How’s a Video Marketer Going to Survive Facebook’s “Friends & Family“ Era?
As if publishers and marketers weren’t already buzzing about the impending doom that is organic traffic and reach, especially on social media — something live video marketing loves the most. We get this big burst of our happy bubble:
Facebook Recently Announced, in Short, the News Feed Will Shift Focus to Your FRIENDS & FAMILY
Which, at first glance, that shouldn’t be a…bad thing? But wait a second: we’re talking about video marketing here! What’s going to happen to the pages that publish video content? What if it’s live content?!
Let’s step back and break this down.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this game-changer on Jan. 11 in a Facebook post, stating:
“ We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us … But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other … Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook.”
What this shift in focus will do is allow your personal Facebook profile — and the personal profiles of your friends and family — to see any videos and updates you post in your news feed. Nothing on your pages.
This essentially means your brand will end up seeing less engagement due to decreased reach, hence less video watch time and referral traffic. In other words, those cool videos you just posted on your page? Yeah. Your built-in Facebook audience won’t see those nearly as much.
And to make it worse: the only way it seems those videos will be seen enough is if they get more comments, more shares, and more engagement. However, Facebook even covers that hole with their engagement bait algorithm penalizing pages for trying to pull shares in artificial ways.
In Other Words, Marketers Will Need to Generate Even MORE Quality, Shareable Content
Note that we said “quality” above. That’s right, you need to make quality content that naturally engages your audience and encourages them to share your videos and other updates — not content that can be classified as “engagement bait.” To survive this “Friends & Family” era, your content needs to promote conversation.
That’s a tall order.
You have to ask yourself, of course, why Facebook made this change. It’s simple, really. The public establishment of Zuckerberg has always explained that it’s not trying to be some “media company” dominating the marketing space. In other words: Facebook is a community — first, and foremost. Not a brand platform for businesses, like LinkedIn.
You can’t blame Facebook.
Hate Facebook if you want; but you can’t lay blame.
However, This Still Then Begs the Question You All Care About: What Can Marketers Do Now With the Friends-First Feed Shift?
The answer’s a no-brainer. Simply develop more quality videos that spark conversations, especially more live videos! After all, Facebook itself reports that its users spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video compared to non-live video content, which increases the odds of engagement! So no matter what — you could be posting a live video on your page, or your profile, or a group, what have you — chances are good you’ll net a whole lot more engagement, which is what we marketers all care about.
Facebook plans to roll out these changes to all of its products in the coming months, which means we have some time to prepare, but not much. We should still be cautious, though. We can’t lure or trick Facebook users into engagement if we want our pages to survive. We have to focus on meaningful and, in Zuckerberg’s own words, “personal” engagement.
Aside from developing more live video content, the kind of focus for brand engagement shifts from just getting the ‘click’ to actually asking the right questions that’ll drive all sorts of conversation.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.