As many of you have probably heard, Facebook is administering a new test in a few select countries where the Facebook news feed will be split into two separate feeds: one feed being an explore feed and the other being the news feed. The ‘new’ news feed will be limited to original posts from ‘friends’ while the explore feed will show pages that were shared by friends as well as sponsored posts. The explore feed will exhibit most of the changes with “sponsored posts,” which give businesses the ability to pay for promotion space on the feed.
The question is, do these changes mean that marketers have to scrape their organic content strategy? Jill Sherman at Adweek believes that Facebook’s updates will encourage marketers to update their strategies rather than getting rid of them. Facebook strives to provide users with the most relevant and interesting content (hence relevance scores and negative/positive feedback). For some time, reach and scale has been an ineffective tactic for marketers. But that’s old news. With the updated platform, Facebook allows marketers to revise their strategies and develops more efficient marketing tactics. Sherman recommends focusing your organic strategy on discovery and relevance rather than reach, which means interacting with trending topics or capitalizing on social discovery. Facebook search will still remain through these updates so when individuals search for your brand, the first thing that appears are the most recent organic posts, not promoted posts.
Founder and CEO at Mobile Monkey, Larry Kim disagrees with Sherman. Kim believes that the news feed changes will be inconsequential to large unicorn corporations, but they will dramatically affect small businesses and startups due to their limited advertising budgets. Businesses with limited marketing budgets will have three choices according to Kim: reevaluate how to use Facebook for engaging with the customers and see if other platforms allow the same capabilities, create new marketing strategies based on circumventing the negatives associated with Facebook’s updates, or choose to redirect their funds to other social media platforms in hopes of making similar, valuable connections.
As marketers, we have all heard that Facebook is slowly turning into a pay-to-play platform. Facebook will continue to change their platform, and the beneficiaries will be the ones who are putting the money into the platform, not those who choose to only use the platform organically. Your business is more than likely creating awesome but also not-so-awesome content to ensure that your page stays relevant on Facebook. In reality, you may be wasting your time creating these daily posts that are not being seen by your target audience. If this is the case, why not focus on creating awesome content only and promoting it? This ensures that people will see your engaging content, and the hard work you put into creating it doesn’t go unseen. Encompass these promoted posts into your overall marketing strategy, and create more opportunities to see a return on your advertising spend. In the end, the only way to tell if your organic content is dead or still thriving is to test both organic and paid content to see which strategy is more successful for you and your business.