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What Facebook’s recent updates mean for Facebook marketers

Until now, Facebook marketers have made acquiring “likes” the main focus of their Facebook marketing strategy. The number of likes determined your success as a Facebook marketer but not the quality of your interaction with your community – not anymore! Simply attracting a “like” from a fan will no longer guarantee your message will reach your fans on their newsfeed.

In an ever evolving effort to keep its users hooked, Facebook intends to present only the most interesting and relevant content to its users. The best way to do so is by measuring the engagement between a page and its messages to its fans.

This means in order to make your way into users’ newsfeeds you need to publish engaging, thought provoking messages that will compel your community to want to interact and associate with your messages. If you’re thinking “Well, it’s ok I’ll just post more often, one of my posts is bound to appear in newsfeed, right?” Then I’m afraid you’re wrong – very very wrong!

Facebook users can choose to unsubscribe from your updates and unmark particular posts as a top story, so if you don’t keep your community excited about you, I’m afraid editing you out of their feeds is just simply a click away. Over time, Facebook will monitor a user’s newsfeed in order to provide them with exactly what they want to see, so if your posts are often unmarked as top stories and your fans have unsubscribed from your posts, soon all you’ll become is a page people used to like. Considering the average user is connected to 80 pages, groups and events, that’s hardly an inspiring thought.

To help Facebook marketers, a feature called Sponsored Stories has also been introduced. Similar to how Facebook’s Ticker is a twin to Twitter’s Timeline, Sponsored Stories is Zuckerberg’s clone of Twitter’s Promoted Tweets. Sponsored Stories gives Facebook marketers the chance to turn their more popular posts into an advert and capitalise on the interactions their community have had with the message and the brand.

Any true social media marketer understands the power of recommendations. 91% of users will most likely buy a product based on a recommendation, as they trust the opinion of fellow consumers – a brand will always recommend their own products, whereas fellow users are likely to share their frustrations and satisfactions with the product/brand/service. The more users that recommend a product/brand or service, the more likely it is that someone else considering a purchase will read the message and be influenced to follow suit.

This principle makes the blogging and forum communities for online brand reputation management crucial. So if many of your Facebook fans like, check-in, or now (thanks to Facebook gestures) are reading, listening or watching a particular post, you can turn this into a Facebook ad and compel users in your fan’s networks to do the same. Your online community are some of your best endorsers, let them help you grow your network and online influence.