Facebook is fighting to keep its value amongst investors, advertisers and consumers all at the same time, which is difficult since each party sees a different value in the social platform.
Consumers want to connect with friends, to know what’s happening in each others’ lives and to share meaningful connections with loved ones and acquaintances from anywhere in the world.
Advertisers want to connect with consumers, to show them products and services, to create brand experiences and relationships in hopes of consumers become shoppers and buyers one day soon.
Investors want Facebook to make them money, which so far has happened by bridging the social gap between users and advertisers via consumer demographics and access to their interests, hobbies and a front row seat on their homepage every day.
Since Facebook has a new algorithm, advertiser desires are no longer the priority. That’s right, Facebook took the ball back and re-declared that the social media platform was for consumers; that if consumers weren’t happy, the platform had to change.
This consumer-fueled change rolled Facebook back to its humble beginnings, where friends saw actual friends posts and their news feeds were filled with actual friends’ stories, instead of stories from advertisers designed to get consumers to click ahead into their brand experience or at least to notice said brand.
Imaginably, advertisers were not pleased upon learning their efforts and purchases could easily go unnoticed and likely go unseen by a majority of target profiles. If advertisements are not seen, brands don’t make money; Facebook loses advertising value and who backs up to neutral and threatens to rev in reverse? Investors.
Investors invest in Facebook because Facebook makes them money, not because they want to fund the online interactions between friends across the globe (although that might be a core belief some hold as a pillar of investment rationale, who knows).
If investors pull out, what will happen?
Investors might be showing that they are willing to pull away, but the show will go on because you know who isn’t leaving? Consumers.
In fact, without the muck of fake news and loud advertising, users get their beloved social media platform back and the opportunity to use it how they please: to talk, to share, to send photos, to comment and to stay connected with the people they love, even the ones they only met once a pub backpacking through Ireland.
If the consumers stay, don’t advertisers want to stay?
You would think, right? Since Facebook still holds much of the world’s consumption market in an online portal, it seems silly to turn away. Instead, advertisers must learn to adapt to the old way of the social media platform.
What will advertisers do now?
What to do in times of change but stick your boots into the mud and refuse to leave unless plucked from the boots and taken to dry grass? Adapt. Humans always adapt. Businesses adapt. Industries adapt. Things change, other things adapt; it’s life! And now, we are going to adapt to Facebook’s reversion to core mission to connect the world.
Why did we have to change?
Imagine the old Facebook advertising model something like a wholesome street and peering into neighbors’ window to learn all about them; after all, they’re windows are open. Now that you know that Ryan and Jay like to watch Million Dollar Listing at 5pm ET, you casually picket a sign along the sidewalk where you know they walk by that lists the contact info for a luxury real estate agent in the area. Eventually, Ryan and Jay find out you planted the sign and you only planted the sign because they left their windows open, giving you full access to their lives and interests. The solution? An uproar to local council and closed windows, shutting you out.
Nobody wants a peeping Tom telling them what to buy or what to read; and frankly, nobody wants to be earning money by peeping. So? Brands are moving into the neighborhood. Opening their windows and their doors to invite neighbors in; to introduce themselves, to have genuine conversations and to get to know one another mutually.
How will brands communicate with consumers?
How to neighbors connect? By engaging with one another. Brands are not longer getting prime real estate outside consumers’ doors, perched on beach chairs and umbrellas in their drinks.
They’re coming over, having conversations, noticing that the begonias are in bloom and complimenting accordingly, sharing photos of their garden with the neighborhood and maybe, offering advice.
Engagement is increased by comments, shares and reactions; three critical components to keeping your audience tuned in.
Publish high-quality content
If it isn’t high-quality, why should a consumer read or watch what you have to share? If the content isn’t mutually beneficial (entertaining or educating the consumer and in turn, getting their attention and interest), you can forget Facebook trying to make the introduction.
Publish interactive content
The more interactive the content, the more consumers engage and the stronger your bond can grow. Ask questions, post timely pieces, switch it up with video and photo and share personal stories that consumers can relate to and will want to reciprocate dialogue about.
Don’t ask for interaction
It’s not socially accepted to blatantly ask for compliments and friends; you earn them. Facebook is social, so social norms all apply. If you blatantly ask consumers for likes, comments and share, Facebook will demote your rankings.
Give your audience something they need
Engage with and observe your audience thoroughly enough to understand what they actually need or care to learn about. Focus on their joys, their fears, what motivates them or seems like it might be stopping them from pursuing a dream.
Be real! Be you! Show consumers who you are and invite them into your world. Once they arrive, they’ll either stay because they hear what you have to say or they’ll leave because they are not your long-time consumer to chase. Be brave, go live!
Change is not bad and investors are not pulling away for good. We are amidst a time of change and adapting marketing and advertising strategies accordingly. To learn more about engaging with your audience on social media post-Facebook-algorithm-change, get in touch with our experts at Executive Digital and get your consumer interaction back and higher than ever before.