What is affecting facebook marketing in 2018 and what trends are in place that are likely to affect it in 2019? This is what we are going to answer in this blog post.
In this article we will mainly be concerned with the former.
The Newsfeed Shift
One fundamental shift that occurred in the beginning of 2018 was the announcement made by facebook that it will prioritise the individual over the business page. Zuckerberg, the man, announced it on his facebook page.
Previous announcements always stressed a concern with one thing: content quality. For facebook the main – and fundamental problem – has always been how to differentiate good from bad content and from truthworthy vs untrustworthy content.
But with the changes announced in the beginning of 2018 we seem to be moving in a new direction. The “good old days” of facebook seem to be back. I remembered when I first joined the platform and it was really mostly about connecting with friends.
But facebook changed over the years. Brands start taking over and increasingly the individual and its relationships seem to have been lost lost. Business pages and ads seemed to be taking over the user experience.
If one looks carefully at Zuckerberg statement we can see that what he is basically acknowledging is that relations between users is what gives facebook it’s vitality. It’s what makes facebook keep growing. If the platform becomes basically a forum for companies then the whole platform will be at risk.
Individuals and engagement among individuals should be the key fundamental reason for facebook’s existence.
Changes in the beginning of 2018 were aimed to address that and seem to be moving facebook back to the “good old days”. In the words of Zuckerberg: ““The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.”.
Of course, this shift is accompanied by facebook’s attempt to really understand what is good and bad content in the platform. Why should my post rank higher in the newsfeed – basically because it provokes more engagement. Provokes is the right word. Facebook continues its endless battle in distinguishing good from bad and trustworthy from lie/bait.
What was new during 2018 was the idea that the more engaging a comment is the more predominant it will be in the newsfeed. So engagement is basically the main criteria for ranking higher both the new post as well as within the post, the comment that got more engagement will have its place at the top.
Facebook Marketing in 2019: What’s the Marketing Objective?
Whenever one is starting a new ad campaign, facebook asks us to define “our marketing objective”. And it suggests three options: Awareness, Consideration and Conversion – and to each option it associates a particular and specific campaign objective.
So in the awareness we can opt for brand awareness and reach, Consideration we can opt for traffic, engagement, etc and with conversions we can opt for conversions, catalogue sales and store visits.
Anyway, what does this all have to do with facebook marketing in 2018? It’s useful to also illustrate changes in facebook marketing in 2018 – 2019 along these same objectives. So let’s start.
Awareness: Organic Tools
Being aware is to acknowledge something. I grouped together a bunch of changes that are characterizing facebook marketing and that can also be emphasised as being part of this “awareness” stage .
The End of Business Pages? Business pages with the changes being promoted in the news feed update in early 2018 have been hit quite severely. The other day I heard, one more time, from a content marketer that his clients were complaining about the reach of blog posts on facebook.
– “Man where have you been” (I wondered)
It was clear that this change was about to happen. The degree in which it will affect your performance is dependent upon the engagement that your post will get.
More than ever before the engagement with a post published in a business page is crucial for the success of your effort. Be it as it may, business pages are suffering from facebook’s marketing trend announced in the beginning of 2018 – and this is likely to continue.
The Emergence of Personal Branding on Facebook: Facebook Vs LinkedIn. More than ever before personal branding is an option in facebook marketing. The trend towards the decreasing relevance of business pages is basically making people – and marketers – create personal branding pages.
Is this good, is this bad? Well one cannot say. From previous newsfeed updates we can understand that facebook basically doesn’t like one thing: shitty and deceiving content. They hate it when people are being fooled or tricked.
But one thing we know: facebook is aware of other social media platforms and changes/innovations to its features are not in vain. The emergence of personal branding on facebook basically aims to tackle LinkedIn competition. Period. This cannot be deceived or ignored.
Facebook Stories. In the past facebook stories were only accessible to business pages. But recently if you have a personal page and want to share your life to the world, facebook welcomes you. At route, and as Zuckerberg would say, facebook lives and breathes from engaging its users.
If you can’t be enticing enough as a free platform, people will leave. And, of course, recent changes to broaden the scope of those who have access to facebook stories would be expected.
Consideration: Organic Tools Reloaded
When you consider something as relevant you are not aware of it anymore. You are a bit more committed to learn or buy whatever this “something” is. Facebook groups and facebook live are examples of this consideration stage.
Facebook Groups. Facebook groups were relevant in the past but with the recent announcement by facebook that they will have relevance in newsfeed, people and business owners started utilising them more regularly. I certainly saw a difference in my newsfeed recently.
Facebook groups are also increasingly becoming a facebook marketing strategy for companies and personal brands. Groups are a way for facebook to bridge the divide between user and businesses in a way that aims to combine the two – high quality content is what normally drives interactions in these groups.
Be it as it may, the relevancy of facebook groups is likely to continue in 2019.
Facebook Live. Engagement, engagement, engagement. Facebook live allows it’s users and business pages to bond with their friends or clients. Facebook live has consolidated itself in 2018 as an awesome technical innovation to allow for better user experience and as an awesome tool to glue people in the network.
This trend is likely to continue.
Conversions: Facebook Ads Rock
Facebook Ads. On top of important changes in the way facebook ads work, nothing relevant came from the update in the beginning of 2018 to the performance and efficiency of facebook ads. That update impacted heavily on business pages performance. Ads didn’t suffer even though there were some bright heads at the time saying that “facebook ads are over”.
No, they are alive and well – and remember this is the main source of income for facebook.
Messenger Bot. A big trend in facebook nowadays is the emergence of messenger bot. This is actually QUITE BIG. For me this is the most important and relevant change that emerged in 2018 and is likely to characterize facebook marketing in 2019.
Messenger bots – when compared to other conversion tools – are highly efficient. All business owners especially would benefit from an efficient messenger bot strategy to galvanize whatever audience they want to be engaged with.
Certainly more on this to come on this blog. Stay tunned.