We all know the four Ps of marketing: product, pricing, place and promotion but there’s one more I’d like to add to the list: pivot.
In seven years as a social media marketer I’ve learned that pivoting is part of the gig. To succeed in the digital space you have to be comfortable with change and learn to expect it. There’s no point freaking out over Facebook layout changes or ad policies. All you can do is accept those changes – or better yet, predict them by looking ahead.
On January 11, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg dropped a big ol’ doozy on digital marketers and businesses who use Facebook to reach their ideal audiences. Facebook is returning to its roots. The news feed will now prioritize the personal experience, users can expect to see more content from friends and family rather than from digital publishers and businesses. I believe Facebook called it “interpersonal or relational content.”
Anyone who pays attention to this stuff knew it was coming. And yet it’s sent marketers into a freak out frenzy. Social Media Examiner’s founder Mike Stelzner even called it an “end of days.” And I’m sure the speakers at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego next month will have something to say about it. (Side note: I’m going!Follow the play-by-play here.)
To pivot our strategy, we need to understand WHY a change is happening, WHAT’s next, and HOW to respond. Let’s take a look at all three.
Here’s WHY Facebook has decided to get personal:
- Positive vibes
Facebook wants all 2.5 billion people on Facebook (who log in 14 times per day, for about an hour total) to have a positive experience. Understandable.
- Appease the government
I know, I know, cue the eye roll. But with Facebook is caught up in litigation they’re saving face (no pun intended) by cracking down on “fake news” and eradicating clickbait.
- Diminishing ad inventory on mobile newsfeed
We’ve seen this time and time again. Facebook is and will continue to be a pay-to-play platform. And as big business throws big bucks into adapting to the new newsfeed environment, the little guys will be fighting an uphill battle for eyeballs.
- Prepping for the digital TV shift
Facebook is already playing in this field. In fact, Facebook had exclusive rights to stream the pre-party of the Golden Globes this year – snatching it away from Twitter, who did the 2017 honors. We already know (pivoting here, keep up) that with this new change will come with big advertising relationships supporting the streaming of this BIG new TV video content.
So WHAT does this mean for us and our feeds?
A lot of you are asking how to pivot your digital strategy and content creation policies to make sure your hard work gets seen. It’s impossible to say for sure, as these things often shake out over the long term. However, Zuck’s letter does outline the type of content likely to be seen on the news feed – giving us a path forward in the short term.
Here’s what we’ll be seeing more of:
- Posts from friends, family and probably that college friend you forgot about and her new baby.
- Content that sparks meaningful (that’s subjective, sure) conversations between people. Notice I didn’t say between people and brands.
HOW should we respond if we want be seen?
First, I would encourage your followers to use the “See First” option.
This allows your fans to see your content first on their newsfeed, right at the top. But with great visibility comes great responsibility. But don’t go overboard with your posts, or you risk oversaturation.
Live video has been a favorite of the Facebook newsfeed algorithm for quite a while. Also fun fact: it gets 6 times more interaction than native standard video.
Build a community
A great way to do this is to create a Facebook group for your fans – groups have a lot of perks. Facebook favors them so much that when you post within a group the members of your group get notified. It’s a powerful way to get noticed.
Start to use events
If you haven’t already, check out the “Facebook Local” app, which can be great for small businesses striving to showcase their events within their neighborhoods.
Customer service bots are great for reaching your audience where they are – on messenger. This is something that we’re working on rolling out soon here at StellaPop, so stay tuned! We got your social backside.