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The New Facebook Update and What it Means for Digital Marketing

Phillip Reinhardt

What Do the Facebook Changes Mean For Digital Marketing?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shook the marketing world up in a major way on January 11th when he announced perhaps the biggest Facebook digital marketing changes this decade. Moving forward, Facebook is shifting its focus away from marketing content and back to crowd-sourced content. Essentially, this means that people will see less content from companies on their newsfeed, and more from their family and friends.
This shouldn’t be surprising. After all, Facebook’s tendency to reward higher quality content is something we have been discussing since last year. Last spring, Facebook announced an update to their newsfeed that significantly penalized content that their algorithm deemed to be lower quality. This is simply a natural progression of those changes, which you have hopefully already prepared for.
It’s easy to see that this will have an incredibly broad impact on digital marketing. Facebook is by far one of the largest digital marketing platforms, and with its incredibly large audience that is unlikely to change. However, the way you interact with your audience is likely going to dramatically change, and it’s vital that you begin preparing for this right away.

With that in mind, here are some of the most important topics you need to mull over in light of Facebook’s announced changes:

1. Learning How to Generate Discussion

In his announcement about the Facebook digital marketing changes, Mark Zuckerberg is very clear that posts with comments will be prioritized. So, how do we create content and cultivate an audience that generates discussion? One way is by simply staying authentic. People follow your brand for a reason. Organic content is unlikely to be impacted nearly as much, since it’s naturally engaging. You should also focus on building your online community by constantly reviewing what your audience is talking about and what matters to them. Finally, analyze your existing content to understand what tends to generate discussion. If necessary, cut back a bit on spending until you’re able to get a handle on what’s working and what isn’t.

2. Cutting Back on Passive Sponsored Content

Across the board, passive sponsored content will be much less effective. Unless your content is actively engaging with your audience and generating a discussion, it’s simply not going to be shown as often as it was before. For your existing advertisements, this may have a significant impact on video. Videos tend to be quite passive, focused on grabbing attention and generating views instead of opening up topics of discussion. In order for your videos to continue to have a broad reach, you’ll want to leave them more open-ended, leaving viewers with talking points or encouraging them to share their own story. The trade-off, of course, is that encouraging this will likely get in the way of any other calls to action you previously utilized.

Overcome Facebook's Digital Marketing Changes January 2018

3. Focusing on User-Generated Content

User-generated content is about to become king, if it isn’t already. We know that people trust their colleagues, friends and family more than they trust you. Because of this, user-generated content such as reviews, pictures and feedback have always been valuable. With their content being prioritized in the updated newsfeed, they’re going to be even more valuable. Do everything you can to encourage your audience to post reviews, questions, or take videos using your product. Engage with anybody that does so and consider running promotions for people that post the best content.

You should also start considering working with industry influencers. These individuals have a built-in audience, and unlike your brand, they aren’t a business. Since people engage with them naturally, they can mention your brand or share your content and you’ll be able to reach your audience’s newsfeed without any problems. As an added bonus, you should try to pick their brain about how they developed such a following in the first place.

Facebook’s newsfeed changes might seem frightening, by digital marketing is an industry of change by its very nature. You should look at this as an opportunity to get ahead of the competition instead of a necessary evil.