How Facebook’s major new announcement will affect your business.
The interwebs has been abuzz with gasps since Mark Zuckerburg (Facebook founder) dropped the bombshell about changes to their newsfeed algorithm with regards to business page content.
What is all the drama about?
Social networkers will see more content from friends and family and less content from businesses and marketers. It means that business which relied on reaching their audience without paying for ads is being stifled.
In the coming days, Facebook users will see fewer posts from publishers, businesses and celebrities they like and follow. Instead, Facebook wants people to see more stuff from friends, family and other people they are likely to have “meaningful” conversations with — something the company said has been lost in the sea of videos, news stories (real and fake), and viral quizzes on which “Big Bang Theory” character you are.
What will change, is how Facebook prioritise what to show you first, even in groups. In the past, emphasis was placed on showing you posts that match your interests. Now, it will give more weight to those that, for example, have lengthy comments or that have otherwise generated a lot of debate. Facebook said its new ranking system would hurt non-paid advertising content from publishers and brands, like news stories and viral video posts, but not change the ranking of advertising that has been paid for.
Businesses will need more creative means of getting noticed on Facebook or cough up for paid ads if they want to get noticed. If they don’t, their competition certainly will and they may suffer. On the flip side, as the competition increases, this will likely drive brands and companies to focus on the creative idea to stand out. The News Feed will become a premium placement, cost-wise with better more creative content.
The announcement sends a clear signal: brands that are on Facebook need to refocus on the quality of their posts rather than throwing up multiple posts simply to have ‘new content’. So it is going to be a game of quality over quantity. The number of business page followers will have even less importance in getting a message in front of their audience than before as these were already only being shown to followers who were actively and regularly engaging with a page. Now, it may not be pro-actively shown to any followers at all. It literally means a follower of a page may have to go and visit a page and scroll down their wall to see their posts, or it is likely they won’t see them at all (unless friends share them AND the engagement of the post, that is to say comments and interactions are very high).
Many business page admins & marketers are also the business owners, and they will not all have the time to be able to conjure up a winning marketing campaign in order to compete whilst managing the daily running of their businesses – this will be their biggest challenge. If they are able to apply the required resource & their own time to run a meaningful Facebook presence, then it is likely that the rest of their business will suffer as a result. They will eventually have to face the prospect of having an agency do it for them if they do not employ people to run their marketing for them.
It is not the end of the world, small businesses existed long before Facebook and will continue to exist, however it will not be as easy for smaller players to compete in the social media space. For now, keep a close eye on the reach of organic content to monitor the impact that these drastic changes are likely to have over time.
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