If you are using social media to grow your business (or want to), there has been a recent announcement from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg that will impact you.
Before we get into the details of that announcement, the implications, and what you should do about it, I want you to know that I have prepared this for your benefit and to say that I have your back.
Many of you may have heard about Zuckerberg’s post which you can read in its entirety here: https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10104413015393571
Generally, the reaction was positive, although some did not like the change (see Wall St., judging by the drop in share price). The reality is this -Facebook knows its users’ behavior better than the users do, and it plans on staying in business for the long run.
This change was inevitable. The writing was on the wall, and it actually has been there for a while. Organic reach from businesses, publishers, and advisors has been on the decline for years, and Zuk’s recent announcement is the death knell.
We have been talking about this for a while, too, and even published content over a year ago urging businesses and advisors to move away from auto-posting services where stock “pre-approved” content is just blasted out through their Facebook business pages.
Canned “compliance approved” content pushed out using Hearsay Social and some of the other services widely used in this industry is exactly the type of content that Facebook wants to eliminate. I have nothing against these services. They scratch an itch but they don’t cure the poison ivy.
I can’t really blame Zuckerberg for this move; he isn’t the bad guy. Being a professional in this industry and serving hundreds of clients and thousands more who follow us, I connect with a lot of business owners and see their feeds.
One day over the summer I opened up Facebook and, to my amazement, I saw an article that was pushed out by at least 15-20 advisors and firms. I thought, “This is no bueno. This is spam!”
In an industry where TRUST is a significant part of the client process, Advisors and firms are SPAMMING people.
So here is the wake-up-call: if you use any type of auto-posting tool on your business page or you use a tool that maybe runs manually but still provides “pre-approved” content that you can distribute through your business page, I am recommending that you cease this immediately. Here is why:
- The content will not get any distribution… but perhaps more importantly…
- Your page could get flagged as a source for spam.
- You are potentially hurting your brand already by appearing the same as everybody else.
- It’s all going to come crashing down or go up in smoke…pick the analogy you prefer.
The changes that Facebook is making will have a significant impact on advertising costs because businesses will be forced to pay for distribution of their content, and there is only so much inventory space available for advertisers.
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The Facebook feed for advertisers is an auction system, but placement does not go to the highest bidder. It goes to the advertiser with the most relevant content to that user.
SO…more advertisers will be forced to pay for distribution, causing there to be a supply and demand crunch. Same supply of News Feed Placement + More Demand from Advertisers = Increased Prices. It’s a brilliant move on the part of Facebook because it allows them to significantly increase their revenue and the quality of the community without fundamentally changing the platform.
That’s SMAAA’T…Zuk says it’s to “save” Facebook…and I believe it is, but I also believe it’s disguised as a trojan horse to increase their revenue.
If Zuckerberg came out and said we are killing the organic engagement from publishers and business so we can create more competition and increase our revenue, he would become “the bad guy.”
Instead, he took a page out of Google’s playbook when they recently eliminated advertising spots on their search results page and claimed it was for better user engagement when in reality it was a simple exercise from Economics 101. Reduce the supply inventory while demand is constant, which will cause fees and revenue to increase because it forces more competition over the inventory available.
• So what should you do in response to these big changes?
• How does this affect paid ads and boosted posts?
• Should you run paid ads from your personal profile?
• Are there ways to use organic posts still?
If you are doing a lot of organic posts to your business page, make sure it’s unique or shareworthy. The only way people will be able to see it is if they choose to include your business page content in their news feed. If you are using a blasting service, you should have stopped this before you began. Content published on your page will not be pushed to your followers. They will need to visit your page to see it.
For boosted content or paid ads from your business page and account, this will likely continue on in a business-as-usual fashion. Prices will increase for most, but using new strategies we are rolling out to our clients, many will not see a dramatic rise in costs. If you are not a client, best of luck to you.
Our position on running paid or boosted posts from your personal ad account remains the same, don’t do it. You are inviting problems that will be difficult to solve should your account get flagged, which is on the rise.
The business manager system is where Facebook wants you to administer your business stuff.
What about organic posts, can you still use them to generate business? Yes, you can. My recommendation would be to use your personal profile for this and create a business list in your personal account. When you post something business related, only make it visible to people you have put on the business list.
Some clarity for clients and non-clients: If a service provider offers to post to your business page X # of times per week or month as part of their service or a “value add,” understand that moving forward (based on the changes Facebook is implementing), you will be paying for something that no one will see.
In the valley of the blind, the one-eyed man is king…but my hope for you is now you can see with both eyes so you can win BIG.
If you would like some help navigating these deep and turbulent waters, we welcome the opportunity to serve you. For some FREE training on how this works, click below: