Breaking News: Facebook’s HUGE Change

As the news hit, the internet buzz went wild… especially from this line of Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s post…

“As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

See the full post here:

But what does this really mean for your business and your Facebook marketing?

Grab a cup of coffee (or stiff drink depending on how you are feeling) and let’s break down what Zuckerberg said…

Let’s start with…

“We’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.

But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Uh oh. People are complaining… Zuckerberg has ALWAYS maintained that the user experience comes first and foremost so his focus on this is not surprising. And also not surprising that spammy terrible marketers are ruining it for all of us… because besides the unique and awesome marketers like you and me, most marketers suck.

And then, it goes deeper…

“The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health.”

Okay, this sounds good. But not so fast…

“On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.”

Uh oh. Mindless video watching is no good? And Facebook is stopping it? Looks like I’m going to YouTube. Er, I mean…

Seriously though, Zuckerberg is taking a responsibility in all of the studies that mindless viewing of videos (even if they are funny or interesting) is not the purpose of the platform. The purpose of the platform is for conversation. Not passive posting and viewing.

He continues on…

“As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard – it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

So your posting should be to create conversation. Not to simply entertain or spam.

And more alarmingly… he does think time spent on Facebook will go down, but will it?

“Now, I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down.”

Regardless, your Facebook strategy must be smarter and more deliberate than ever. And can’t include Click Bait.

Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed, commented on Zuckerberg’s post sharing: “Using ‘engagement-bait’ to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.”

While getting interaction is good, and necessary to get post distribution, baiting people with prizes is still not allowed. Saying, “Comment to win an Amazon Gift Card!” will still be demoted and could lead you to be kicked off Facebook entirely.

So what does this all mean for our pages…

First, no one is 100% sure. Like many Facebook posts, there is a lot of words and not a lot of specifics. But lots of speculation from people like me (minus the earlier mention of encouraging the consumption of a stiff drink if needed).

Second, to be best prepared, follow traditionally fantastic marketing principles that will always serve you well and seem to be in line with what Zuckerberg is saying:

  1. Develop relationships, not interactions. Facebook isn’t alone in valuing person to person communication versus person to brand communication. When is the last time you had a deep conversation with a brand’s logo? Facebook will show content more from brands that do the same. This makes a STRONG case for making your page personality based around the social media content calendar in our 12 Minute Social Media Cash Machine program that is all about engagement and NOT spamming.

Here’s a few of my most popular posts to use for inspiration:

  1. Live Video Rules. In Mosseri’s post, he shares “live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.” I’ve been an advocate of Facebook Live video for a LONG time. It is our number one source for effective organic content. If you still aren’t using Facebook Live, get on it. (Get my free training on how to do an effective one here.)

  1. Never, ever rely on just one channel. As my early marketing mentor Dan Kennedy has told me often, “One is the loneliest number.” Relying on just one media channel is a formula for disaster. Something happens to it and your business collapses. (Remember the Google Penguin update that put a lot of the Internet Marketers out of business?) Always diversify your marketing so there are multiple sources supporting it at any one time and if one goes away, your business doesn’t.

Instagram example:

  1. Always collect contact information. Always. Really, Always. No matter what marketing channel you use, step one in your interaction with your prospects should be to collect their contact information. You don’t own their channel and said channel can kick you (or all marketers, for that matter) off at anytime. Own the contact and no matter what the channel does, you will be fine. If Facebook banned all businesses tomorrow, my business would be fine because we have 30,000+ active contacts in our database that we have brought in during the last six months. How would your business do?

Your Juicy Carrot collects contact information at hello:

  1. Get More Fans

An important point that Mosseri made was, “People who want to see more posts from Pages they follow can choose See First in News Feed Preferences to make sure they always see posts from their favorite Pages.” Getting more fans who love and interact with your page means reaching more people every single day.  Now, more than ever, this is important in thriving on Facebook.

If you haven’t done the 10,000 Fans challenge yet, you are running out of time. Join me live, CLICK HERE.

In the end, we still aren’t 100% sure what this means for Business Pages. After all, Mosseri ended by saying,

 “Page posts will still appear in News Feed, though there may be fewer of them.”

Conclusion: Don’t panic and always be a strategic marketer so you are prepared no matter what happens. And stay tuned because we will keep bringing you the latest updates and what to do about it as it happens.  Cheers!

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13 Responses
  1. Good Post Kim. I totally agree not to have only 1 source for your marketing. I just wonder if Facebook is biting the hand that feeds it, since it has made so much money off of marketers. Only time will tell.

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      Leon – I definitely see your point of view, and at the same time they need to protect the user experience (remember when MySpace became overrun with bad pop up ads and everyone left?) You are right that only time will tell.

  2. Enrique

    this means that your tactic of posting a short phrase/image and telling people to click like if they agree with the affirmation is at risk of working much less spectacularly and even be a risky one to use?

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      Hi Enrique – Facebook has always banned click baiting, it is just more recently that we are hearing about it (and perhaps they are cracking down on it). Click bait refers to a post or comment that is misleading from the actual content being delivered. The 10k fans strategy is still inline with Facebook ad guidelines, as it always has been.

  3. We saw similar issues with Google adwords over the years. Facebook is new in the game of business advertising, so it’s a normal process for Facebook to take by addressing certain issues as things move along.

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      If your page has good organic, authentic engagement, your posts will still be seen. But if you are doing a straight up promotion you are going to pay.

  4. Harry Moore

    Maybe I am not clear about this, but it seems to me that the 10,000 fans strategy may come back to bite me down the road. I collected 20,000 fans between 2 business pages in about a week, which is awesome, but my business is very local. I am a real estate agent, and do most of my business within about 15 miles of my office. I don’t have much to offer all of my ” fans” around the world when my juicy carrot and sales page are ready. So if I have 12,000 fans on one page, and let’s say that I actually get 2-300 of them to interact with posts on an ongoing basis, that’s a pretty small percentage of my total. Is Facebook going to penalize me for that?

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      Hi Harry – the fans on the first two phases aren’t to get you customers, it is so when you focus on day 3, where your customers are, you get them for a inexpensively as possible and so you grow social proof overall on your page and finally so you give Facebook a signal that you are a page that is known, liked and trusted and so when you do post to your desired tribe on Phase 3, it is shared to the best for the cheapest price.

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      Hi Bob – Thanks for the comment. If you go down the thread, they share how you should continue getting fans and how “see first” is still important. Building and tribe and brining value is all still very important.

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