Feb 23, 2018    Burn Book

Mark Zuckerberg Just Screwed (Bad) Businesses

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It happened. Facebook armageddon arrived for brands, media, advertising agencies, marketing firms, and businesses. Sadly, though, there’s no team of scrappy oil drillers lead by a world weary, grizzled, gravel-voiced Bruce Willis to nuke the life destroying asteroid that is Mark Zuckerberg’s whims.

Recently, Facebook and Zuck decided to change their newsfeed priorities to lessen the emphasis on content posted or created by brands, news outlets, etc. Instead they want to refill the feed with real, human content, like baby pics and status updates about diets that for sure aren’t actually making the progress the person posting about it claims that it is.

Traffic to websites directed from Facebook dropped nearly 50% in the second half of 2017, as this chart from Statista illustrates.

For the health of American society this newsfeed reprioritization might not be a bad thing. That’s mostly because this happened after Facebook and our country came to the horrifying realization that pretty much everyone we know is pathologically and aggressively dumb — not to mention indifferent — when it comes to sharing stories that are #FakeNews, as our president calls them, but could also be accurately described as, “Lies that are mean and crazy as sh*t.”

But where does this newsfeed news leave your business and your brand? How are you supposed to do social advertising now? What will our nerd overlord allow you or your ad agency to do?

The answer, if you or your marketing firm has been doing your social media marketing right, is that it shouldn’t really matter much.

(If whoever does your marketing and advertising tells you this is going to cause a “big shift” we have bad news for you, that’s a massive red flag.)

So Facebook wants personal content? Your brand should already be personal, especially on social media. There will be some adjustment, sure — we think more utilization of handheld phone videos and the sorts of photo posts you’d put on your personal page are a great start. That said, the people running your social media accounts should have already been writing and posting like human beings. If they weren’t then you might want to find some new help.

Really, the Facebook newsfeed algorithm change is likely only a death sentence for bad content. So yeah, any businesses, brands, media, ad agencies, and marketing firms putting out uncreative, unengaging content are screwed. We’re okay with that because, if anything, they should’ve been screwed sooner, instead of rewarded for their laziness.

So maybe what happened wasn’t armageddon. Maybe it’s an opportunity for the well run, deserving businesses out there willing to be creative and personable to leave their lazy, undeserving counterparts even further behind.

That’s what we think.

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