Facebook is rolling out massive changes in 2018 and if businesses don’t adapt – and quickly – their followers will no longer see their posts or updates in the news feed.
As a website developer and internet marketing consultant, a very important part of my job is to stay up to date with the myriad of changes made by Google and social media. This is to ensure my clients receive the assistance and guidance necessary to successfully market their businesses online.
Well, a doozy dropped on January 11th (2018) from Facebook…
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his team informed us they will be implementing major changes over the coming weeks and months that will affect how businesses use Facebook.
These changes are some of the biggest in years and will have a monumental affect on businesses who use Facebook to promote their products and services and drive traffic to their website.
The changes are so big that social media marketing heavyweights are calling it “Facebook Apocolypse” and “Facebook Zero”. Over dramatic? Time will tell.
A summary of the Facebook changes
If you use Facebook to promote your business, you need to rethink your social media marketing strategy – and fast!
The statement released by Mark Zuckerberg on January 11th can be summarised as follows:
Adam Massari, head of News Feed for Facebook, followed this up with the following points:
- Space in the news feed is limited. We’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers and businesses.
- Pages (business content) may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease.
- Video will get less watch time. Video is primarily a passive experience – you just tend to sit back and watch it – and while you’re watching it you’re not liking or commenting or speaking with friends.
- Links to external pages will get less visibility.
- All posts will be impacted including posts from pages (businesses), groups and people (personal profiles).
- Comments are more valuable than likes. We’re going to be weighing long comments more than short comments.
- Facebook will prioritise posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.
What does this mean for businesses using Facebook?
The consensus is that Facebook is now trying to create a community that revolves around meaningful conversation.
Facebook wants dialogue between human beings, not between humans and pages (businesses). They want to go back to a time when people used the platform to have conversations and communicate with each other.
In short, it’s no longer about you, as a business, communicating with individuals but your followers communicating with each other.
One social media marketer defined the change as:
The biggest challenge for businesses is that it will now be a lot harder to ensure your posts appear in your follower’s news feeds unless you’re engaging them in conversation – with each other!
What should businesses relying on Facebook do now?
First and foremost – social media should be just one element of your marketing mix.
Diversified marketing means that an event such as this can be easily managed and navigated around. For clients whom I manage their online marketing, this is merely a bump in the road, certainly not a catastrophic road block.
Secondly, start creating longer, more meaningful social media content that encourages people to comment – not just “like”, share or click. BUT, Facebook doesn’t want to see short comments (i.e. “no”, “yes please”, “I like blue”) but long, comments with interactions between people. Facebook wants people interacting with each other, not just you.
Thirdly, it’s important you don’t instruct people to comment on your posts (i.e. “Comment below why you think….”). Facebook has been very specific that they will penalise you for doing so.
And finally, while the Facebook game will change in 2018 there are tips, tricks and tools you can implement to get your social media back on track. Ask me how.
Change = opportunities
Even more importantly, there will be opportunities out there for businesses who adapt quickly. It could be a while before your competitors realise they’re losing traction and then, grapple to catch up. Modify your online marketing strategy quickly and reap the rewards.
If you need assistance and advice working around these changes, formulating a reliable social media strategy and diversifying your marketing mix, contact me for more information. I’m only too happy to help.