You Ask, I Answer_ Brand Impact of Facebook Fighting Fake News

Suzanne asks:

“How does Facebook’s efforts to fight fake news impact non-news Brand Pages?”

Great question, Suzanne. In short: Brand Pages have virtually no organic reach anyway. The algorithm for fighting fake news is secondary to Faceook’s beating up any content that doesn’t get interaction and engagement.

Watch for more details and what you should do:

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Transcript (machine generated):

Welcome to another episode of you ask, I answer? Suzanne asked today:

How does Facebook’s effort to control fake news affect non-news Brand Pages?

Short version – Brand Pages, if they weren’t already at zero organic reach, are headed that way rapidly for all but the most popular content providers.

What Facebook did in its most recent algorithm is heavily favor individuals, groups and anything involving in engagement in conversation, so their premise on engagement is that if something is shared, but there’s no conversation, no interaction between users, then it’s not as important. This is as of January 11 of this year.

So what the impact does this have? Well, if you look at your average Brand Pages’ Facebook post, they don’t get a ton of interaction, they don’t get a ton of conversation.

I’ve seen plenty of pages where there isn’t any conversation and it’s just a couple of employees randomly hitting the like button.

So in the new algorithm, which is so heavily engagement focused, these pages are going to take a pretty heavy hit.

You’re going to see performance decline.

And, of course, the solution that Facebook offers is get out the credit card and start spending money on ads. There are a couple other ways around this. Number one, obviously create content that is conversation-worthy, without creating offensive things or stuff like that because that doesn’t help anybody. The other way is to use employee advocacy; in the most recent algorithm change what has happened is that Facebook in general is favoring the individual person, rather than the corporation or the brand.

If you have employees, and your employees are representative of your customers, meaning they’re connected to people like your customers, employees advocacy will work.

Now, there are a whole bunch of caveats with employees advocacy. One, your employees need to have reach, access into the customer base. A real simple example: if all of your employees are baby boomers, but your customers are ideally millennials, you’re not going to have a good time. You’re not going to have an audience that is in sync with who your employee base is. That’s a major consideration – and it doesn’t just have to be demographics. It could be behavioral, too – if all of your employees love Pink Floyd, but all of your audience likes Justin Bieber, you’re going to have a bad time.

The third approach and the approach that I personally like more is diversification.Facebook is not social media. It is a social network, but is not the only one out there.

There is Twitter, there is Pinterest, there is Instagram, which is still a Facebook property, there are a whole bunch of secondary networks. There is LinkedIn, which is my personal favorite for B2B because it tends to be more professionally focused folks, there is YouTube.

YouTube is a gigantic social network.

It just happens to be a social network focused around video; it’s also the second largest search engine on planet. There is spotify, and Apple Music and all of these entertainment networks. It’s less a question of what’s our Facebook strategy and what’s our overall social channel strategy – where where is our audience?

Where do they want to participate? What do they like? There are private social networks – anyone who’s ever used Slack has been in a private social network because Slack is very much that. There are still old school bulletin boards – great places for you to have interactions with your audience depending on where your audience is. Technically, email is the oldest social network, right? It is still the most decentralized.

So, where’s your audience? Where do they want to hear from you? Are the places where they hang out immune to the Facebook effect or reducing the Facebook effect? There are tons of private discussion groups – Whatsapp has them, WeChat, Kik, Line, Tango, Viber, all these different companies have all these different channels. Facebook Messenger, iMessages.

People have individual communities, so the way you ultimately get around Facebook’s algorithm?

Create content people like and that they want to share and distribute on your behalf.

Two, focus on more than just Facebook.

Three, if you have to be on Facebook because you’re convinced that’s where your audience is, spend the money on the ads right now. Te ads are still relatively affordable. They will not stay that way as companies find more and more, organic reach is going to zero, they’re looking for any option to activate that huge Facebook following they spent years and dollars building, and Facebook ad pricing will go up.

So that’s the answer.

Thanks, Suzanne, for submitting a question to you ask, I answer!

If you’ve got a question, submit it at this URL and I will gladly answer your questions – doesn’t matter what kind, how complex, how simple, happy to answer them.


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