This morning, Facebook announced that they were making a pretty significant adjustment to their algorithm that would promote user content and deprioritize content from publishers’ (aka companies) content.
While you may be hearing the collective wail of various digital departments, those in the know (Ed.Note: Hi!) have been well aware and watching this trend for well over a year. This is not a day of reckoning, some sort of BC/AD moment, but rather another step in the process of Facebook’s evolution. Times do change. Remember when you could only use Facebook if you had a .EDU email address? It took them almost 4 years to remove that.
For over a year, Facebook has stopped weighing the proverbial “Likes” as the end-all, be-all of Facebook metrics for companies, and started weighing engagement above all. This was due in part to the influx of fake profiles and bots that began to flood the platform. With online ad transparency/metrics/attribution as a hot topic and their recent crackdown on engagement baiting, the online juggernaut is making the quality of their users’ experience their number one priority.
How will this affect you? What should/shouldn’t you be doing?
If you are a company and using Facebook organic traffic – don’t stop. Yes, you WILL see a reduction in your traffic, but that doesn’t and hasn’t mattered in some time. If you look back through your numbers you will notice that only 3%-6% of your audience have been seeing your posts anyway. Apply the old adage of “Quality Over Quantity.” Keep telling YOUR brand’s story and people WILL listen.
If you are a Facebook advertiser, then you have seen some impact of this since last year. After your initial optimization period, always look at your month-over-month number. Campaigns have a shelf life so always have an idea of “What’s Next?”
We are creatures of habit and our internet habits are no different. Tell someone that their daily routine will now be different than yesterday and a group-think panic will settle in. Meanwhile, if you are an avid digital user, then you must accept that these are constantly evolving mediums. This is not always a bad thing. By keeping this in mind, it can empower both you and your marketing efforts by keeping you, your message, and the ways you’re reaching your potential customer, fresh.
So, breathe, keep telling your story. Forget the “Media” aspect of it and start to remember the “Social” component and you will be fine. Really!
Now keep calm and Facebooking on.