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Last week Facebook announced updates to their newsfeed to ultimately ‘see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media1’ and to ‘encourage meaningful interactions between people1’. As a user, this can be seen as a positive, but as a publisher or brand, this will be challenging. However the latest update has sparked panic among certain publishers who rely on this platform heavily, but what are we going to see happen in the near future?
We will see an increase in brands and publishers paying to advertise to ensure their content is seen; ultimately pushing up the price due to increased competition. The number of advertisers on Facebook has been steadily increasing over the past few years, due to the simplified Advert Manager dashboard and ease of campaign set up. However, if this newsfeed update means people are spending more valued time on Facebook, inventory for advertising will also increase thus hopefully stopping costs rise drastically.
If as a brand or company you are reliant on Facebook page posts as a tactic, it’s a time to think to diversify your Facebook strategy to ensure that it includes more than posting on the page you own. This leads us on to highlight one of the 2018 trends, the opportunity of Messenger and the increased use of Stories which are a really interesting way for brands to stand out while still emphasizing a Facebook strategy.
It’s going to mean that quality needs to be prioritized over quantity. For certain ‘social first’ media brands, I’d be worried. Their business is built nearly entirely on Facebook views of page posts, the traffic to their website relies on this as a traffic source, and less traffic means less revenue from their display advertising.
Publishers need to build retention, currently, the user views the article they saw on social media on the website and then leaves again. Now this is easy to say but this also relies on the experience is optimal for the user, the experience now needs to be more amazing than ever on mobile.
Facebook’s Adam Mosseri recommended several things to brands and businesses.
To avoid using engagement bait3
To create posts that will generate conversation and discussion
To use video
To attempt and retain some of the organic reaches we should encourage users to enable the ‘See First’ option in News Feed Preferences to make sure they always see posts from their favorite Pages2. This means that users can still see the posts from pages they love despite this change in newsfeed strategy.
Essentially Facebook is taking the ‘Media’ out of Social Media and it’s interesting to note the timing of this decision. Organic reach for pages declining is no new piece of news, this has been happening slowly over the past 2 years or so. It comes at a time when Facebook is currently under scrutiny in the press for its role in selling advertising inventory to Russians, being the main destination for fake news and misinformation during the 2016 U.S. election and being attributed to the narrowing of users echo-chambers during the vote for Brexit.
It is said that Zuckerberg has become increasingly disturbed that the company he built is doing more harm than good. He and his team are trying to restore Facebook’s reputation and its value to users, which has continued to decline, even when the company’s business has grown dramatically.
We are continuing to work closely with our partners at Facebook to stay at the forefront of any further updates and news. We are monitoring our client’s performance in terms of reach and cost for any large deviation, then discussing this with our social and creative teams to adapt and action the new approaches which are required.
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