STUFFING THE GENIE BACK INTO THE BOTTLE?
Talking about this change, Zuckerberg noted that he expected the time people spend on Facebook to become “more valuable.”
An unintentional double-entendre, perhaps? If brands can no longer reach customers through organic (read: free) posts and content, it’s unlikely they’ll throw their hands in the air and give up. Instead, we’ll probably see an increased emphasis on paid social campaigns.
Again: we’re not suggesting that this move is completely cynical. Facebook does have a legitimate desire to win back the hearts and minds of users who feel the platform no longer met their needs.
However, this user-focused paradigm shift also serves as a smokescreen for the platform quietly stuffing the genie back into the bottle backstage.
For years, brands have been able to reach their customers without investing in the platform itself. That door has finally slammed shut. Like Google before them, Facebook wants their cut.
IS THIS REALLY THE APOCALYPSE?
Probably not. Social media is an ever-changing field. This algorithm change may be greeted with consternation now (reflected in Facebook’s recent stock drop). But, at the end of the day, digital marketers, users, and industry experts will eventually do what they do best—and what they’ve always done—adapt.
The hardest change will be for businesses and brands. No one likes being told that something that was once free will now cost money.
For many businesses, there will have to be a re-evaluation of the value of their Facebook presence; in other words, how much is it worth to them?
Other unintended consequences: maybe this change gives another up-and-comer in the social media world leverage to climb up to challenge the Big F. We’ll have to see about that one.
HOW DOES THIS IMPACT MY CAMPAIGN?
Like many brands and companies, we’ve been preparing for this day for a long time. Facebook has been phasing in a decreased emphasis and effectiveness of organic content from businesses and brands.
DON’T GIVE UP ON ORGANIC CONTENT
We still maintain that there’s a place for organic social media content. First, Twitter and Google+ remain effective places for social content. Second, well-written and genuinely interesting Facebook content will still (according to Facebook) have a shot of making it, even with this change.
HOW YOU CAN PREPARE
If you’re a business worried about these changes, here’s what you can do to help ensure that your organic social media content remains effective:
- Get more personalized with content: Create content that connects with employees and customers and makes your business feel more “human” to users.
- Break away from the cookie-cutter: Send more photos and videos of your company. Make these videos unique, interesting, and filled with personality.
- Think about the value of Facebook: In the future, your social media will probably need a budget to manage paid posts and ads. Start thinking about how much you want to invest in this.
TURN TO 5 FOLD WITH YOUR QUESTIONS
Have questions about this Facebook algorithm change, or do you want to learn more about how we’re managing digital campaigns? Contact us, or connect with us on Facebook—we’ll still be there!