The changes to Facebook mean that marketers and businesses will have to work smarter to reach existing and potential customers on the social networking site.
Until now, marketers have used the power of “Like” to reach and engage their fans. But simply attracting a “Like” from a fan won’t guarantee a marketer’s message will reach its target. Facebook intends to present the most interesting and relevant content to its users, and one of the ways it determines interest and relevancy is by measuring engagement. Content with more likes, comments and shares will be considered more interesting and relevant than content with no engagement.
No more numbers game
It’s no longer just a numbers game to accumulate as many fans as possible. Marketers will have to find ways to integrate themselves and their brands into people’s newsfeeds. Engaging content and appealing messages are more important than ever.
In an article about the Facebook changes, David Berkowitz, senior director of emerging media and innovation for 360i, said, “Before on Facebook it was about getting people to ‘Like’ the brand. Now, it’s about getting people to take social actions enabled by that brand.”
Facebook users now have the option to unsubscribe, or unmark top stories on their newsfeed. If they feel the message is not relevant or important to them, editing their feed is as simple as a click. Facebook will monitor this feature to edit a user’s newsfeed, providing them with exactly what they want to see.
One way to create marketing messages is to buy a special Facebook ad called a Sponsored Story. Sponsored Stories are similar to Twitter’s Promoted Tweets and turn you and your message into the ad. This allows marketers the chance to capitalize on word of mouth recommendations, such as a check-in or page like and turn it into promoted content.
People look to their trusted friends and connections for information and cues on what to do and where to go. Sponsored Stories lets brands build on that. Seeing that a friend checked in to a local restaurant is a more persuasive reason to dine there than an ad telling you to try the food.
Overall, the changes to Facebook are great for users but will make advertisers and marketers work harder than ever. They must go beyond the “Like” and earn the right to display their message on your newsfeed.