We’ve all heard the news about Facebook’s big changes coming this year.. After breaking early this month it left hundreds of thousands of business owners and marketing managers confused, worried, excited and apprehensive which, let’s face it, isn’t a new feeling after a Facebook Algorithm change.
What is frustrating most people is that you simply don’t know whether you should or should not worry.
I’ve seen plenty of “marketers” brush off the news and say not to worry. I’ve also seen plenty panic, with words like apocalypse and crash being thrown around.
The truth is this.
At SV we believe that this is one of the biggest updates Facebook have made in recent years. Unlike a usual Facebook statement, they have made it very clear that your page reach, watch time, referral traffic and engagement WILL fall.
In Mark Zuckerbergs own words he has called this a “major change”.
What may come as a surprise to you, is that Facebook have been heading towards this for a long time, Facebook mentioned way back in 2016 that the news feed had pretty much reached saturation, they couldn’t fit any more in there and needed to make strides towards improving their ranking algorithm to show more relevant content and improve the user experience.
At the end of the day, that is all Facebook really care about… the better the user experience, the more time people spend on the platform, the more people join the platform, the more money they make. If you’ve been following SV since then, you will already be aware of this and should be well ahead of the trend in terms of keeping in front of these changes.
So what does it really mean to you… Well, the new Facebook updates (which we will go through in this blog) can affect you primarily in two ways.
- It can and DOES have the potential to CRIPPLE you.
- It can help you FLOURISH as an expert, give you an advantage over your competition and guide you towards building a LONG TERM brand that provides you with more security and growth rather than relying on short term fixes that limit your future potential.
Which way it affects you depends on your ability to NOT bury your head in the sand and start to get ahead of the trend that we can see coming.
Here Are Our Key Takeaways
Your organic reach will likely drop big time. We’ve seen over the last 12-18 months business page reach drop less and less anyway. Now we believe it’s going to fall off the chart, especially if you are not building quality relationships with your audience and are constantly pushing content that drives little engagement. Facebook is already realistically a pay-to-play platform and it’s only going to become more so from now on.
More Isn't Better
This update is entirely based around human engagement, people having meaningful conversations with other people… Posting content for the sake of posting content will do you more harm than good. Again, this is something we have seen gradually changing over the last few years, rather than posting to a schedule and finding yourself rushing to create something, spend time focusing on crafting high quality content that gives value, elicits emotion from your target audience and sparks conversations.
You may see people often say “link in the comment” when they want you to click a link. This is purely in hopes to get passed Facebook “algorithm”.The latest update we’ve been told external URLS will cripple reach, including personal profiles… so just don’t bother. This is something I have experimented with quite intensely and in all honesty, haven’t really seen much difference when the message is crafted correctly and your targeting is on point anyway… If you’re want someone to click a link on your post, just make it clear and put it in the post
“A passive experience”
Fb themselves have said that video is a passive experience and whilst people watch they don’t always comment. This means you’re going to see LESS video in your news feed. Especially the type of click bait 60 sec videos you stick around to see the outcome of. The video that’s going to win is video that creates engagement and sparks emotions, we have already been seeing this effect over the last year and some of our best video campaigns for clients in 2017 have been long form (20min +) that offer a huge amount of value. In terms of both engagement AND sales.
This is the biggest part of the FB puzzle you HAVE to be proactive on. FB have said they’re going to prioritise connecting people and meaningful conversations. So much so that they’re now going to assess your relevance on long comments over short comments and likes on a post.
So What Does This Mean?
“Click here to see how this man made £1000000 over night”
– FB are going to <strong>KILL</strong> these types of posts. If you want ZERO reach on your posts then go ahead and post click bait or even fake news. This will be one of the biggest clamps we’ll see and it’s no surprise, there is nothing more frustrating than clicking a link and finding it either completely overrun with pop up ads or almost completely irrelevant to what you clicked on.
So many people try and get around the Facebook “algorithm” by using their personal Facebook profile vs their page. FB have confirmed that this will also affect your personal profile. They will be monitoring content from personal profiles so you might not be so clever thinking you can get round it that way. We’ve even seen FB flip people’s personal accounts into pages over night. We wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of that.
At present, vice president Adam Mosseri has said ads are a “different system” highlighting that it won’t affect paid traffic as much, although in effect, our internal studies have shown engagement having a huge impact on the performance of our ads (primarily the CPM) across the board and we expect that to become even more prevalent.Paid traffic will however undoubtedly become more expensive. We have seen CPMs rising globally over the last 2 years as Facebook battle with their saturation issues and you can expect to see CPMs rise even further in a big fashion as more and more people start putting budget into ads.. If you’re a business not leveraging ads at the moment then you need to get learning fast, even if you start just putting a small £1-£5 budget behind each bit of content you post to get more eyes on it.
I also believe really refining your targeting, whilst keeping your audience as big as possible, is going to be one of the most important factors in paid ad success over the next couple of years. You need to make sure your ads are hyper-relevant if you want to maximise the amount of quality engagement you are receiving.
So What Can You Do...
Market With Emotion
At SV we only ever market and build marketing strategies based on emotion. Why? Because when people click, like, share, opt in or even buy its is ALWAYS from an emotional place.Every purchase we make as individuals comes down to solving a problem. Whether that’s to earn more money, look better, feel better, be more energetic…all overcoming a problem in our lives. We make the decisions of what to buy with our EMOTIONS.
To add further, STOP thinking that someone reading a blog, or downloading a guide or even commenting as not important. All your marketing should build emotion, connection and commitments with your demographic.
It should take your potential customer on a journey that allows you to build a personal relationship with them over time, moving them through different levels of commitment, helping them overcoming their objections and speaking to their individual wants, needs, desires and problems. This is exactly why our marketing ecosystems work produce such a high level of results.
Live still has it place. Why? Because it sparks conversation with you and your consumers. Live is going to be more important than ever to connect with your audience.If you haven’t started utilising live video now is the time to add further, STOP thinking that someone reading a blog, or downloading a guide or even commenting as not important. All your marketing should build emotion, connection and commitments with your demographic.
It should take your potential customer on a journey that allows you to build a personal relationship with them over time, moving them through different levels of commitment, helping them overcoming their objections and speaking to their individual wants, needs, desires and problems. This is exactly why our marketing ecosystems work produce such a high level of results
A variety of sources are talking about how the “see first” button on pages is going to be marketed to fans. Making sure they allow their fans/prospects to “opt in” to seeing their content first. Getting as many of your followers as possible to click this link is going to be important and will become a marketing strategy of its own.
Currently only available in the US as of writing this. FB are pumping a lot of money into FB Watch…essentially FB’s rival to youtube. FB watch is creating more of a episodic content and you even get your own page with each watch account. Our gut says you’ll see more video moved to watch over time. A great place for marketers and brands to take prospects on a journey of emotion with a longer form video.
Master Facebook Ads
Up your ad game. Understand them and understand emotional psychology when it comes to sales. Just asking people for sales all the time, will not work.. FB will punish you for it and your audience will turn away. You need to start taking prospects on a journey with your business.
Capture Your Audience
Pixels, email addresses and even bots etc are more important than ever. Capturing people’s data and retargeting is the forefront of marketing… This update should make everyone aware of how little control you have over your audience… you are essentially renting it from a landlord that can shut you down at any moment. It’s critical to not just capture their information on Facebook but also take your audience off Facebook into emails, place other re-marketing pixels on your pages and place a huge emphasis of moving your audience to a place you can control.
Multi Platform Marketing
Again something that’s been at the forefront of marketing in 2017 is going to become even bigger in 2018. Marketing to people and taking them on a journey via the multiple different platforms they use in conjunction with one another. Building not just marketing funnels but ecosystems to engage with your audience and make more sales.
At The End Of The Day...
I think this is a great update from Facebook and is realistically confirmation of what we know has been coming for a very long time. Will it have an effect on your business? Undoubtedly it will, and ultimately when it all boils down, you have 2 options..You start making the changes necessary, you get creative and use it as an excuse to improve the relationships you have with your audience, thereby enhancing the trust and longevity of your business…
Or you look elsewhere to market your business.
And remember. You are not smarter than the algorithm.
Social media marketing podcast with Michael Stelzner