Why would Mark Zuckerberg risk biting the hand that feeds him? And how can your business prepare for the changes.
For several years now, the increase on advertising dollars and business profile relevance on social media, specially on Facebook and Instagram, was very difficult to ignore. Both social media platforms are owned by the same company and historically they have mirrored each other on business strategies. The reason for their popularity amongst the marketing circles was not difficult to figure-out. In one hand, what used to take years or decades of marketing exposure in traditional media to gain relevance, awareness and loyalty, would only take weeks or months in social media when approached correctly. In addition, the price to advertise on social media compared to traditional venues was a fraction of the cost. For those reasons, the growth in revenue dollars coming from businesses advertising on social media platforms has exploded in the last few years. Facebook and Instagram's parent company are now profitable and their perspectives to increase sales have never been better.
Why would facebook change the rules now seemingly putting at risk their main stream of revenue? Why would they want to alienate the group that is making them obscenely wealthy? The answer is two-fold:
1. Facebook's only leverage is their users. Currently there are over 2.1 billion monthly members on it's platform and the only way they can monetize on their potential is to sell exposure. Until recently, Facebook had experienced positive gains year after year on it's membership pool, but that has changed recently. There are multiple reasons for this trend reversal, but two of the biggest are the rise on popularity on other social media platforms like Snapchat, specially amongst the younger crowd, and the overall dissatisfaction current members have on the content they're exposed to.
There seems to be an every growing malaise on it's platform and it does not seem to be a short term problem. Between political divisiveness, the surge of allegations on Russian bot proliferation and meddling in our daily lives, and the constant bombardment of paid ads, have started to turn off it's faithful, and this is something they cannot risk.
2. The proliferation and popularity of business marketing on it's platform has not always been smooth. Because anyone with email access can create a business profile, means that it's business growth has been uneven and disorganized. Let's be clear. Just because you can post something for free does not make you a marketing guru. Facebook has caught on to that and is planning to change it.
Their plan: Facebook wants to limit the exposure of business marketing and news exposure on your feed to encourage meaningful social interactions with family and friends.
What does this mean for you as a business?
This change is actually good and let me explain why.
Zuckerberg's proposed change is to decrease exposure from brands and news from 5% to 4%. If you are wondering who is going to be left out, the answer is rather obvious. Facebook is going to penalize business posts that hold no engagement value to Facebook users, and will promote those who create well structured, highly engaging and value promoting content. So, if your business operations has mastered how social media marketing works, and can create valuable and engaging content, the good news is that you're in. If your business is not part of this group, not all hope is lost. It's time to tidy-up your online marketing efforts and perfect your marketing.
If you do't have the time or patience to become a marketing guru, all you have to do is contact a marketing agency that does this for a living, and guess what...? You're in luck, because you happen to be in one right now. Just fill out the form below and one of our representatives will contact you soon. Don't be left out! In this case you do not want to be part of the 1%.