Tom Smith | Senior Social Media Executive

Laura Thomas | Head of Digital Media Strategy

In a recent statement, Mark Zuckerberg posted that a key priority for Facebook in 2018 is ensuring that the time users spend on Facebook is time well spent. ‘Friends & family have always been at the core of the experience.’ However, they’ve been listening to their users and the feedback is that public content (businesses, brands, media) ‘is crowding out the personal moments’. You can read the full statement here.

There are some key things to consider from this;

  • Timeframe: According to Zuckerberg, ‘it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products’
  • This is an organic publishing change, not one which is designed to impact paid for ads
  • The biggest impact will be on brands who rely solely on organic strategies, specifically publishing brands. Business pages have been affected from the decline in organic reach for some time, which is why it is important for social media managers to combine organic & paid social for an effective marketing solution
  • Arguably it will make it harder for reputable news sources to surface breaking news, important articles & content without integrating a paid for media strategy. However, it’s quite clear that this is also designed to curtail the amount of ‘fake news’ also being published on the platform. It is a fairly strong approach and legitimate news sources could be penalised as a consequence. However, this is following a year of heavy criticism of the way in which Facebook police the user generated and publisher generated content on the platform.

 

So what will this mean for advertisers?

Organic reach has been in decline for some-time now. Across the board, brands see on average 2% – 3% organic reach and so from a media perspective, we understand there is a need to integrate paid for strategies into all our content campaigns, in order to deliver desired reach and scale.

  • From an organic perspective, our goal is to always create and share strategically planned content which engages with and sparks conversations amongst a brand’s audience. This strategy will prove even more important in a world where conversation is king. Facebook says that posts which will perform well after the newsfeed changes will be ones that “inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments”, meaning our objectives will remain the same when building a brand’s presence on social media.
  • Fundamentally, from a social media perspective, our emphasis is still very much on delivering client business outcomes. We want to help our clients with actual business goals, e.g. changing brand perception, shifting favourability, purchase intent or driving sales. This won’t change.

We will continue to closely monitor our campaign delivery as this change rolls out so we can ensure all our clients are successful in this ever changing and evolving space. Our team will work to ensure an effective strategy is in place to put relevant, entertaining, thought provoking content in front of users.