For nearly twenty years, McCauley Marketing Services has specialized in constructing, implementing, and maintaining fully-customized marketing plans for our diverse clientele, and one of the things that we pride ourselves on is that we don’t take shortcuts. While this is generally good advice in virtually any profession, it is particularly relevant in the world of social media marketing, where many make the mistake of trying to “game the system” in an effort to reap short-term rewards. Since their inception, the various social media platforms, and most specifically Facebook, have continuously tried to separate authentic content from “click-bait” for the benefit of their users. The updates to Facebook’s news feed algorithm, which were implemented earlier this year, continue along this path by favoring real-time updates and engagement and may have a significant impact on your future marketing strategy.
Simply put, there are a lot of sources who want Facebook users to see their content, and only a finite amount of real estate in a Facebook news feed, so Facebook has a complicated algorithm that tries to anticipate which content users will most want to see. This algorithm is constantly being updated and improved to better recognize the difference between content that is relevant and important and content that is misleading, sensational, or spammy. This is why McCauley Marketing Services has always focused primarily on content marketing, which emphasizes educational, creative, engaging and useful content. The latest Facebook updates try to accomplish this goal in several different ways:
- Pages that routinely encourage users to “like this post if X, comment if Y, and share if Z” are attempting to artificially inflate their engagement by creating the illusion of an authentic debate, and the algorithm will now categorize such pages as less authentic.
- Facebook will use pages that have been previously categorized as spam as templates to “train” the algorithm to better recognize spam in the future, specifically by looking for key signals, like a large number of people hiding posts from a specific page.
- The algorithm will examine engagement changes that occur in real time. For example, people are more interested in knowing the score of a ball game as it is happening than they in a week from now, so Facebook will attempt to prioritize topics during periods of high engagement and then de-emphasize them as engagement lags.
- Previously, Facebook would measure the value of a video post by what percentage of it most people watched. This meant that if people only watched five seconds of a ten-second long video it performed better than if people watched two minutes of a ten-minute video. Now watching a percentage of a longer video will be more valuable than watching the same percentage of a short one, so holding your audience’s attention for longer will matter.
All of this will inevitably have an impact on marketing strategies. Specifically, one can reasonably expect a trend towards longer on-line videos, and real-time video feeds with their accompanying stream of rapid fire user comments have no doubt already started to feature more prominently in Facebook news feeds. If you are interested in learning more about how the changing landscape of social media can impact your business, or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our marketing specialists so that you can find a marketing strategy that is right for you, contact McCauley Marketing Services today. Be sure to also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to keep informed on all the fun updates social media will undoubtedly be sharing with us, and which we will be studying, in the future.