Facebook's new direction has shaken up the complete user and business experience:
'More happiness and less promotion'.
On 11th of January 2018, Facebook made their first official announcement regarding their 2018 update.
The update highlights changes to current promotional business practices and revamps how content will reach end users.
Gone are the days when a business could just promote their product, service or brand without any ramifications.
Now, Facebook requires a lot more requirements that need to be fulfilled before your content can reach your intended audience effectively.
These new implications have businesses, investors and marketers alike scrambling to understand how their promotional strategies will change in 2018 on this social media platform.
"I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement to go down"~ Mark Zuckerberg
Mark's work philosophy has always been directed at how Facebook's news feed will operate.
Working with communities, conducting surveys and academic research with Universities has him concluding that a major change needed to take place in Facebook's news feed.
This was predominantly due to concerns in mental and social health users face when 'passively consuming' content on Facebook.
As a result, his new goal is to increase the mental well-being and social relationships by taking your news feed and prioritizing content you'd deem as more personal, such as things that are happening within your circle of friends and families.
For companies and brands this means it may be harder for your content to have engagement and reach.
The fallout of this recent update has caused the loss of investor confidence and Facebook's share price to drop up to 4.5% on Friday losing out on 3.3 billion dollars.
Update: Facebook's stocks have bounced back and is higher than it has ever been!
What seemed like a loss was only short term, indicating investor's support for Mark's new direction.
Here is a list of Facebook New Year's resolution updates:
Facebook will not prioritize likes as a measure of quality content anymore.
Before the update it was and still is common for business practices to buy likes and use them as a measure of traffic and engagement for your page and posts.
However, with the new update rolling out, the 'like' economy on Facebook is in in decline in favour for comments.
The more frequent people write meaningful comments and the longer it is, the more likelihood your content posts get gain more exposure.
While news and videos will still appear, except the ones shared and interacted by your friends and family will be prioritized.
Mark's concern regarding people's mental health and building better social relationships is the one of the main drivers to the changes to the prioritisations of your news feed.
The change the news feed algorithms will still show news and videos however, the ones shared and engaged by your family and friend's circles will be prioritized on your page.
It also raises the question to whether this aid or prevent the spread of fake news and bad content.
Posts from family and friends will get more priority on your news feed compared to those from companies, and celebrities.
Extending from the last point, posts from companies and celebrities selling to you their products and services get second fiddle to what your family and friends posts.
Especially in a highly saturated and competitive attention economy on Facebook, content and posts that lack heart and soul won't get as much priority on exposure.
How will this affect your business and advertising?
Facebook is weeding out all the businesses who don't promote quality and meaningful content:
If your business just pushes people to buy products or you keep creating promotional content without any context, then Facebook algorithms won't prioritize your content.
Businesses and their promotional content now have to provide value and meaning in their posts to the users for it to have an optimal amount of reach and engagement.
Here are some examples from Facebook of what not to do:
Your Facebook page is an important destination for users:
It's where they make a first impression of your business and where they will decide to follow, share and engage with your content.
The more often that this engagement happens, the more reach your messages will have.
Understand the discovery process and communications that happens when people land on your page:
Your Facebook page is like your home, so make it as welcoming and tailored to the user experience as possible.
If you want them to keep visiting then tidy it up, make it look appealing and offer value to keep them coming back.
What to do now?
Facebook has given some advice on what not to do and how to be effective with your posts.
- Do not just promote or sell content
- Do give context and value to your posts
- Do not have too much lettering or words on your image.
- Use Facebook's ad boost for a more focused promotional campaign
Keeping in mind the points above, the way Facebook has played their cards, considering investment into paid advertising on Facebook will become essentially the most effective way to have the best reach and exposure to the right people.
Facebook's new update has made their stance clear, it wants you to spend less time on Facebook and for the time you do spend on Facebook will be meaningful and full of value.
This update is as surprising and new to us as it may be to you.
If you are a business that relies on Facebook's advertising platform then it's time to sit down with your marketing team and rethink your strategy and approach to advertising.