Yesterday, Facebook announced a bold new direction for the platform. Focused on encrypting the world’s largest social network, along with reorienting posts to reach a smaller more engaged community rather than a traditional newsfeed with large quantities of content, Facebook will roll out the changes this year.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was quoted in yesterday’s Washington Post saying, “As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms. Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally, which is why we build social networks.”
What does this mean for social media marketing campaigns? We predict it will have three specific effects:
- Influencer marketing will become more important. Facebook has already removed over 5,000 segmentation options in the past three months. When it comes to building an audience for an ad, more challenges will arise, and later this year they’ll roll out a feature for users to clear their history. We predict that Facebook, in an effort to protect more data, will pull even more targeting options. With fewer options, comes more reliance on voices that carry weight within the community we want to reach. Micro-influencers (those with approximately 2,000 – 50,000 followers) will become more and more important to marketers, as they can use a trusted voice to reach these communities that they can no longer target as efficiently.
- Heavily sourced data for targeting will become more important. Gone now are the days where a marketer could post an ad, select a built-in audience on the platform and watch it perform with some optimization. Marketers will become and are already getting super-savvy. Using AI, data, and third-party targeting tools will become de facto. With so many people on Facebook and increasingly fewer on-platform targeting options, there are fewer ways for your average marketer to find their target audiences on-platform.
- Costs will (continue to) grow. With the decline of organic content viewability in the newsfeed over the past two years, every marketer on Facebook is competing for eyeballs with dollars now. Costs to reach audiences are rising more than ever, and with fewer targeting options to come, marketers have to get smarter about where and when their money is being spent. More testing, better content, and more expensive productions will be needed to create more ‘thumb-stopping’ content.
Facebook remains a great platform for having an engaging conversation with a defined audience – perfect for Amelie’s behavior-change approach. Our philosophy, to look at our clients’ challenges from the standpoint of asking targeted audiences to change – for the better – has frequently found a strong and positive response on social.