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What Facebook’s Focus on ‘Meaningful Interactions’ Means for Brands

On Friday, Mark Zuckerburg announced a plan following on from his 2018 New Year’s resolution to “fix Facebook”. In a costly move where he lost $4billion dollars due to one post, the Facebook CEO has announced that in order to prioritise users’ well-being and make Facebook more about social connection, the social media giant will start focusing on promoting posts from users’ friends and family as opposed to business posts. The goal with this is to focus on personal content that gets people talking, commenting and engaging, as studies have shown that people get more value out of this rather than just mindlessly scrolling past business page posts and videos.

“We will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed,” Adam Mosseri, whose title is head of News Feed, said in a blog post. “These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to — whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.”

Facebook’s stock price quickly dropped almost 6 percent after the announcement, meaning that investors have taken Zuckerberg’s prediction seriously that users will spend less time on its service due to the change in direction. Less time obviously meaning less eyes for advertisements. Although the revenue has taken a hit in the short-term, this change is valuable in regaining and creating the trust of its users, of which has been decreasing ever since paid advertising was introduced in 2012.

So, what does this mean for brands and marketers?

Because of this overhaul in the newsfeed algorithm, Zuckerberg said he expects that the changes introduced this year will mean people spend less time on Facebook in general, but it will also significantly increase time well spent. “By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” he wrote. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”

The way we see it, this change is going to affect marketing in two major ways:

  • Forcing more creativity when it comes to marketing strategy
  • Increase need for paid advertising

There has been quite the upset in the media world, however the way we view it, it can only be a good thing when it comes to the creativity of marketing – which is something that excites us greatly.

It will mean that the social media marketing state of mind will need to continue to shift to focusing on being more relatable for audiences. Promoting your business will need to be more creative and personable, and you’ll need to create content that inspires people to comment, like or share.

A range of businesses, brands, bloggers and celebrities rely on Facebook for exposure and for spreading information to their fans without needing to pay for ads. The change could make this harder for these pages, meaning that the change will likely force these pages to pay for advertising. So, what could potentially be a smart business move by Facebook in the long-run, we’re taking an educated guess that there will be a steady increase in overall ad-spend. In order to promote themselves, brands will need to buy more advertising on Facebook as simply creating content and sharing it on pages and across the newsfeed will no longer work as effectively as it once did. In turn this will increase the need for more focused effort to be put into the content being created for pages.

We’re looking forward to seeing how the world of advertising plays out on Social Media this year and the increase in creative thinking it’s undoubtedly going to cause.