Facebook raises the quality bar for brands
When a post appeared on the Facebook for Business blog with the title 'An Update to News Feed: What it Means for Businesses', it was difficult for many not to think the worst and that's what many marketers and brands did over the last couple of weeks. 'I'm going to close down our Facebook page', 'What's the point in spending time and money on Facebook as a brand any more?' and 'Why do Facebook keep messing about with our audience all of the time?' were just some of the comments I read.
We took a different view on the announcement and as both marketers and personal users of social media we're always happy to see social media channels raising the quality bar for publishers. It helps us and it helps our clients rise above the noise as users seek out (and are delivered) only the content they they're most likely to be engaged with via the News Feed. And aren't these the very users that we want to see our content anyway? The ones that Like, Share, click through to a brand website and ultimately go on to press the 'Buy' button?
If you find your brand or client's Facebook page reach is rapidly diminishing then you should take a step back and reassess the strategy. It's all too easy to fall into the trap of posting organic promotional content and not provide the real value which the community wanted (and expected) when they clicked the Like button on a Page. Facebook surveyed a bunch of users and found that 'a lot of the content people see as too promotional is posts from Pages they like, rather than ads', which is no different than any other form of media, e.g. as a TV viewer I want the ads to be clearly defined during programming rather than the characters overtly referencing brands in the dialogue.
As Mark Pinsent, MD of Metia London, recently told CMO.com, 'Social media has become just media' and we firmly believe that a successful social media strategy includes a mix of both organic and paid content. This will deliver on the promises you thought Facebook would deliver when you first decided to dip your toe into the water. And it's still a fantastic channel to engage with your existing and prospective customers and will be one of the biggest referrers of traffic to your website.
So don't 'unlike' Facebook's News Feed changes coming in early 2015 - see it as a challenge and opportunity to refine your strategy, reassess your objectives and benefit from combining organic and paid social outreach programs.
Our team is successfully building and activating social media programs for clients across the globe today so if you want to talk about how you can do social media better then get in touch.