If you're doing DIY marketing for your firm, then you're probably already familiar with the constant changes that Facebook makes to their platform. Mostly their updates cause a mild rear-end ache, as you often find yourself having to relearn the functionality of the site. But the latest of these changes is likely to have a profound affect on your social media marketing.
Yesterday, Facebook Engineering Director, Lars Backstrom, released the news that the social media site will now prioritize posts from friends and family in newsfeeds. So Auntie Clara's update about the delicious pork shoulder she made last night will be favored over your post warning clients about recent IRS phone scams.
Facebook will continue to show content with high engagement. But unless your posts are getting lots of likes, comments, and reposts like those of Forbes or other large publications, they're going to get buried in the mix of selfies and restaurant check-ins. You should start to see a steady decline in your reach in the coming months. And of course, if you're using social media to generate traffic to your site, expect those numbers to go down as well.
Facebook reps say this change is part of their larger effort to improve the quality of content for non-commercial users, but most in the publishing industry recognize it as a way to increase their ad revenue. To have any kind of market reach using Facebook, you will now HAVE to invest in their advertising. But who can blame them. It's a kick-in-the-pants reminder that we're at the mercy of these social media platforms that have for so long been free and powerful tools in raising your online profile.
For you and your small business clients with a tiny marketing budget, this is a pretty big blow. I wouldn't advise giving up on platform altogether since it can help with your SEO ranking, but if you haven't before considered Twitter or other social platforms for your business outreach, now would be a good time to start. #learntotweetordie
About Julie Casali
Digital marketing maven with over a decade's worth of professional media-making and marketing savvy to share.