Many individuals in the marketing industry went into instant panic mode when it was announced that Facebook has plans to update the newsfeed*. Initially I thought about how this will affect my work. I am lucky in that I have a decent size social media / digital marketing budget which I use primarily for Facebook ads. Regardless of any change to the newsfeed, Facebook advertising was always, and continues to be a part of my strategy.
*Facebook will be adding a “discovery” feed, pushing all organic brand content to a secondary feed, making the traditional newsfeed only for that of the family and friends the Facebook user is connected with, with the exception of brands who pay for a spot among friends. Think Instagram’s main timeline v. the search timeline.
This proposed change will make it increasingly harder for brands to gain reach without having to pay for it. For small businesses and teams that are working with tight budget’s, organic post reach was the light at the end of the tunnel. Not only is it now going to cost brands to achieve the reach that was once attainable with no money, but also those prices are likely going to be steeper than before. Enter the feeling of annoyance, abandonment, and general frustration with a platform that has become a necessity for the marketing mix in the 21st century.
While I understand why the marketing industry is down-right pissed (we’ve worked countless hours, days, years perfecting the balance of organic v. paid and its about to be shot to hell), isn’t Facebook just going back to basics? At its core, Facebook was built as a way for people to further connect with people. It wasn’t about constantly producing and posting content, sharing only the most *perfect* moments or online shopping. It was about people; sending bumper stickers, posting questionnaires as “notes”, creating photo albums of every. single. unflattering. picture.. It wasn’t about HOW MANY people saw the post, it was about WHO saw the post.
I attended a conference recently where I heard “its not that we have the attention span less than that of a goldfish, its that we are looking for exceptional experiences to engage with.” I can’t even fathom the amount of mindless content that exists today. Although, think about it just for a second. Trying to keep up with the sheer volume… it’s no wonder we cant focus on one thing longer than a few seconds.
Maybe instead of freaking out, we take a hint from Facebook. Creating content for the sake of creating content isn’t going to cut it anymore. It may also be a waste of time since its not likely brands will put money behind every piece of content created. Now is the time to dig deep, to learn who your customer is and what they need to make their decision to engage with your brand, whatever it may be.
The bottom line is quality over quantity.
It is known that 80% of results come from 20% of customers. So how is it that we let vanity metrics like reach, impressions, follower counts, etc. distract us from the numbers that matter. It is time to foster this change. Let’s focus on making a deeper connection with our core customers, our core people.