Here’s why Facebook See First is good for creative marketers

“Content marketing” is the new “Content is King” – even though, as usual, buzzwords and jargon change, but the concept remains the same: do you want fans and followers and engagement and “likes” and “hearts” and “reblogs”? Easy: come up with good content.

Up until now brands had to create content, then push it with Facebook Ads, this way being sure their posts had the right visibility. Moreover, there was an irrefutable and unchallengeable Gospel: the more fans you have, the higher you are on people’s feeds.

Things are going to change pretty soon, though, and these recent moves from Facebook tell us a couple of things about the evolution of the social network.

From DIGIDAY: ‘Facebook’s growing influence on news consumption, in 5 charts’

‘Platforms’ efforts to draw in readers and court publishers are paying off: When it comes to news consumption, the role of Facebook and Twitter continues to rise.’ ‘The platforms’ rise as news sources is fraught, though. Facebook, which has dominated publishers’ traffic, is more likely to surface fluff over serious news — a discrepancy it pins on the user-driven objectivity of its algorithm.

“There are multiple things at play that determine what people see in their Facebook feeds, including their own choices, choices of those in their networks and also the choices that Facebook makes with its algorithm,” said Pew Research director Amy Mitchell. “But there’s still a lot that we have yet to understand.”

Obviously, we are taking news and publishers here, but it is not hard to understand that the trend will influence every brand, regardless of what they sell. Conclusion: people look for stuff they like (especially fluff) and their feed is influenced by stuff (especially fluff) their friends and pals like, therefore users are more in power than before, and less tolerant of intrusions from brands that don’t really mean a lot to them.

On top of this, as TechCrunch claims: ‘Likes Aren’t Enough. Now Facebook Pages Need You To Add Them To “See First”’.  

‘Facebook told businesses to buy Page Likes for years, saying that’s how they could reach people through the News Feed. But over time, a natural increase in competition for space in the feed plus increased restrictions on promotional and marketing posts have eroded the reach of Pages, and subsequently some of the value of Page Likes.

See FirstNow Facebook has created an echelon above Likes. A new bar for Pages to push for if they want an intimate/lucrative relationship with people who care about them. It’s called “See First”. Starting in the U.S., users can now go to Pages, friends, or public figures’ profiles and add them to their See First list that’s managed in the revamped News Feed Preferences. Getting added to that list guarantees all their posts will appear at the top of a user’s News Feed with a blue star.

Compare that to the small, dwindling fraction of a Page’s fans who Like them that see each of their posts, and you’ll understand why I call See First the new Holy Grail for social marketers. If they can get added, they’ll benefit from not only their most popular posts reaching someone, but anything they post…including overt marketing or sales messages that Facebook tends to hide in the News Feed. It’s these posts that actually sell things or drive traffic away from Facebook that earn marketers the most.

The feature could let Facebook users tailor their feeds to very specific purposes rather than a mix of everyone they’ve friended or followed. For example, setting a few blogs and newspapers as See First will basically turn the top of your feed into a news reader. Add fashion brands or ecommerce platforms and it becomes a shopping discovery site. Select athletic teams and players and it becomes your sports page.’

Conclusion: it doesn’t matter how many “likes” your page counts, it doesn’t matter how much you squander on Facebook Ads either, if a user decides she/he wants to see the cousin’s page on her/his feed instead of yours, you are doomed.

This means that, if you want to be on people’s feed with your content, you will need content that people actually like. Yes, you will actually have to provide GOOD CONTENT. Who you gonna call, then? Ghostbusters? Nope, you are going to call someone that can provide GOOD CONTENT (like Appnova, of course. Ah!)

What will happen to all those SEO Wizard and “Algorithm & numbers & science first” Gurus when brands will finally invest in content that matters to people, and well-written stuff and beautiful imagery and funny videos instead of dull stuff supported by big money to “invest” in ads?

The future is bright, for the creative marketer.

What do you think?

Appnova is a digital agency specializing in web design, UX, e-commerce, branding, digital marketing and social media.

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