Facebook Rocks the Boat

This email originally appeared in the January 16th edition of The Scribble, KYC's weekly marketing newsletter. You can subscribe to The Scribble at the top of this page.

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced that the social media platform plans to change its algorithms to favor posts from family and friends over posts by brands and publishers in your news feed. 

This news definitely created quite the uproar in the marketing world. However, there are a few things to keep in mind because the news isn’t as game-changing or as harmful as it seems. Facebook has been updating and tweaking it’s algorithm for news feeds for years. To put it simply, this news is basically just another algorithm change.

While it seems like a blow to brands and businesses that use Facebook for marketing, it is important to point out that this change applies to organic posts (the ones you don’t pay for). At this point, Boosted Posts and Facebook Ads are not going to be affected. Current estimates put organic reach at between 1% and 4%. Meaning, if you have 100 people that like your brand’s page, on average only 1 to 4 people will see your posts. Think you’re seeing a lot of posts by brands you follow? That’s probably because they are posting anywhere from tens to hundreds of times a day in order to beat the algorithm. This change will basically push your reach from 1 to 4 down to 0 to 1 (or 2 if you’re lucky).

What you can do….and what you should do:

Switch up your Facebook strategy. Essentially, you should post less, higher quality content that encourages engagement and pay for it. While that probably seems like bad news, you’ll end up saving yourself time (and stress) from trying to constantly post to fight your way into people’s news feeds. Higher quality content that you know your audience will see will be more impactful. “Quality content” probably seems like an overused cliche by now, but it’s definitely an important part if you are going to pay for people to see your post. Your posts should use high quality images, include well written copy and encourage engagement (especially comments). You can also make sure your money is wisely spent by using the Insights to target your posts.

News like this reminds us that the social media companies are in charge. So it’s important to make sure that your marketing strategy is diverse. If Facebook is the only social media platform you have a presence on, when they change the rules it hits you much harder. So it’s important to not put all of your social media efforts into one platform. But remember, you don’t have to be on EVERY social media platform, just the ones that are right for you and your brand.

Don’t forget about email marketing! We talked about the email marketing resurgence last year and all signs point to it still going strong. Email campaigns are a powerful piece to your marketing strategy. With email marketing you can directly access your customers without having to deal with an algorithm. They signed up to your mailing list because they are interested in what you have to say, so make sure you show up in their inbox with something of value to say.

Above all else, don’t panic! Just focus on pivoting your digital media strategy and you’ll forget all about this algorithm change….until the next one comes along.  

- Jason