No News is Good News…

Elle Williams | February 8th 2018

But is it?

Facebook is one of the most powerful online channels in the known Universe (after Google of course) and it is undoubtedly going to get bigger.

Facebook dominates all other social media channels and with the Instagram extension, it’s not a big surprise that more businesses are advertising on this channel. Not only is the audience greater, but Facebook also offers more in terms of targeting, making the ad more relevant and optimised, and its ability to develop a creative ad is on a whole new level.

You’ve probably heard or read about the latest updates Facebook are beginning to roll out that we all need to be aware of for 2018. Organic posts from a business perspective could become a thing of the past and the only way to reach and interact with your audience is through paid, or very smart and engaging messaging, ideally through video content.

What is this change?

In a nutshell, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is moving Facebook back to where it began, connecting friends and family together, which means there will be more posts from your Facebook friends and fewer from brands and businesses.

In Zuckerberg’s mind, it’s so Facebook users are seeing content that is more meaningful and therefore more engaging. Furthermore, video and public content has overtaken the posts that your friends and family are talking about and sharing.

The big prediction for this update came from the Facebook guru himself. Zuckerberg predicts that this change could see less engagement and less time spent on this platform, which again, isn’t ideal for businesses, especially the smaller local ones.

Despite the negative impact it could have on brands and business, this news is big news for them. Organic posts could be a thing of the past for us, and tactically, the only way to get content in front of your audience is via a promotional ad, but it will make us rethink the content that we are sharing and become even more creative than we already are – which is exciting!

Why?

We’ve been spammed with fake news and click-bait content, and the quality of content that we’re seeing is poor, so Facebook users were getting frustrated seeing it on a daily basis, basically ruining their newsfeed and getting annoyed with Facebook in general.

What do we do?

Although this update feels like a dark grey cloud is looming, it provides us with an opportunity to be more creative and think outside the box.

We know video content is rapidly increasing in popularity, so introduce more of it in your strategy. Users want content they can engage in and you want content that goes viral and contributes towards your business objectives.

Engaging content such as videos will encourage users to tag their friends and family in the post, which will grab Facebook’s attention and improve your chances of your post being shared – basically, moving you up the rankings.

This is what Facebook wants: engaging and high quality content. But if you’re thinking of creating a ‘tag a friend’ post, don’t; Facebook frowns upon it and you won’t be doing yourself any favours with this new update.

A lot of you will think it’s Facebook’s way to get businesses to spend more money with them. As an advertiser and a Facebook user, I can see both sides of this argument.

Without being biased, Facebook ads are powerful and great. They allow you to be creative, encouraging high engagement levels, achieve your business objectives and reach out to a very refined target audience. You can even target by birthdays! Once your ad is out and targeting the right demographic, naturally, your organic visibility will increase; therefore, engagement levels will also experience an increase. In Facebook’s eyes, you’ve earned yourself some brownie points whilst improving your overall marketing strategy and hitting those KPIs.

To improve engagement organically, you need to give your target audience something to engage with. There is no point sharing a post that has no meaning or purpose to it, or to simply put something out there for the sake of it. Include calls to action and questions to prompt your audience to engage.  Ask yourself what you want to see – what would make you engage?

This new update will continue to develop over the upcoming months, and we will definitely be staying up to date with it. The question is, will organic social become a thing of the past?