According to recent findings, public trust in social media is currently at an all-time low. In announcing Facebook’s new content gameplan for 2018 and beyond, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confidently revealed his product revision proposal in the face of growing criticisms with the ever-popular social media platform. While app updates in this day and age are numerous and rarely newsworthy, this particular one carries paramount implications. The devised solution touches upon a societal issue, one which will unquestionably shift the current digital communication paradigm, and the stakes are tremendous.
If you missed his big announcement, Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook timeline that the company will be significantly altering the way its News Feed displays branded content and user updates. In the somewhat lengthy note by the entrepreneur, he mentioned his awareness of Facebook’s feeds being weighted toward posts by “businesses, brands and media” rather than personal moments due to the former outnumbering the latter. After taking community feedback into consideration, the decision has been made to swing the content pendulum back in the direction of personal posts. Interestingly, Zuckerberg cites the well-being of Facebook users as one of the driving forces behind this transition, positioning the site in an altruistic ray of light.
This is a brave change for the social media giant, and in a certain way it’s a return to roots. But what does this pivot mean for you: the brand, the agency, the power user? Let’s break it down.
An Emphasis on People
In the early days of the social network, Facebook was all about connecting with other users, people who were most likely family, friends or colleagues from work, school or both. Over the years, however, things slowly but noticeably shifted from interpersonal digital relationships to the current landscape addressed in Zuckerberg’s post: brand content and product spots interspersed between occasional status updates. Sponsored posts seemingly edge out people’s personal posts, making Facebook in general feel somewhat less social and slightly more commercial.
Well, Zuckerberg has heard the complaints and is taking the feedback to heart: he’s shifting Facebook’s core product strategy, putting friends back in the News Feed and emphasizing “meaningful social interactions.” Apparently, the changes have already begun rolling out, though he estimates that the whole process should take months. “The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.” This is great news for individual users who have been wondering why they aren’t seeing much of their friends’ posts lately, but how does this decision impact brands, agencies and the like?
Your Facebook marketing strategies, content posts and advertisements are undoubtedly going to be affected by this reverse-spin, but that’s perfectly okay. The social network has undergone considerable transformation several times in its past and this won’t be the last time it happens over the course of its lifespan. Whether you’ve got a personal account or a business page, users will learn to adapt just as they did back then. Just remember that an emphasis is being placed on people again, on purposeful social interactions.
Double Down on Great Content
We realize and anticipate that keeping your balance while Facebook switches gears might be tricky, especially if you use the site as a way to not only reach your existing audience but win over potential new customers as well. Over the years, your marketing strategy may have refined itself into one of keyword-driven copy, attention-grabbing pictures and call-to-action buttons. For the most part these things will remain important factors in the way that your content is crafted, but now you’ll need to pay more attention to how it all meaningfully engages your target audience.
The saying “content is king” still holds true—in fact, its truth is brighter and more evident now than ever before.
Branded posts won’t be showing up as much after Facebook updates its feed algorithm, but if you continue to create excellent content your Facebook followers will place high value in your engagements with them. They’ll come to know you as a purveyor of quality posts, and when that happens, your content won’t have to depend so much on the News Feed because they’ll seek it out on your page. Stop thinking of Facebook as one of your conversion funnels and craft a genuinely creative experience for your fans; as long as you’re making that personal connection on some level, your content should smoothly transition into the new future of Facebook.
Be Insightful Together
Navigating the uncertain waters ahead doesn’t have to be a messy and nerve-racking enterprise. One of the clever advantages of social media is that you have unprecedented access to the kind of information which can make all the difference for your brand. There’s a lot of data out there, maybe too much, so the key is to filter out the noise and extract what is relevant. By studying your competitors and learning from their content, you point yourself in the direction of success.
Luckily for you, Storyclash Insights does all of that and more. Track and analyze brands, publishers and agencies who also occupy your industry, discover their content in real time and use tailored research to your advantage. Using our powerful dashboard, pay special attention to what your competitors are doing with their content during this malleable moment in the Facebook experience. Brands will be trying out new things in order to stay in News Feeds, and you’ll be right there watching their every move so that you can quickly make data-driven decisions about your own content plan. You know what to do, now let us help you do it effectively!
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