Will Your Brand Survive Facebook’s Recent Updates?

Facebook Updates - Small Business Essex

On Thursday, January 11, companies worldwide were struck by a lengthy announcement made by multi-billionaire internet entrepreneur and co-founder of social media platform ‘Facebook’, Mark Zuckerberg.

The big alteration is aimed to filter the content shown on Facebook’s news feeds, in an attempt to provide more relevant information to Facebook users.

In the announcement, Zuckerberg states that the recent update stems from “feedback” received regarding the cluttered nature of Facebook’s news feeds with advertisement and product placement. He claims that it is “crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

The mention of feedback from “our community” in Zuckerberg’s announcement has been recognised to be a referral to the Time Well Spent movement – a cause founded in 2013 which campaigns for the realignment of technology “with humanity’s best interests”.   The recent Facebook update is a response to the increased pressure from said movement.

What does this mean?

For Facebook users, Zuckerberg assures them that they will “see more from [their] friends, family and groups [and] less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media”. Facebook is now refocusing its purpose towards the importance of “meaningful interactions”. For “public content” to appear of Facebook’s news feeds, they will need to recognise and demonstrate this. For brands, this means a more competitive and demanding advertising field.

Critics have predicted the following effects of this change:

  1. Publishers and blog writers will be the first to be affected, suffering a steep drop in Facebook flux.
  2. Brands will decline further from their already minimal customer reach.
  3. Over time, media will get more expensive and ad inventory will tighten up as publishers and blog writers start paying to play the same way brands have for the last few years.

This is a seismic change as brands will now have to shift their organic content strategies. Facebook is looking for the revival of content that encourages human engagement, something which has never previously been considered in content evaluation.

Zuckerberg calls for Facebook news feeds to be filled with content that truly resonates with the users.

Comments of endearment, likes and shares all suggest success – that something has gone right. Similarly, in times of tragedy these platforms offer support and unity. Brands must keep this in mind and adjust their strategies accordingly to ensure that their content resonates with users on a deeper level and then, using tact, find methods to integrate relevant business content. Advertisement for Facebook should be tailored to the niche settings of the platform.

Another effect which brands must keep in regard is the aforementioned tightening of ad inventory – the result being a raise in ad quality. It’s recommended for lower-funnel ads, that brands should continue to create content focused on pushing their keys objectives such as website purchases. However, for top- funnel objectives – including brand awareness, video views and engagement – brands will almost certainly need to incur high quality interactions. Ads that appear as blatant advertisement to the user will not succeed in blending into the meaningful posts of Facebook’s news feed. The brands who supply the most authentic and personal advertisement, and demonstrate the value they deliver to customers, will be the most successful.

Finally, and perhaps the most importantly, it has been anticipated that more brands will be establishing Facebook Groups. Similarly, to how Pages has previously been used, it will provide a communication centre for all fans globally to discuss products and brands that they love and recommend. This will also be aided by Facebook’s recent updates to groups in 2017.

It should be kept in mind that whilst Zuckerberg’s announcement refers solely to Facebook, other social media platforms (especially those owned by Facebook) such as Instagram are likely to follow suit.

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Written by Stefanie. G

B2B and B2C Marketing Consultant and SEO Specialist @ Dragonfire Marketing

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