Last week, Mark Zuckerberg made a bold statement about his plans for 2018. With the aim to fix and improve the social network, he stated that big changes will be made to Newsfeed. The algorithm will now prioritise user posts over public content, such as posts from businesses, brands and media. Users will see less news and more content shared by their friends, family and Facebook groups to trigger meaningful and authentic conversations, and bring people closer together.
In his statement, Mark said this move may initially decrease engagement and time spent by users but that it will increase the value of time spent. Share prices dropped by 6% on Friday after investors were made aware of this. This raises the question- why would a lean, mean, money-making machine choose to focus on a long-term plan to create a happier user, despite such brilliant performance in 2017? In the third quarter in 2017, Facebook recorded 2.07 billion active users of which, 1.66 billion were mobile users.
As marketers, we see this as an opportunity. Brands must leverage changes when planning ad spend and campaigns. By working towards creating significant engagements rather than using Facebook as a distribution channel, they will extract truly innovative and disruptive content. One could argue that businesses will start to use their employees and customers as advocates to push authentic content through their personal profiles. Relying on paid metrics alone won’t be as impactful as before. Brands should aim to build robust online communities where conversations between audiences and employees represent the brand’s voice. Influencer content will fit the bill and see a rise as it is often received as messages from a friend, compared to content published by the media.
Over the next few weeks, as a brand, we recommend you to evaluate your content strategies to help to maximise overall ROI…for now!
1) Switch to post engagements over site-side traffic and web clicks as a priority.
2)Create compelling content to activate brand conversations by your target audience and employees!