How Facebook is Changing for Marketers
The Recent Change that affects Brands
Facebook over the last year has undergone many changes. Changes that have affected the way businesses see Facebook as a marketing channel.
With increased competition between brands to own the targeted user’s Newsfeed, fewer organic posts are now reaching the users. Organic reach is declining for posts and boosting posts (paid post ads) to reach users has become the need of the hour.
Of course relevancy and engagement still plays a role, but scalability in reach is the key for most brands.
So why are we concerned with just Facebook ?
With more than 1,310,000,000 users each month that spend an Avg of 18 minutes on the site, Facebook is by far the most visited social channel in the world. Not to forget the 54,200,000 pages that channel already has, many of which would be businesses trying to reach consumers (new or old).
From a platform that started out as a small university project, it has now become one of the key content marketing channels for most B2C and even some B2B businesses. Whether its building brand equity,generating leads or driving e-commerce the channel is now becoming more of a marketing partner than a social media channel. A business can now effectively fulfill its goals by reaching out to specific target categories that reflect the WHO of the brand.
Challenges that Marketers/Analysts must overcome
Having said all that, there are challenges that analysts and social media followers have to keep in mind.
Biggest challenge is to be able to constantly adapt to changes on the platform. Whether its a change in the Facebook algorithm, (such as penalizing a specific type of brand post) or new features in the insights tool (such as addition of competitive insights). One has to be alert to identify the changes and adapt to them as quickly as possible.
Here’s an example:
Pursuing a Facebook content strategy based on Text-Only posts isn’t the best approach anymore, since the changed algorithm now prioritizes other post types over Text-Only.
The rest of Social Media
There is still value for brands to invest in other social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest,etc. Many brands have been more successful on these platforms than on Facebook.
However, Facebook with its large subscriber base, has become the primary social media marketing partner for most brands (even though many may argue that Facebook is more of an ad serving platform now, worth a debate…).
It all comes down to the objective of the brand and what it seeks from a specific platform. Some channels may be a great fit while others not so much.
Facebook is a revolution in itself. In the post-invention era, this maybe one of the most transformational find (after World wide web…Google search..etc.)
However, It is important for us to remember that Facebook started out as a ‘social platform’…and will still remain one (at least to some degree). And people only engage with content that interest them and is relevant to their lives/desires/needs./wants and doesn’t seem like a typical non-relevant banner ad.
To many experts in the field Facebook may seem similar to a magazine. But it is surely not like a typical ad heavy magazine. Where Facebook maybe a user’s diary, friend contact book, activity book for some, it may also be their daily digest (on people or things they love) or source for coupons/deals/gifts for their favorite brands for others.
The ‘social’ context will always remain important.
Feel free to reply with your thoughts.
P.S: All thoughts above are purely my personal opinion based on my personal experiences and doesn’t reflect any proven facts.
Source for Facebook stats: http://www.statisticbrain.com/facebook-statistics/As of Jan 1st 2014