Facebook Makes Some (Interesting) Changes, Agencies Take Notice

Facebook Makes Some (Interesting) Changes, Agencies Take NoticeJust yesterday, I wrote about the share lockup expiring for Facebook and what that meant for the company. Looking back on their day, it seems like things went well. The company’s stock is up a little over 12% to 22.36.

While that’s great for financial- and investment-oriented people, many agencies might be thinking, “So what? Facebook’s stock doesn’t matter for my clients.” In some ways that is true, but yesterday, as the focus on the share lockups disappeared, Facebook rolled out a variety of changes in the afternoon that matter for Facebook and its users. These changes also matter to your clients.

What’s New This Time?

One of the most interesting changes in terms of business that Facebook has made is in regard to their news feed. According to Donna Tam yesterday afternoon, Facebook “works to keep its users happy by minimizing the number of promotional posts … in the News Feed” and have released a new “Pages Feed.” I’m a bit perplexed by this; promoted posts were a great way for businesses to pay money for a guarantee that people will see their posts.

Now people have the ability to click on their “Pages Feed” button on the left-hand side and see all the posts from their “liked” brands, companies, organizations and what have you. This is nice for the user. I like to be able to check on the brands, companies, and things I’ve “liked” when I want to.

When I checked my own Facebook and scrolled through the newsfeed, I realized many posts from brands or companies were gone. The only ones that show up are from friends liking a company’s post or page. Does this mean your clients should shy away from Facebook now? No, it means you need to learn how to adjust to these changes.

As Donna reminds us of Facebook’s “constant struggle to balance the needs of everyday users with those of businesses.” It now seems to me that content and information has all of the sudden become much more important for Facebook marketing. There’s no way to make people check their pages list; it’s not even being promoted that well by Facebook. The easiest way to get your clients’ posts recognized is to ensure lots of people enjoy the content and “like” it. Then that information will appear in other peoples’ feeds.

What Else is New?

Facebook has finally released its jobs platform to the public and they’re hoping it adds even more revenue to the company. According to J.J. Colao at Forbes, “the page allows users to search for jobs by location, industry and skill, apply to them directly through Facebook, and then share the jobs to their social network.” Sounds like a pretty complete package to me.

I can only see this bringing more users and more user-interaction into Facebook. That’s good for individuals and that’s good for your clients. Having a stronger Facebook presence is going to be increasingly more important, especially if this jobs platform starts chipping away at the niche market that LinkedIn controls. Think about it, would you rather reach around 170 million people or 1 billion in your employee search? We’ll be seeing what companies prefer in the future!

Mobile Changes? Finally!

In other areas, as Anita Li writes for Mashable, Facebook has (finally) added a “share” button to its mobile app. Anita reminds us that “as the button rolls out on mobile, sponsored posts … will likely get shared more often – further widening the reach of brand pages.” This is a great move by Facebook, and it’s one that counters the odd move to reduce promoted posts in users’ feeds.

Looking Forward

Facebook is going through a lot of changes lately, and they have to be. After not getting hammered by the stock market yesterday and seeing all of these new additions and changes, I still think they are making the right steps. I am skeptical of the pages list change in terms of what it means for agencies and their clients, but that could change again in the future. Now we just need to find out the best ways to get posts shared with the most people. Like I said above, I believe it comes down to quality content and useful information at this point.

What do you think about these changes from Facebook? Is the pages list a good idea for users and not for businesses?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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