Facebook has (un)done it again. They’ve changed their algorithm for the…better. That’s at least according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Speaking about FacebookZero, which brings a significant change to Facebook’s News Feed, Zuckerberg stated, “We want to make sure that our products are not just fun, but good for people.” This big-hearted approach will reprioritize the News Feed to emphasize posts, videos, and photos from friends and family. This means content from publishers and brands will take a back seat to “meaningful interactions between people”, as per the CEO.
This change comes on the heels of Facebook working with a number of researchers to uncover the effects of what is known as “passive content” (i.e. videos and articles that don’t encourage community engagement). Internal and external research concluded that the original intent of bringing friends and family together had been overtaken by posts from brands and media companies – essentially having a negative effect on users’ emotional well being.
And so Zuckerberg and his team want to change that.
Naturally, this leaves businesses and brands somewhat out in the cold. As one of the world’s largest digital content distributors, anything that affects the digital marketing world is going to affect businesses. While there are a lot of potential consequences that can occur as a result of this change, it’s still a bit early in the game to see exactly where all the chips are going to fall.
But that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start planning for the road ahead. For starters, your digital marketing team (or personnel) need to have a keen eye for the movements occurring within the industry. Staying current with trends and changes to social media platforms (like Facebook’s other new change, Facebook Local) are absolutely vital to staying ahead of the curve.
Or you can always get help from the digital marketing extraordinaires at Cobalt Digital Marketing. We do not believe this is the end of the digital marketing world but rather a new, exciting phase that will bring about plenty of opportunities for companies to truly build better relationships with their audience. Here at Cobalt Digital Marketing our experience and intuition (and tons of meaningful data) tell us that:
- Meaningful interactions and content are still kings.
- Influencer Marketing is going to be important.
- Be wary of “engagement bait”.
- Facebook Groups are going to make a big come back.
- Master Facebook ads if you haven’t already.
This has always been a top priority for us here at Cobalt Digital Marketing; creating meaningful content that our audience can engage with in a positive manner. Spammy, clickbait-types of posts have never been our forte, and now it appears that our desire to provide quality over quantity will better serve our clients than ever before.
The importance of actual engagement with content (i.e. comments and discussion) is definitely going to grow in the upcoming months and years to come. That’s why your business will need to meaningfully cultivate a community on Facebook rather than just post product after product. You’ll want Comments, Likes and Shares, not just clicks.
This may be a bit more challenging to parlay, but with the proper data and tools at your disposal, you can align your brand with an ideal consumer base and work with a niche influencer to help you meet your brand objective.
Because of the algorithm changes that will be rolling out, Influencers won’t be as affected as media outlets and businesses. Their value is going to increase while marketers and businesses figure out the shifting landscaping.
Frankly, this is the direction we, as marketers, need to be moving in anyway. Generation Z has been raised in the digital era. They idolize social media famous teens from Vine, Snapchat, YouTube, and Musical.ly. In fact, according to a Nielsen study, influencer marketing provides 11x ROI!
Take the first step by identifying potential digital influencers that your customers would identify with. Begin to engage online or reach out to them for quotes to include in your content.By 2020, GenZ will account for 40% of all consumers. @fastcompany #influencermarketing Click To Tweet
Your Facebook Page is still vital.
Consumers expect you to have a strong digital presence including a Facebook page. They will look up your business to find out more or to get in touch when the need arises. Followers will still have the option to see your posts if they select you to “See First” in their News Feed preferences. This will require you to be upfront and ask customers and Facebook followers to do so. While you’re at it, you should also request they review your business, which will also benefit you on the Facebook Local app.
Just make sure to offer an incentive to really get them motivated to follow you. Continue to provide content that they will want to see. Become a valued source of information for your industry. Contests, discounts and special deals also generate excitement.
Engagement is going to be vital to keep you in front of your audience, but the flip side of that coin is that you’ll really need to avoid spammy posts that ask users to react or comment to them. You’ll end up getting penalized for doing so.
Like always, your best bet is to make honest, fun, engaging, authentic posts that will create true interaction without the need to ask for it. Find your company’s voice and personality. Get creative and have fun! This can be a challenge but, if you need help, our expert content creators are Cobalt Digital Marketing are amazing at really reaching targeted audiences.
Facebook was built on the ideal of community, and while we all might have gotten a little away from that original intention, it looks like it is coming back in a big way. This is especially true for Facebook Groups as it has been revamped to function off audience engagement and will improve the ability for users to connect with others who have common interests. If you don’t believe us, just search for Essential Oil or InstaPot groups!@Facebook groups have over 1 BILLION users. @socialmedia2day #socialmedia #marketing Click To Tweet
For businesses, this means creating meaningful content that speaks to a given community and helps to build it, rather than merely sell to it. Again, quality content and interactions are kings.
Organic reach was already on a downslide in recent years and this newest modification to Facebook looks like it’s going to increase those challenges for businesses and brands. There’s a general understanding that businesses will soon need to beef up ad budgets (and abilities) to get in front of their target audience.
Utilizing data to make the appropriate campaign choices are going to be as important as ever, so make sure you have a quality social media marketer on your team…or depend on Cobalt Digital Marketing.
Digital marketing is all about getting the right message in front of the right people.
Change happens. Whether it’s Facebook or Google updating their algorithms, staying on top of the industry is what Cobalt Digital Marketing does best.