Have you heard the news? Facebook is changing the game (again)Published on: Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg announced early last month that the Facebook algorithm is once again changing. This time, they are aiming to create a more positive and engaging, community-based feel to the social platform by promoting account user’s personal posts instead of spotlighting news stories, viral videos and organic unpaid business ads.
Before getting into how this affects everything and everyone, it’s important to note that in 2016 Facebook also made a change to their algorithm that dramatically affected how businesses gain visibility with their own followers. For instance, if a page had 500 likes, any unpaid post a business would generate would only reach a maximum of 30% of their network, or 150 people. Let that sink in. How much time did you pump into creative content only to send it out organically and reach maybe 30% of your followers? In fact, on average most businesses reach closer to 6% of their followers by posting unpaid content. I bet you’ll look at that “boost” button a little differently now. (Forbes)
Naturally, Facebook and other platforms are gradually increasing the importance of the ‘pay-to-play’ mindset behind business target ads. Why is this? Well, profit of course. They are businesses after all. But it goes beyond just money. Zuckerberg has admitted recently that engagement on the site is down exponentially, but profits are still booming because of business ad revenue, which is based on clicks. Facebook is willing to take a hit on engagement at first so that they can recreate the look and feel of their platform to better suit the lifestyle and overall wellbeing of their users. Recently, they have been harshly criticized for their lack of regulated, trusted content, as well as their neglected awareness of social media’s influence on the mental health of users.
Undoubtedly, Facebook’s response to the complaints is to essentially get rid of the noise and only give the microphone over to businesses willing to pay to get their message across to Facebook users. Their hope by doing this is to increase interaction between users and businesses that have common interests and eliminate the spread of news feed clutter. Consider it a jump on spring cleaning!
The good thing is this: there is a way to combat this algorithm and make it work for you and your business successfully.
Tips for the ideal ‘pay-to-play’ mindset in 2018:
- What is your ultimate goal? Have this highlighted and clearly outlined.
- You need to have a strong stream of content ready to be marketed.
- Have a clear and concise idea who your target market is and why.
- You need to know what platforms you will use in order to meet your overall objective and how to best utilize those platforms.
- Pick a budget that matches the overall emphasis you’re placing on the items listed above.
Sounds easy enough, right? Not entirely. Times are ever-changing, but before you get too overwhelmed at the possibility of your budget increasing, it’s important to highlight that 62% of people living in North America today have a Facebook account with nearly 75% accessing the website daily. (Neil Patel) While this will definitely change the way most businesses approach the social giant, it is well worth your time and newly allocated budget to play along with this new algorithm. Much like leg warmers, Chumbawamba or Chia Pets, people figured that social media marketing was just a trend that would fizzle away, but there is absolutely no sign of it slowing down anytime soon.
I’m a big believer in working smarter, not harder. As I see it, this algorithm is just putting emphasis on that basic premise. I’d rather allocate a budget towards social selling knowing my content is reaching the correct market I’ve set to achieve our company’s goal. The alternative would be hoping my aunt from Texas likes my business page, pre-ordering Hamilton tickets on Broadway because I’m going to be rich and putting a down payment on that private jet that has been on my vision board for years.
Paying to play is not only worth it, it has now become essential in order to be relevant.
Have any questions as to how you could better utilize social media marketing for your business? Let’s talk!
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