Marketing Decisions During Social Media Upheaval
Social media sites, especially the biggest players, have been in upheaval due to the political and cultural divides in the country over the past few years. Data shows that, while the dominance of Facebook and Twitter is not in jeopardy, their user base is changing. Here is some data about how social media marketing by business is changing and whyi. Though the article is about changes that began in 2018, the trends have been accelerating as the major sites have accelerated their censorship of certain types of content and even whole business pages.
Facebook Changing Business Page Strategies
Here are some quotes from Mr. Zuckerbergii himself that clearly indicate that Facebook is working toward lessening the reach of businesses in favor of personal interactions:
“But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.
The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.”
Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.
Though there was not any detail in the quoted article, Facebook has been employing a strategy to increase personal interactions apparently at the expense of business reach. This is interesting as their revenue model must be taking a hit. Though it is not possible to know the impact due to the secrecy of their algorithms, business should take note.
Twitter Changes in the Past 2-3 Years That Impact Business Marketing
- Access cut to third-party apps – Twitter cut off API access of third-party apps. Though this is perhaps old news to some, it is an indicator of other actions that could be at play that are impacting business marketing in a negative way.
- Automation of tweets – It is prohibited for a business to use automation to post to multiple accounts with substantially similar material. This includes likes, retweets, and follows through automation processes.
- Verification expanded – Though initially intended for celebrities or big names, verification has been expanding. This is in part to control what could be false endorsements.
The problem with these announcements is that they become news and then fade into the background of the busy business world and marketing plans. The announcements themselves are the beginning, but the ongoing changes in the media sites’ code are often not announced. If your business has been marketing on social media, have you had to adjust over time due to a drop in results?
New Social Sites Cropping Up
Along with the major splits in politics and cultures in the country, new social sites have come into being. They have drawn a significant number of users from Facebook and Twitter. Sites like Gab.com, Parler (currently offline and trying to find a host provider), and Telegram are siphoning off users from the big players.
Every business spending money on social media marketing should have analytics in place to determine how effective it is and if their expense is justified. A new look at analytics as these changes have evolved could indicate a need to reallocate budget or change strategies.
i Facebook and Twitter Upheaval: How Social Media Marketing Changed, SocialMediaExaminer.con
ii Zuckerberg quotes, Facebook