THE EVOLUTION OF FACEBOOK
Let’s take a quick step back in time. It is 2012 again; Obama is still POTUS, Apple’s iPhone 4S is still the phone of choice, and Facebook and Instagram’s timelines still run linearly. To some, these are the golden days of the social media sphere; an arena unskewed by Facebook & Instagram’s algorithms. During this era, brands could post their content and almost 100% guarantee that their followers would see it for zero cost to them; the catch being that the follower would have to scroll far enough through their feed just to see it, let alone to interact with it.
Fast forward to 2014; Facebook decides to disrupt the market and change their algorithm for how people see content on their news feed. Queue mass panic amongst businesses and celebrities trying to reach their followers. What wasn’t realized by these pages was the importance of Facebook evolving to this style of news feed.
As Facebook grows and more and more posts are being shared, space on the news feed becomes much more competitive. Facebook has tough problems to solve because they need to prioritize what people want to see and engage with. If they are not able to show their users what they want, it promotes user drop off which prevents effective advertising; effectively killing their business model.
QUEUE THE ADVENT OF PAID SOCIAL MEDIA
Paid social media is some of the most effective outreach marketing that a brand can do to interact with followers and spread out their reach. Paid social media guarantees that your posts make it to where users are paying attention. The first step is to find a worthy asset for your post. Photos and video engage nearly twenty times that of text-only updates, so try to stick with visual postings to promote.
Professionally photographed lifestyle imagery works wonders to connecting new users. Be aware of the space that your product takes up in the imagery; if your product fills a good proportion of the frame, the likelihood of a viewer engaging with the post drops significantly due to consumer’s natural instinct to avoid ads.
At the end of the day, there will be no going back to the old days of being able to get away without paying for social media engagement. The best thing that a brand can do is put their nose to the grindstone, create and post incredible content and promote that content. Doing so will put them in a position to gain engagement, new customers, and enhance sales.