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So it finally happened: Facebook has killed brands appearing in the organic newsfeed of it’s fans.
In a Facebook post, your #Zuckerness wrote:
“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments [from friends and family] that lead us to connect more with each other.”
Mentioning the roll-out will take months, the Founder of Facebook continues with:
“As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
Quite frankly for those of us watching the evolution of Facebook Pages over the last few years, it’s no big surprise.
It’s irrelevant now, but previously, engagement such as likes/comments/shares determined whether or not Facebook’s algorithm would deem your post worthy of appearing organically — and this algorithm had become increasingly selective.
Sure, Facebook has been “Pay to Play” for years but there was something special about creating genuinely entertaining or educational content for your audience.
It separated the lazy advertorial crap from the genuinely valuable edu-tainment gold like this Bon Jovi inspired gem from NSW Police:
Reading Zuckertastic’s post you could be forgiven he’s put people before profit:
“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being. So we’ve studied this trend carefully by looking at the academic research and doing our own research with leading experts at universities.”
Don’t pull out the Nobel Peace Prize yet.
The changes do not appear to directly impact Facebook Ads, but will inevitably raise advertising prices. This is obviously because less organic post reach audiences which will increase demand for Facebook advertising.
The other impact on ads is not related to this update but from another recent one: Facebook is currently trialing a ‘View Ads’ button on Facebook pages in Canada and US — which means whether or not the person viewing is in the intended target audience for the ad, they will be able to see it:
Keep that in mind if you start offering 25% off deals at the ire of customers who just bought at full price!
Keep in mind this update will take months to roll-out, so if you’ve been ignoring the signs of waning newsfeed feed reach now you have no choice.
Here are three key strategies you should be considering in light of #newsfeedarmageddon.
If you read between the lines of #Zuckerlicious’s post you’ll find this gem:
“The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.”
Facebook Groups are still considered valuable communities and indeed, it is pretty hard to be spammy and advertorial and still build a genuinely engaged Facebook Group.
If you have no idea where to begin, start by searching and following active groups and note how they keep a particular, hopefully similar persona to yours, engaged.
There is arguably more work here than keeping a Facebook page fresh 2-3 times a week including taking polls, contributing at least 3-4 times a week and importantly, responding and moderating your community promptly.
But it’s well worth it and is a powerful way to build an active community.
Slow loading landing pages have already been affected in recent months. Facebook is expected to be even more stringent here with slow loading sites likely to be negatively impacted.
A lot of landing page builders have the ‘AMP’ functionality too which is geek speak for stripped down super-fast loading pages. The bolt icon in Google search is a dead giveaway a page is an AMP one:
I kinda feel like a nagging Grandmother but practitioners like myself have been warning for years “Build your owned community before the Zuckermonster eats up all your Facebook fans”.
See any social media community e.g. a Facebook page community, Instagram followers, Twitter Followers and even the aforementioned Facebook Groups — are all examples of earned media on rented land.
At any time, without notice, just like Zuckerlackular (sorry I’m pretty much out of my best #ZuckerZings) did, the land can be taken back.
This reinforces more than ever the importance of building a community on your website and growing your own email database.
Sure, you can employ all the trendy tactics of things like Facebook Live but you can also embed these onto your site and draw people back with consistent content.
For years I have been witnessing an disproportionate amount of time being spend on updating Facebook pages with less time spent on longer term owned media.
It’s because it’s easy. It’s because it’s fun right? It’s a lot harder to build a marketing automation nurturing funnel thing come up with Facebook gifs.
This update is a blessing in disguise and hopefully it will now force marketers to spend more time on more valuable activities such as onsite content marketing strategy and marketing automation.