Change is Good - How to Manage the new Facebook Algorithm in 2018

Modern marketing is changing in 2018.

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This weekend my regular routine was interrupted by some big BIG Facebook news. (News that has many businesses and social media marketers scrambling for a paper bag to breathe panic into).

Mark Zuckerberg announced a new direction towards more 'meaningful social interactions' for his 2.5 billion users. (See his statement below) Public content is clogging our feeds and has been interrupting the genuine connections with our friends and family. Facebook has been watching and after the hot water they swam in during the US elections, it appears Zuck is acting with conscience.

The new focus for Facebook this year for everyone is not on finding relevant content but having more meaningful interactions online, which as research shows is clearly better for our wellbeing. And we all know how vital that is in a world of regular social media mayhem? 

So why the panic?

Quite simply, businesses who churn out content to convert will be penalised. Organic reach is heading towards zero and if you aren't adding social advertising, video and LIVE broadcasting plus have a Group page strategy added to your 2018 plan, then folks, it may be time to kiss your Facebook success goodbye.

So what can be done?

Again, and yes quite simply; 

Businesses whose content creates COMMUNITY will be favoured

We are all fed up with the clickbait, engagement bait memes with the 'try this to discover your ideal pet' quizzes. It's time to get back to basics and think deeply about who we are working with. What is it our that we can offer our community that will genuinely add value to their product or service offering? What will save THEM precious time, energise their potential and encourage their growth? THAT is what we need to consider and THAT is the future of marketing online.

Seth Godin couldn't have explained it better. In his latest Facebook LIVE broadcast (watch it, he's brilliant) he suggests modern marketing has turned on its head and sits directly opposite anything and everything written in marketing textbooks. These texts teach mass marketing, treat everybody the same and take what you can get. For Godin, we need to look to empathy, humility and effectiveness. 

  • Empathy means 'we are making it for you and with you.'
  • Humility means 'I have no right to your attention or no right to your money.' 
  • Effectiveness means 'I will cycle and learn, in a lean way making assertions correcting and repeating until I figure out what works today.'

Sage advice.

Not only are the big heads of about social talking, but so are leaders in our local marketing world. We talked to three Tasmanian thought leaders and asked them what their strategy for 2018 would be with this news.

Here's what they had to say:

We all rail against fake news, then we are aghast in the business against our news not being seen. The real question we need to ask is what is OUR authentic story, forget the algorithms, forget gaming the feed, who are we serving and what do they truly need to hear. When we stop serving ourselves, the real business begins.
— Dr. Polly McGee, business strategist and author The Good Hustle
It will be a challenge. But a good one. Hopefully it will mean less ‘bad’ content. A great opportunity for businesses to get more creative. More strategic. Tell their true stories. And engage with the right people. Heck yes.
— Kim Saunders, social media manager, Captain and Co.
Facebook now tells us that people want to hear more from their family and friends? We only work with brands that ARE family and friends to their customers. If you aren’t in a close relationship with the people you want to give you money, you’re in a relationship that is exploitative and frankly unsustainable.
— Darren Alexander, CEO, Beetle Black Media

So what do you think? We are working on lots of new strategies for clients which will include social advertising, live broadcasting and video content, but above all else, a LOT of investigation into what the audience genuinely wants and needs. We'll keep working on ways we can support you through these changes, so please reach out with questions so we can best serve YOU.