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:
- 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:
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
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!