FACEBOOK’S CHANGES 2018 – IMPLICATIONS AND PREDICTIONS FOR PUBLISHERS AND ADVERTISERS
Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook is changing to “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people” over content from media and brands.
Facebook is listening to its users instead of letting large, financially established publishers’ distribute the content they have within ads like they have done.
Obviously, Facebook is seeing that transposing old forms of media into a new reality doesn’t work – even if it means threatening the status quo.
This new change from Facebook is redefining global journalistic objectives to moulding communities into more civil ones that are informed, and involved in productive conversation.
LIKELY OUTCOME 1
Facebook’s decision to foster “meaningful interactions” will result in more civil conversations and this will help society and society needs it urgently.
LIKELY OUTCOME 2
Facebook’s decision will mean a return to quality news/journalism.
Prior to now, Facebook has grouped so-called “public content” into one mass and in the process have gotten into political and PR trouble and also diminishing user experience on Facebook and in our lives.
LIKELY OUTCOME 3
If successful, this new change will minimize polarity and forged trust by helping citizens identify and understand what unites us.
LIKELY OUTCOME 4
Expect a media and political backlash aimed at Facebook and Silicon Valley on the “moral panic” caused by leaning heavily on technology globally especially in the West.
WHAT FACEBOOK NEEDS TO DEFINE
A key question is: what are ”meaningful conversations”?
Conversation brings us both comments and trolls, lest we forget.
Also, what will Facebook value and measure? Ordinary conversations or civil, intelligent and credible ones?
SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED AS A PUBLISHER/ADVERTISER?
Yes and No!
SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED? – NO
We only get 2-3% organic reach on Facebook before the latest announcement so why be concerned about it?
I have read and listened to several social media experts declaring doomsday. Ignore all naysayers – if they don’t generate fear, they won’t get attention and maybe clients.
SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED? – YES
Facebook is a major platform of news and information in the world and it cannot dump its responsibility even if this role was accidentally acquired. It must continue to help inform people and listen to them (even if it will affect publishers and advertisers).
This is may NOT be best for business because it was media companies were persuaded by Facebook to put their content on the platform or create video. Now, they will realize their worst fears of being stripped of this and will minimize efforts geared at informing people where they are having their conversations if money cannot be made there like before.
AS A PUBLISHER AND/OR ADVERTISER, UNDERSTAND THAT:
Not every Facebook page category will be affected the same way. Those who will be crushed will be:
- Those who bait us into clicking using their blackhat SEO-inspired methods
- Those who want to sell everyone to stupor
REMEMBER: The reason for this change is that FACEBOOK DESIRES TO DRIVE MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS AMONG USERS of the platform.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO AS PUBLISHERS (AND ADVERTISERS)
Now that conversation is a major measure of value on Facebook, it means:
- THE BEST STRATEGY now is for journalism to be brought to people natively as part of their conversation on Social Media especially Facebook (without forgetting Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat or YouTube).
- THE BEST TACTIC is to find ways to get your message distributed for it to be so relevant and engaging that users will share and have conversations about your links.
- Any publisher/media organization or advertisers that create and push out content that provokes dirty, short conversation will be flattened. No moving from baiting people to click your links to baiting them to comment. Facebook won’t appreciate or value that. Just like you and I won’t.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ON YOUR PAGE?
Here is what should guide your page actions going further:
BEHAVE LIKE A HUMAN USER
- Upload short one min videos that tell engaging and relevant stories preferably as it is happening.
- Cease to create ad-like content
- Engage people on every post by responding and commenting meaningfully
AS AN ADVERTISER, UNDERSTAND THAT:
- When users engage with your content, paid or not, their friends might see their activity, which Facebook has been giving stats on for years so create shareable, quality content that is relevant to your audience.
- You will have to start boosting your posts MORE
- You will have to test the right reach so you can get to the right audience.
- You will need to understand and study the Relevance Scores on every post you boost.
- You will need to pay attention to viral reach and real engagement. Most people pay little attention on this.
Is this move as a ploy for more ads dollars?
IF Facebook does not make it clear that it will not use this change to extract move ads revenue from media companies when they want to inform the public, then it is.
How will publishers make money by using Facebook as the new way Facebook should be used?
Journalism and news obviously have come to stay on Facebook since most of us learn of what’s happening in the world via the conversations on Fcaebook and other social platforms.
Facebook wants to create conversational news but will publishers make money on Facebook that way?
If they can, this will be good for us all – publishers and citizens.