I can see emergency meetings being called and digital marketers rush to come up with strategies in response to Facebook’s recent announcement. The social media giant is changing its algorithm - again.
This time around the change will affect Facebook Page and News Feed. Not surprised, this has caused quite a bit of uproar in the business community, which was echoed by a drop in the share market.
In an attempt to increase meaningful social interactions between users, Facebook will, through its new change, promote posts from friends that attract discussions, likes and shares over public or news content, which is created by brands, marketers and publishers unless
- users “prioritise” and actively choose to see those public posts;
- public posts are engaging enough to attract meaningful interactions; or
- brands and marketers choose to pay and advertise their public content.
Needless to say, many businesses are stressed about the change, particularly, if you are a business that uses Facebook as a primary channel to engage your audience.
As a strategist, I always find it interesting deciphering the evolution of social media and its impact on businesses. Despite its cyclic highs and lows, there are a few things that don’t seem to change.
Authenticity outwins any social media algorithm.
Be it Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, social media platforms exist to connect and interact. Facebook’s latest change to its algorithm is a testament. And when we strip down to basics, authenticity is the fundamental element in our content that will encourage meaningful interactions with our audience.
No amount of search engine optimisation techniques or catchy headlines will save you if your content doesn't prompt an authentic connection.
This means fancy GIF images that flash and dance on your Facebook Page are only a short-lived strategy unless they are part of a meaningful campaign.
Publishing “cheap” videos with lots of stock footage and captions because it is the trend simply won’t cut it. Any videos that fall into the “passive” category i.e. watching videos passively for 90 seconds with the sound turned off won’t do your business any good in the future, at least not on Facebook.
After all, the audience has spoken and social media platforms such as Facebook are listening. Authentic and meaningful content that evokes emotions and makes connections has always been in demand and it will continue to stay.
Diversification contributes to business growth and sustainability.
If you haven’t learned to diversify your engagement efforts, you need to think again.
Some businesses, particularly small and young businesses, often base their entire engagement strategy on social media platforms mainly due to their affordability. As such, they don’t truly have a claim on their digital assets or control over their online engagement.
For instance, I have seen organisations who utilised Facebook solely to engage thousands of members being affected significantly when their Facebook account was shut down by the social media company without apparent reasons.
While there are ways to appeal, for example, to Facebook to reinstate your Facebook account, the possibility of losing thousands of members and their engagement is simply too great a risk for any business.
Surely by now, we have seen enough changes in the world of social media to know that change is the only constant in the world of social media. We businesses, therefore, should be prepared accordingly.
So seriously consider how your business would build its digital assets. Would you solely focus on social media platforms to do your bidding or will you invest in other inbound marketing strategies such as blogging?
Take home message
So when another change announcement is made by one of the social media companies in the near future, promise me that you won't be jumping up and down. Because you know very well that
- Social media players come and go.
- Change is the norm in the world of social media.
- Regardless what social media channel you choose to engage your audience, only content with an authentic message will matter in the long run.
- Relying solely on social media platforms that you don't have much control over as your primary channel of engagement is not a smart move for your business sustainability.
About The Author
To connect with Suzi Chen, visit her bio here.