It’s old news now but for those just catching up, Facebook announced a new algorithm update a few weeks ago.
So what? FB does this often, right? Yes but they haven’t done this type of update before, well not since maybe 2010.
Facebook has decided #ItsTime to clean up the platform. Mark Zuckerberg tells us he wants to get rid of viral videos and click-bait that have dominated the platform over the past five years. At the recent Facebook Quarterly earnings call, Facebook reported its first decline in the average time people spend on the platform. And that’s huge!
But here is the thing – Mark Zuckerberg is fine with this because of:
- The U.S. Election
- The way humans are not thinking critically about what they see on Facebook, and
- Bad people who manipulated Facebook to influence the outcomes of world events.
What does this mean?
Recently many people have indicated how tired they are of Facebook. People hate seeing posts from people they don’t know. People feel they are being spammed by ads or are being seduced into ‘Liking’ and sharing posts that are not from their Friends. Some people even feel they are no longer in control of their own Facebook account.
Can you relate?
Many of us cleaned up our newsfeed by hiding things we didn’t want to see anymore, but so many people didn’t do this or didn’t know how to do this. Now, however, Facebook is cleaning up newsfeeds for us.
Facebook wants to get back to its core function. Connecting friends and family.
Even if you spend less time on the platform, Facebook wants you to have a better experience. Facebook is doing the right thing by taking the short-term pain (less revenue) for a long-term gain (more loyalty and revenue).
And this is a macro lesson we can all learn from.
You can still use Facebook for business …
If you keep your focus on serving your ideal client first – and that is key – things will work out in the long-term. But you must put engagement as a priority – no more viral videos or spamming ads!
Facebook is doing the same thing Google did ten years ago on Adwords. It is declaring war on unethical content in particular (viral news, click-bait, etc.)
For those running ads, Facebook is playing it super safe. If you have ads that don’t create a positive experience for your clients, Facebook is coming after you.
… But not for this
Facebook has just banned every advertisement for crypto-currency.
Is all Cryptocurrency bad? Of course not. But there are so many scams out there in the world of crypto, that Facebook is leaving money on the table rather than serving companies who would spend extraordinary amounts of money on advertising ads. Kudos!
Here’s the big picture
Advertising on Facebook is as cheap as chips. But that’s about to change.
Most Fortune 500 companies spend 90% of their ad budget on ‘traditional’ media (radio, Television, etc.) but this is going to change.
Once these big brands come onto Facebook en masse (and it’s only a matter of time), they are going to swamp the platform with sophisticated advertisements. As a result, advertising will go through the roof – especially advertising around the holiday spending periods – and so will the price of advertising.
Further small businesses will find it difficult gaining audience engagement during these periods because big brands are already starting to spend on the platform during the holidays and this will only increase.
What can I do to ‘jump the gun’
What big companies haven’t started doing yet is putting their video content on Facebook.
But it’s coming.
What will work best on Facebook?
Video is queen!
Facebook will promote video above static content. Facebook wants every advertiser to switch to video in the future and to this end, Facebook will reward video by promoting it higher in newsfeeds.
Story is gold!
Compared to audience targeting, being creative with your advertising will have a major impact than any of your optimised targeting. Facebook is making the algorithm so smart, you don’t really need to try that hard on audience targeting.
You may like to think about transitioning from an ad agency to more of a video/creative house that makes video advertisements.
What you need to do
- You have 1-2 years to maximise the opportunity on Facebook before big brands get on the platform. If you DON’T switch to high-quality, story-based videos on Facebook now, you are leaving tons of money on the table.
- If you want to be successful on Facebook Ads, work with an agency that knows what they are doing. Don’t just go to some friend of yours who knows how to make videos.
- Work with a marketer who knows how to write story-based videos for Facebook.
Enjoy the ever-evolving social space! And get yourself a creative video friend!