I’m sure you can recall checking your Facebook Newsfeed for updates on everything your classmates, family members, and friends posted. That time is long gone.
The brands have taken over your Newsfeed! Their sponsored messages are prominently displayed between family photos and vacation pictures. Some users may consider these types of messages intrusive and for others, they diminish the value of the browsing experience.
Said in a different way, the newsfeed is now similar to a nice tranquil hiking trail that has been overrun by trash and graffiti.
It just doesn’t have the same appeal as it once did.
Watching a Facebook Newsfeed was like watching a beautiful waterfall with a can of Coke floating in the water. You knew it was only a matter of time before you started seeing more trash (i.e. promotional brand messages) floating down the river.
Facebook is too smart for its own good. It has developed a network of over 1.6 Billion users, became a publicly traded company, and offered brands an effective way to target consumers.
And boy did they.
Brands are taking over Facebook like the undead during the zombie apocalypse.
Like zombies, brands have started to consume the lives of Facebook users by incorporating brand messaging into the Facebook Newsfeed.
And it’s only a matter of time before users fight back like police officer Rick Grimes, his family, and a group of survivors and go to another destination (i.e. Snapchat) that’s not infested with ‘zombies’ (i.e. brands).
This analogy makes perfect sense. Like the waterfall I mentioned earlier, there was a time when Facebook was free of unwanted messaging but ‘zombie’ marketers have taken over the network.
Facebook has allowed brands the opportunity to reach niche consumers with marketing messages within a matter of minutes. As a result, brand posts on the network have sky-rocketed.
Facebook understands this uptick in brand posts and is taking action. Mark Zuckerberg has built a billion dollar empire that provides a WAY for brands to advertise but cannot dictate HOW brands advertise.
Since Zuckerberg can’t change the medium, he must change the method. #algorithm
Facebook Takes Action
We’ve heard from our community that people are still worried about missing important updates from the friends they care about. For people with many connections this is particularly important, as there are a lot of stories for them to see each day.
– Lars Backstrom, Engineering Director at Facebook
How The Facebook Newsfeed Change Affects Your Digital Brand
IDENTITY: Your digital brand voice must convey personality more than ever before. Facebook wants more personal engagements on the site and, as a result, will throttle any promotional messages.
VISIBILITY: The Facebook Newsfeed change will affect your visibility as promotional messages are inhibited from being displayed on user’s Newsfeeds.
CREDIBILITY: The Newsfeed change will certainly have a positive effect on your brand. As you post personal information about your brand, your credibility will increase as users begin to know, like, and trust your brand.
How to Adjust Your Digital Branding Efforts to Continue Reaching Users
VIDEO: Facebook video and Facebook Live continue to perform far above other types of content on the network. You must prioritize creating this type of content.
That leaves strategic posting, which can only be achieved through analytics.
ANALYTICS: Facebook’s internal Insights platform enables you to see the times at which most of your audience is online.
Prevent Facebook from perceiving your post as spam. Use Facebook Insights data to post updates only at times that are relevant to your audience.
The chart above conveys which engagements hold more perceived weight based on the Facebook Newsfeed changes.
How would you weigh these actions? Are they missing a metric? Comment at the bottom of this post.
How to Be A Zombie
Facebook says you need to post what people what to see. If you’re really into the zombie thing, then post loads of promotional messages. Messages in which Facebook describes as:
SEE ALSO: How to Be More Personal on Social Media
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
- Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
- Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
Facebook differentiates between organic promotional posts and those that are paid ads, saying that ad content is controlled, so users are “used to” a certain amount of ads on their newsfeed.
However, when page owners push a lot of promotional content in their organic posts, it can be a turn off to fans.
Here’s a bad example:
This is the quintessential promotional post. It’s purely a sales pitch and provides nothing of value for Facebook users.
How to NOT Be A Zombie
The only way to protect yourself from turning into a zombie is to Post high quality, helpful, non-promotional content.
Here’s a good example:
This post is obviously promoting Lowe’s sprinklers but provides entertainment value in the form of nostalgia. We all have great summer memories of jumping through sprinklers as kids. This post induces those memories while also fostering a deeper engagement with the user.
Nice job Lowes.
The Facebook Newsfeed update will not only change the way in which you communicate. It will also change your brand architecture by forcing you to assign a personality, a smile, and a ‘soul’ to your brand–all of which are non-existent in ‘zombies’ of all kinds.
Overall, if forces your brand to open up and be more personal so that you can meet the needs of Facebook and its users.
Facebook updated its algorithm to prioritize friends and family over pages and publishers. How will you adjust?