Facebook’s Evolution from Social Platform to Content Publisher

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Traditionally thought of as a community-building platform, it appears that Facebook is destined to shift toward content publishing from a marketing perspective. When people think about Facebook marketing, the discussion usually revolves around likes, engagement and impressions. With the impact of page likes dwindling, this engagement-based model may no longer be the best strategy to employ for brands using Facebook.

The Devolution of Page Likes

Page likes have always been at the center of Facebook marketing, as these likes serve as a medium for brands to connect with their audiences. If a member of your audience likes your brand’s page, in theory they will now see your brand’s content and become a member of your Facebook community.

Currently, this model is being jeopardized as brands are faced with competition from other organizations via original content as well as paid ads. With so many other pieces of content being published every day, standing out is becoming difficult for even the most creative content.

The difficulty with which brands are receiving organic traffic from their audiences is reflected in research showing a steady decline in organic reach. The results from this research indicated that most Facebook pages currently have an organic reach of 6.5 percent, which is a drastic decline from the 17 percent average from two years ago. This data suggests that the page like system is no longer bringing people back to fan pages, forcing brands to find a new strategy for leveraging their page.

Paid Content

With the old system for sharing content and engaging audiences on the decline, paid content is emerging as a necessity for brands that want to take value away from the platform. It appears that Facebook has created a system in which brands create a page and funnel people to it, only to have to pay for sponsored content in order to have people revisit it.

This development leaves brands with a few choices, one of which is to start paying for these sponsored posts in order to guarantee that people discover the brand’s content.

Improve Your Content

Another strategy is to stick to using the current community-based model for Facebook marketing but to do it better than you already are. In order to spark conversations and get people’s attention in cluttered newsfeeds, brands must come up with stories that are worth looking at.

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One example of a brand that is currently using this strategy and upping the ante in terms of content is Ceramcor. This company is currently leveraging Facebook to publish vibrant, useful content that gets people’s attention and brings traffic back to its page. For instance, it has created lists of new recipes that users might enjoy and offers compilations of cooking tips. This content gives people something valuable to take away from the brand and makes revisiting its page worthwhile.

If your brand is going to stick to the traditional content model, it needs to do so in a way that makes a splash in people’s newsfeeds and stands out from paid content.

Facebook the Content Publisher

The art of using Facebook as a community-management tool is slowly being forgotten as the platform is becoming a content publisher. This puts Facebook in the same category as television in the sense that brands are now using it as a one-way tool for delivering advertisements and content to their audiences.

While this might not be a bad thing in the long run, it certainly means that companies need to being reevaluating the way in which they plan to use Facebook in the future. Rather than wasting resources trying to grow a community that is destined to fail, it might be best to start considering paid content, a more developed content-marketing scheme or a move away from Facebook altogether. Either way, it seems that Facebook is a platform that will continue to change, meaning that marketers and content strategy must change along with it.