How to approach Facebook in 2018

In early 2018 Facebook have said

It’s now been widely publicized that Facebook have said;
  • More priority will be placed on meaningful social interactions
  • Less page content will hit your personal news feed
  • Video content will be deprioritized. In general, it is passive content consumption, not generating those ‘meaningful interactions’.
  • News content that is consumed, but not shared and talked about, will receive less distribution

What it means for your organsation

  • Less reach for ‘broadcasters’
    • You know those posts that get likes, but don’t get comments? They’re not going to go so well anymore.
  • Facebook say;
    • comments are more valuable than likes
    • long comments are more valuable than short comments
    • meaningful conversations will get reach
  • The onus is on you, to create ‘meaningful’ conversations
    • For some businesses, it’s going to be difficult to achieve organic reach. Period.
    • If your business isn’t the type that can create content which will generate conversations between your followers (note: not between you and your followers, but between themselves), Facebook may simply become a customer service tool for your business.
  • You’re about to get less video watch time.
    • Wow, it was only 12-24 months ago Facey were spruiking video was going to being prioritised.
    • Unless the video you share spurs conversations among your audience, it seems it’s not a priority for Facebook anymore.
  • And what about those blog posts you share, that get some clicks (referrals) but get very little engagement?
    • If you want to share them, they might be a public service to your ‘follow first’ audience, or to people who land on your page, but they’re not going get reach.
    • Facebook have told us that referral traffic will drop.

What does it mean for Facebook Ads

  • Marketers are about to go run toward Facebook Ads in droves.
    • For that reason, its undeniable; Facebook ads are going to get more expensive.
    • But relative to other mediums and platforms, Facebook is still not expensive for the reach and specificity you can achieve through ads.
  • Your ad game must get better.
    • You’re going to be competing with more advertisers to the same audiences.
    • The cost to run ads is going to increase with the increased competition for attention.
    • Naturally as costs rise, advertisers are going to be more sensitive to their objectives, message and results. You need to be clear, too.

What you don’t want to do

  • Timeline comps are a thing of the past. Yep, they were good for businesess for a time there. But time is up and you need to come up with better content.
    • Facebook have said they will deprioritize click bait and engagement bait.
  • As above. Don’t ask for comments or engagement. It’s not going to help. In fact, it’s likely to hinder.
  • Broadcast. You need to encourage engagement. But don’t dare ask for it. Tricky, hey?

What you need to do

  • Ask your audience to ‘see first’ – your content that is.
  • Facebook content needs to be;
    • Live video. I’ve heard (don’t know the source, sorry) that live video gets about 6 times more engagement than prerecorded content. It also fits Facebook’s strategy – to create meaningful conversations – so it makes sense that Facebook will priorities it. Find a way to integrate it into your content strategy.
    • Content that encourages meaningful conversations. This’ll be an interesting one to watch play out for brands & businesses…..
  • Still want Facebook reach? Start learning Facebook Ads. Quickly.
  • You need a new marketing strategy. You need to identify where Facebook fits in your marketing machine. Why you’re there, what your budget is going to be to play, and how Facebook is helping you achieve your business objectives.
  • If you haven’t already, you desperately need to start working out how to convert your Facebook audience to a list you own.
  • Facebook is rented landed. If you haven’t previously considered that fact, surely it’s just become even more evident through this change? You have no control over Facebook’s next move, and no right to complain when they make it. Plan ahead. It’s a great platform to buy attention and shift it in your direction. Get smarter about what you do with it when you have it.
  • Your website (or email list) is an owned asset. Penny drop? Your job is to move attention from Facebook, to those assets. As quickly and efficiently as possible.

Why I’m excited about it

  • I used to like Facebook, but the news feed experience hasn’t been a good one for at least the last 12 months. These changes will improve it.
  • Businesses will have to get better at what they share, or not bother sharing at all.
  • I’m a sucker for websites and list building. It forces businesses to consider the entire marketing ecosystem and where Facebook fits in it, rather than simply going through the motions on the platform because they think they ‘have to’.

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