By now you are likely aware of the latest BIG change taking place in the Facebook newsfeed. The social network is going back to its roots of focusing more on posts published by friends and family, and less on posts published by brand pages. This is all in an effort to make the Facebook experience more meaningful for users. Here’s the official announcement by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg:
As a regular user of Facebook, this excites me. When I’m on Facebook for personal enjoyment, I solely want to catch up on what’s going on with my friends, family, and the people I’m lowkey stalking. I developed the ability to instinctively ignore most of the irrelevant content that pops up on my feed. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg, for taking initiative to bring back the charm of oldschool Facebook- the real social element of social networking. Most of us already have our own ways to consume blog posts and other content that interests us anyway, no need to force it into our feeds.
As an online marketer- I really don’t know how to articulate my feelings on this. It’s complicated. In recent years, Facebook quickly became my least favorite network to manage for clients. Achieving sizable reach organically got increasingly difficult over the years, especially for the bootstrapped startups I represented that had zero budget for paid campaigns. Facebook simply was not brand-friendly, unless the brands paid up of course. I get it, Facebook is a business after all, I’m not complaining really. Especially considering the network itself is free to enjoy. But I do remember the earlier days in which Facebook beautifully circulated posts from brand pages without the need to whip out a credit card, which was bliss for me.
Now I don’t know what to expect for brand pages to make Facebook work. Is it going to get even pricier now to boost posts, manage ads, and pay for suggested posts? Theoretically, I know it’s worth it. especially when you specify targets as accurately as possible. But again, not an option for bootstrapped startups who would rather (rightfully) spend as much funds as possible on product development over marketing. Companies on a tight budget would have to stick to the organic marketing route, and adjust their Facebook strategy factoring these new changes in mind. It’s going to be quite difficult now, because in addition to getting people to like your page, you also have to make them select “See First” for it. Otherwise, as ridiculous as it sounds, there will be no point to them liking your page as they won’t see your posts on their feeds without “See First.” But wait, there’s more. You also have to post really engaging content- more engaging than ever before, because you will need people to comment on your posts AND reply to other peoples comments within your posts in order to achieve some level of organic reach and unique views.
Okay yea, winners never quit and quitters never win. But the thought of this new strategy tempts me to raise my white flag when it comes to Facebook marketing. Look, I’m always up for a challenge, but it’s usually people that have zero idea about online marketing that hire online marketers. They won’t understand the frustration behind the newsfeed changes, and it will be a b*tch to explain the difficulties of it to them. Because in theory, it sounds oh so simple. But no, if you post it, they will not necessarily come. Online marketers need to make this crystal clear earlier in the hiring process, if they are looking to join a startup. Marketing on Facebook organically will be like pulling teeth, unless your product/service is run by an engaged community as in the case of companies such as Hometalk
, which is always killing it on their Facebook page
Trust me when I say, I love my job. Always did. Online marketing is exhilarating, because unlike industries such as law and medicine, online marketing is most always a happy space and happy place. It’s truly great for the soul and I firmly believe my career path keeps me young. However, as with any industry, people with similar job titles mingle with one another and ask for favors. Due to the new changes, I am honestly dreading an influx of fellow online marketers coming to me, telling me to put the pages they manage on my “See First,” and comment on the posts.
If each online marketer manages three Facebook pages, and I agree to help 10 of my buddies… that adds 30 pages worth of clutter in my “See First,” and commenting on their posts collectively would be a part-time job I’m not getting paid for. Sure, you can say that at least I would get 10 online marketers helping me out in return, right? Wrong. They seldom return the favor. I know because I experienced this in my earlier days of online marketing. I enthusiastically helped so many people out by being active on their Facebook pages, but at the end of the day, there were only crickets chirping and some tumbleweed on my Facebook pages. Even after gentle reminders- I got nothing in return. Whatever, it is what it is. I’m normally a positive and very cheerful person, but experience made me bitter in that regard, and in an effort to save friendships, I no longer help fellow online marketers with their pages. I only step in for one-off things, like taking surveys, placing a vote on a poll, and upvotes on Producthunt.
So yep. As a regular Facebook user, I would give this update two thumbs up. As an online marketer, two thumbs down. But then again, now that I’ll be worrying less about getting results on Facebook, I can use that time to get more meaningful results more quickly at a larger scale on Twitter