If you’re in marketing, maybe Q1's been a little stressful. When Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s algorithm would be changing, marketers across the country collectively shuddered.
Like it or not, though, the shudder was familiar. After all, we live in a world where the revolutions of mega-platforms reverberate like the tremors of an earthquake— whether that means Google sending businesses into a tailspin, or Facebook algorithm-ing Upworthy into near oblivion.
The revamp will impact the News Feed first, Zuckerberg revealed in his announcement. “Expect to see more from your friends, family and groups … less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”
If it’s hard to ignore that four-letter word (“less”) it’s even harder to ignore what Zuckerberg said next: “The public content you see … should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
I know — the subtext there is pretty yikes. While this aim to “help us connect with each other” is laudable, it raises plenty of questions for advertisers and marketers. What’s without question, however, is that a few aspects of your strategy will be affected. It’s time to take stock of what you might need to do.
No matter what, as Mike Proulx writes in AdAge:
The era of organic content from brands is officially over.
See the Silver Lining
Oscar Voigt, an Everfest partner and marketing director for Euphoria Festival, sees this as a key time to put out betters ads, with better content. If your page is fostering conversation among your followers, Voigt suggests in an article on LinkedIn, you’re on the right path.
Now might also be the time to partner with your most influential fans. “What’s bad for businesses is good for Influencers,” writes Keenan Beasley inForbes. “Every influencer, no matter what the niche, has their own content style that, for whatever reason, resonated with their audience and caused that audience to explode.”
What about the campaigns you’re running? Jason Hsiao of Forbes Council sees now as the exact right moment to integrate video into your ad strategy. He points out that the Facebook algorithm changes might also be a catalyst for rethinking your Instagram game.
Ultimately, social marketing is a game of “cat and mouse.” Just when you get used to boosting posts, it’s time to start running conversion ads. Nailing conversion ads? Time to build out a Messenger list. Knowing the rules are ever-changing — in other words, knowing what’s unknowable — allows you to be, in the words of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, “antifragile,” or strengthened in the face of chaos.
“Show Me the Money”
Of course, it’s easy to be “antifragile” in the abstract, but when you’re in the throes of strategizing, it can be harder to weather the storm, especially if in that storm you’re seeing your strongest campaigns struggle to stay afloat.
Often, though, struggling through a storm is exactly what you need to do to emerge stronger and — well, weatherproof. Indestructible. As Albert Einstein said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
So, assess the “problems” Facebook’s changes might pose for your marketing department and take some healthy risks. (Really: Facebook believes creativity matters more now than ever.) Use this as an opportunity to role out changes you’ve been daydreaming about for too long.
There’s no escaping it: you’re going to have to invest more of your budget to get your ads seen. That’s all the more reason to develop content and campaigns of next-level caliber.