Just when you think you have Facebook all figured out, they change the game again. Last week Facebook introduced the world to an array of new profile features, effectively changing the way the social network functions forever. In this post we examine how these changes are going to influence how you market on the platform in the future.
Why Facebook Has Made These Changes
There has been a flood of hate mail floating around the net, with people up in arms about the new Facebook changes. And of course there would be, until you view Facebook as a business trying to compete in what is basically the most competitive market in history. First of all, yes the changes inconvenience users – but Facebook knows these users will adjust, and eventually come to love the updates as they have before.
Facebook has been forced to take the next leap in social networking – what with competitors like Twitter and Google+ snapping at their heels. Long term, this is an excellent decision by the Facebook team. The bottom line is that while these new changes are drastic, they are necessary. There is more control, a broader integration of real-time posts and a more intimate user experience overall.
The New Changes and Their Impact on You
The old profile ‘top stories’ and ‘most recent’ are gone, replaced by ‘recent stories’ and a real-time news ticker that displays all of your friends content on the right hand side of your profile. This of course sent waves of outrage trickling through the marketing community. What about Facebook edgerank? How is this going to affect my marketing efforts? The answer is – not as much as you think.
Facebook edgerank still applies, only now they are using an algorithm that checks how many friends comment on a post, who the post is from and what kind of post it is. This is so similar to edgerank anyway, that we’re confident the same rules apply. The new profile changes demand multimedia, engaging content and fairly strong relationships with your community. You see – not so different!
Facebook has actually made it easier for businesses to be seen with the news ticker. All your fan needs to do is like you, and you show up in their feed. The problem with this development, is that many businesses are going to start posting more often to get better results. We advise that you keep to a conservative posting regimen, and begin to observe when your fans are on Facebook most often, to catch them then.
The new Facebook profile uses user frequency to sort out what you’ll see on your page first. If you haven’t been on Facebook in awhile, you’ll see a selection of top posts from the last time you logged on. If you visit everyday, you’ll see posts that are more current. Getting your page posts on your fans top stories feed will be a priority for all marketers in the coming months.
The Changes Aren’t Done Yet
Another great feature is the recommended pages app that shows up on your fan page. Now instead of having to find pages to like, Facebook will recommend them to you based on your past interests and interactions. Lists are also a big step for Facebook, emulating the Google+ circles. Create business lists to properly segment your audiences for more accurate marketing!
The subscribe button is quite a revelation, and allows you select what you’d like to see from your community in your newsfeed. It even lets you subscribe on personal pages without having to ‘friend’ that person. More control means more power for the individual user, which in the long term means more effective marketing efforts for businesses – as fans select brands they really enjoy.
Predictions For The Future
Will these changes impact Facebook negatively or positively? We are going to hazard a guess, that short term – Facebook fans are not going to like it – but long term it’s a wise decision made by a team of expert individuals. There may be some initial fans that seed over to Google+, but in all honesty we believe Facebook will maintain their title as the world’s largest, best social network.
The only concerns left are all the new privacy issues arising from the changes. When people who aren’t your friends can see your posts, that’s just a skip away from everyone seeing them. Once again we urge you never to post anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want made public. That’s the safest bet, especially amidst these new changes. We’ll write again on this subject soon!
Reports indicate that 70% of all Facebook users hate the changes. Do you really hate the changes and why? Leave your comment below!