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On Marketing: What Facebook's new updates mean for marketers

by Josh Gordon Published: July 26, 2016 10:50 AM
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One of the trickier elements of being a communications professional these days is dealing with constant change in our channels of communications.

When changes are made to Google's algorithm, or the technology for building a website, we have to take note and adjust on the fly to deliver a quality, technology-relevant product for clients.

So, when Facebook announces changes, it's noteworthy.

In case you missed it, Facebook updated its algorithm in a way that will fundamentally shift how the robots decide which content to place into a user's newsfeed. The update will serve more content from friends and family into your feed, instead of content from businesses.

Because Facebook is one of the true mass communications vehicles these days, these updates matter. This update is the equivalent of TV, as a communications platform, making an update and saying they are going to serve more local cable access shows into your cable box/ instead of the high-production quality stuff you're used to.

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For an everyday Facebook user, the update may be a win. If you use Facebook solely to keep up with friends and family, that will be easier to do.

For Facebook as a mass media, it's really getting back to its roots as a platform. Facebook was originally designed to foster an engaged community of people.

For communications professionals, there are some changes we need to make.

Adjusting Your Facebook Marketing

Like many digital-first media platforms, Facebook is best understood when categorized into two types of marketing - organic (regular posts) and paid (boosted posts or display ad campaigns). To maximize your marketing impact, both a paid and organic presence is necessary.

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The marketing adjustment? More organic content must be produced now if you want to show up in newsfeeds. So the idea of 3-4 posts a week from a business page must be adjusted up to 7-10, or risk not being seen in your audience's newsfeed. That requires more creativity, more research, more graphics/ just more! It's a good investment of time and marketing money, but it's unquestionably more work from an organic standpoint.

The other outcome for marketers is revealed as the main reason Facebook made this adjustment in the first place - a renewed emphasis on paid marketing.

I'll go on record saying that paid Facebook marketing can, if properly setup and constantly optimized, be a measurable success for any business or organization. It can never be a standalone effort, though. It's best to mix in other mediums to reach and remind your target audience of your message. But it's definitely worth having in the mix.

If you want your message to reach your audience in Facebook, you now have to be more creative and share it more (organic) and / or pay to have it delivered to people (paid).

Of course the biggest winner in all of this is Facebook. Facebook takes situations like algorithm adjustments and turns them into moneymakers. That's why some estimates indicate the potential value of the company at a trillion dollars.

But you can make this update work for your business, as well. Update and adapt your existing Facebook strategy this week, or start one from a more informed vantage point.

Josh Gordon is an award-winning marketing communications professional and President of Full Spectrum Marketing, a full-service advertising agency with digital roots based in Kent, Ohio and Wooster, Ohio. You can reach Josh at jgordon@fullspectrummarketing.com.


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