Facebook provides a perfect medium to present news to users and this has made them one of the largest news sources in the industry, even if it has never labeled itself as an influencer.
Back To The Family
As a result of their focus shifting to user-generated content rather than friends and family, there will be a change in the Facebook algorithm for news feed ranking system. In addition to that, the reach of posts from publishers, including links, videos, live videos and photos will decline, affect its more than 1.65 billion monthly active users. Facebook plans to start making the changes as soon as this week.
This will have a momentous impact on businesses that clog up their follower’s news feeds with unoriginal articles to generate impressions.
In a recent press release, the company stated, “Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family. That is still the driving principle of News Feed today. Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook.”
How Publishers Will Have To Change To Compete
Original content has always been the golden ticket to successful social media practices, as it holds the viewer’s attention longer and generates deeper thought than other posts, and with a longer attention span, comes higher rates of click-throughs. The key difference with this most recent update is that potential impressions and click-throughs are no longer enough to receive priority in news feed. Facebook wants content that people are actually willing to share and comment on with their friends and family. To receive higher rates of shares, marketers must better understand their clients and what their interests are.
In contrast to creating original content, publishers with a little more dough to spend should weigh out the benefits of sponsored posts. Second to share-worth original content are sponsored posts for Facebook. It is a business after all; and they do a great job of spelling out the reach metrics of each post you are interested in making.
Lastly this update presents an opportunity for brands to recruit word-of-mouth brand advocates. Brand advocates are unofficial sponsors that organically generate conversations and drive impressions and clicks etc. for the brand. People like people more than they like brands. We value a respected opinion more than we respect an advertisement. Brand advocates have huge followings and a lot of potential influence. They understand some brands better than how companies understand their own brands, and they know how to communicate that to their followers. The way to find these advocates is through ‘listening’ to any and all conversations going on in your industry.
Facebook is a media force unlike anything we’ve ever seen. It controls not just the marketing businesses, but also the primary way many people across the world get their news and stay informed. Finding a way to keep your brand the topic of conversation will push users to keep you as part of their family.