“Facebook isn’t necessarily backstabbing marketers.” – Jeff Revoy, former VP of Search at Yahoo
If your company is thinking of leaving Facebook, you better think twice. That’s the main message from Jeff Revoy, former VP of Search at Yahoo, in an article he recently wrote for Fast Company.
Revoy, who is now the CEO of a social media management platform called Viralheat, argued in the article that Facebook is simply “going down the natural path of marketing evolution.” It’s something we’ve seen before: Facebook is simply following the same path that search engines Google and Yahoo took to monetize their platforms. He wrote:
As part of their initial go-to-market plans, Yahoo and Google offered free traffic for a limited time to business sites. As a result, Yahoo and Google were able to improve and refine the relevance or search while simultaneously building a large and loyal user base.
Once they achieved this, both companies monetized their large audiences by offering advertising through Yahoo Overture and Google Adwords. Businesses that initially enjoyed free site traffic had to start paying for top results as well as invest in SEO in order to maintain quality traffic and leads.
Today, businesses understand that investing in paid search and SEO is necessary to drive relevant traffic to their business. More recently, Google increased focus to the quality of content in paid and organic search. When companies try to game the system with generic, bland content or excessive links, their rankings and traffic drop.
If you want to keep rankings or traffic high, you have to pay Google to stay on top in sponsored links and keep up with SEO.
But the more compelling reason not to leave Facebook has to do with quality. Facebook, according to Revoy, is simply trying to prioritize quality content when it tinkers with its newsfeed algorithm.
So what should social media managers do if they’ve seen their traffic on Facebook drop?
Businesses should focus on creating “good, timely content that is relevant to its audience,” according to Revoy.
“Don’t let a few evolutionary marketing changes cause you to breakup with Facebook,” Revoy offered. “Instead, work to keep the relationship strong and effective by understanding the changes and adapting your strategy.”
- Try different post formats. Images, in particular, tend to get more engagement on the site.
- Get to know your audience. That will give you a better shot at delivering the type of content that they will find engaging.
- Figure out what “engaging” means for your community. Let the numbers do the talking; check Facebook Insights to see what your community is responding to.
- Treat Facebook as part of a bigger customer engagement plan. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket–employ Twitter, email marketing and other tactics to engage your customers.
- Tag other pages, when appropriate. When you tag other pages, their fans might see it as well. Plus, it’s a nice thing to do.
- Advertise. For important campaigns or critical updates, Facebook ads can amplify your message.
Social media marketing is all about consistency, so follow these tips on a regular basis and you should see some traction on Facebook.
Marketers’ relationship with Facebook is evolving—but it is a story we’ve seen before. Don’t let sensational headlines stir you towards a bad decision: Facebook is still a valuable tool for marketers.