News Feed Changes: How will this affect your business?
For months, Mark Zuckerberg has been discussing his intent to change Facebook’s algorithm. We speculate he had a couple of reasons for this:
An oversaturated market of facebook business pages flooding the News Feed.
He’s responding to the concerns that Facebook was Russia’s primary source to influence the results of the 2017 Presidential Election.
When Facebook was first accused of having a mass amount of “Fake News,” Zuckerberg adamantly denied it. He said that Facebook in no way altered the outcome of the election. But President Trump took it further and said that Facebook was actually “always anti-Trump.” That’s when Zuckerberg changed his mind. In response to Trump’s tweets he said “After the election, I made a comment that I thought the idea misinformation on Facebook changed the outcome of the election was a crazy idea,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. “Calling that crazy was dismissive and I regret it. This is too important an issue to be dismissive.”
Since then he has used several interviews to announce there would be “changes” in 2018. And now we have a little insight into what those changes are. Zuckerberg explained on January 11th that Facebook will be “family first.” This means exactly what it sounds like. That the algorithm on your News Feed will favor what friends and family are saying over what businesses are posting. Zuckerberg's rational was the platform's original intent. Originally, Facebook was created to enhance meaningful social interaction and this is a way to return to the original goal.
While the idea of interacting online in a more organic way is appealing to most, businesses and digital marketers are not happy. In fact, some have called it “Blogger Rage.”
But what does Facebook's change mean for businesses that advertise online? Will it affect how we reach potential consumers?
Well, we first need to consider how Facebook plans to profit from this. As wonderful as their executives are, they aren’t going to sacrifice their bottom line. So how are they going to make money? If you haven't guessed already the answer is Targeted Advertising. With the lack of engagement from organic posts, businesses will resort to targeted ads. And Targeted Ads will not be affected by Facebook’s new algorithm). So, the kind of good news is that Targeted Advertising should remain somewhat stable.
But there is one major factor to consider. If more businesses are advertising on facebook the Cost Per Click (CPC) will increase due to the demand for visibility. There’s no getting around that. And thus, Facebook will maintain revenue while also pushing a Family First agenda.
So how do you prepare your business for the Facebook News Feed change of 2018?
If you aren’t already using targeted ads, it’s time to start. Targeted Advertising is one of the most effective ways to reach customers. You can find people who are looking for exactly the service or product that you are offering. There are so many ways to analyze your audience. Facebook makes it possible to zero in on your target consumer and wind up on the newsfeed of exactly the person you want meet. So if you don’t know how to use the platform, start taking classes or reach out to digital marketing consultants (like us!) to help. It’s a complicated system but it is well worth the effort. Hint: it’s not as simple as hitting boost on your post. In fact, please don’t waste your money doing that.
Consider that the CPC will increase and therefore your targeted advertising budget will increase as well. The good news is that your competitors are in the same boat. So it is up to you if you want to beat them but spending more and winning the competition for visibility. You could also hope for the best and assume they are also aren't changing their budget (...unfortunately, they probably are.)
If the thought of spending more money on Facebook is daunting, take a look at your operating expenses and see where you can scale back. As we move further onto digital platforms (yes, Black Mirror is real), there are certain things we can leave behind. For example, you don't need to order new brochures. They almost always get thrown away. But do use that money toward Facebook and Instagram if that is where your audience is spending time. Or go paperless. It’ll be great for the budget and you’ll be doing a solid for mother earth as well.
The bottom line is, don’t worry.
Facebook, along with Google and every other platform we use to advertise, changes. They change pretty often actually. But marketing will always exist, we will always need to learn to adapt. At Brand Plan, we will be reducing some of our outdated operating costs so we can spend a little bit more on Facebook’s advertising platform.
For the conspiracy theorists out there: We can debate the morality of giving all of our money to what could hypothetically become a tech induced oligarchy another day ;)