Facebook Advertising Is About to Change. Big Time.
Have you heard the news? Facebook is implementing a permanent throwback to the days when you’d use the platform to connect with friends and family. Remember when you’d log in and see a lovely collage of photos and posts from your nearest and dearest? Neither.
According to the execs that have spoken out in the past few days, Facebook HQ is clued in that currently, most people’s usage of the platform goes a little like – wake up, open Facebook, mindlessly scroll through fake news and semi-funny memes, feel deflated, wait for the next window of boredom to do it all over. But Mark Zuckergerg and his army of tech experts are keen to change that.
How Is Facebook Changing for the Better?
In a recent Facebook post, Zuckerberg told the world that he’s done a lot of thinking about Facebook’s influence on the people who use it. He said, “the research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our wellbeing. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos - even if they're entertaining or informative - may not be as good.”
In light of this, his goal moving forward is to facilitate “more meaningful interactions”. To make this happen, Facebook will be posting “less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media”. Zuckerberg admits that a change like this will result in people spending less time on Facebook. But his hope is that any time spent on Facebook in the future will be much more valuable.
What Does This Mean for Businesses?
While a shift towards a Facebook that prioritises the wellbeing of its users sounds like a positive and no doubt much-needed change, it’s disheartening for businesses who invest a great deal of time reaching customers through Facebook. Campbell Brown, Facebook’s Head of News Partnerships admitted in an email sent to partners that the change will take publishers “some time to figure out”.
But given the value offered by Facebook to marketers and publishers, it’s unlikely we’ll see a decline in businesses using Facebook. Instead, we’ll need to spend more time adjusting to these changes. As said by Reprise’s Head of Media James Douglas in a Wall Street Journal article, “Facebook sits on so much traffic, you have to play ball”.
How Can You Remain Visible?
Campbell Brown wrote that the new algorithm “will prioritise posts in News Feed that spark conversations and inspire meaningful interactions. We will predict which posts people will want to interact with their friends about, and give these posts more weight in ranking. Interactions between people like comments, shares, and messages will be valued more than reactions and likes.”
It’s important to note that Brown said “both people and pages can create content on Facebook that drives meaningful social interactions”. So we’ll need to create more engaging content to obtain the reach of yesteryear. However, Brown also mentioned that “posts from friends will be weighted most heavily.” This may mean that organic, unpaid posts simply won’t bring in enough brand exposure or revenue to remain an effective marketing method.
If organic posts aren’t yielding worthwhile results, we’ll see more marketers turning to paid Facebook advertising than ever before. While Facebook hasn’t revealed what effect their News Feed change will have on the cost of Facebook advertising, it stands to reason that if the focus is shifting away from brands and advertising, and there’s a glut of marketers wanting a piece of the pie, costs will rise.
Is Facebook Advertising Worth It?
With all these changes, whether Facebook advertising will be worth the money is still very much up in the air. Whether businesses will need to spend more on ads, invest less time in organic posts or create more engaging content - we’ll be testing and analysing different methods to see what gets the best results. Stay tuned for details.
In the meantime, if you feel like your Facebook advertising mojo could use a boost, get in touch with our social media experts. We can customise a social media package to suit your businesses needs and start hitting the numbers you've been aiming for.