Facebook’s “Like” product launch, with its’ associated Open Graph API, represents a truly a pivotal moment in social media.
However you view this news, it’s a pretty safe bet that it will result in a widely expanded network of sites that drive an enormous increase in “like actions”. This, in turn, will drive an exponential increase in the volume of actions (noise) that offers to enhance and/or clog a consumer’s Facebook News Feed.
Another Brick in the Wall
For the most part, it appears that almost anything that is posted by a business today on its Facebook Wall finds its way to the News Feed of its Fans. However, when you project forward, it’s not so obvious that this will continue to be a valid assumption.
It’s not clear how the Facebook News Feed will handle a Business’ posted content when the volume of Like-induced content hits a deluge of new noise from around the web. Competing with cool videos, news and cat photoz will indeed be a challenge. There is a related risk that consumers will start to hide business-oriented Likes as they cross their busy personal News Feed.
Search Industry Deja Vu?
Facebook manages a set of algorithms which continually decides (for you) what is to appear in your News Feed, much like Google maintains a relevance algorithm for your Search results. It’s a critical value-add to the consumer experience, and it’s probably a safe bet that some form of popularity will continue to dictate how anything gets above the noise.
We can look to the evolution of the search marketing business to project the impact of this behavior. I would bet that businesses will face a less certain ability to promote their content into their followers/liker’s personal news feeds. The probable impact will be increased visibility for FB’s advertising products. The Facebook audience can be very highly targeted through their Display Ad products. We can speculate that this is a desirable outcome for FaceBook – separating commercial intent into ad products distribution versus personal news.
Where to Go?
While it’s reasonable to anticipate that a business will increasingly be pointed towards Facebook Ad Products, only time will tell how business spending will or should behave. This shift creates both opportunity and risk. It’s highly likely that a new value proposition for spending on “News Feed SEO services” will become part of the social marketing landscape (services designed to boost the organic ranking of a particular item into consumer News Feeds).
How a small business interacts with their social network in the coming 2-3 years will undoubtedly morph. Will Facebook’s impressive reach and unique targeting abilities give it a sufficient edge? Will Small Businesses succeed in creating better “opted-in” channels through which it distributes offers to local consumers? Will search and social media placement migrate into more unified advertising options that carry compelling simplicity and ROI?
Will Twitter be a Good Diversification Play?
While Facebook maintains a dominating position in social involvement with consumers, these new changes may be increasing the argument for a parallel bet on Twitter. Facebook’s new direction has the potential to make it a less predictable tool for delivering offers and specials to your customers. By contrast, Twitter (to date) represents a more explicitly opted-in consumer live marketing distribution tool. The delivery of content is not subject to the delivery algorithm whims of Facebook’s News Feed.
We’ll Be Watching
Our mission is to stay on top of these trends and changes, and help organize the best tools and places that expand the quality of their social networks and the ROI of social media spending. We pride ourselves on staying ahead of this fast moving space, and adapting to the changes with simplified and effective live marketing solutions for small businesses.