Social Media Managers First

What The F*ck Zuck?

So, Facebook is rocking the boat and while everybody is running for the life-rafts, nobody is sure if they should get in or not because maybe, just maybe, the ship won’t capsize.

That’s what today feels like anyway. I’m sitting here, watching Mari Smith on Facebook Live (just as they want me to) and I’m commenting and participating in a meaningful way (just like they want me to) and I’m slowly reaching for the life vest behind me that feels just slightly out of reach. I’m hoping nobody will notice that I intend to be one of those who make it out alive no matter what, and all the while I’m calmly stroking the heads of my clients with the other hand saying “Don’t worry, it’s all going to be just fine.”

But really … is it?

None of us know yet. There is no data. There is no solid moving forward plan.

Even (and in true character) Zuckerberg himself is pretty vague in what he’s saying. I feel like he should be delivering his speech with a soundtrack of Kumbaya My Lord playing in the background … not really the sort of solid feel one wants  used to back up their $100,000.00 Facebook ad budget plan.

So, I sit, I read, I watch, I absorb and something that Mari says jumps out at me. She mentions (along with many other great points) the ongoing Facebook battle with the government on the fake news & click bait front and I wonder, could this all be in reaction to that?

As we all know, there have been a lot of (failed) attempts by Facebook to apologize for it’s role in spreading misinformation, coming to us mostly in the form of algorithmic changes, public statements and the creation of the ever hated Explore feed (and then trying to shove us all in there, wasn’t that fun?).

Facebook is constantly talking about improving the user experience by way of increasing personal connections. I get that.

Facebook is under major pressure to clean up their act. I get that too.

Facebook makes more money than I can fathom off of business PAGES and I don’t think they have suddenly gone from multi-billion dollar company to multi-billion dollar charity yet it appears as though they’re trying to push away pages. This I don’t get.

But then, I read more. In particular a great piece by Jon Loomer and it appears he’s among the many of us sitting here thinking “What the f*ck Zuck?!” (Hey I may just use that as the title for this piece)

It’s one of those moments when you find a kindred spirit out in the wild and you’re like “I like you” and really the major reason for that is because you agree with them. Jon says (in commenting on another piece written on Tech Crunch by Josh Constine)

“One wildcard here is that diminished organic reach could increase competition and costs. But that still doesn’t mean fewer ads.”

In all the posts and comments and videos etc that I have turned to, seeking information on this disruptive (to say the least) announcement by Facebook, I can’t seem to find anything that states that paid posts will be taken out of the regular newsfeed. My gut reaction to the announcement was to ask, how do they make more money from this? And I think this may be the answer.

Could it be that what Facebook is creating is in fact a very strategic inflation of the value of ad space in the regular newsfeed? Time will tell but that sure would work well for them wouldn’t it? Ultimately if this is true Facebook will end up making MORE money by limiting the space for businesses to advertise and being able to subsequently charge more for those ads (supply and demand).  At the same time they’re offering the kind-hearted, caring-friend persona to the users – having given up so much to help make our experience better.

So maybe (and yes I am saying “maybe” along with everyone else because we simply don’t know) the Explorer feed is really nothing more than a distraction tactic? It was a miserable failure last time they tried to get us over there so now they will just throw us in … unless we can pay to stay … maybe.

But let’s take a better look at that Explore feed because MAYBE you can buy cheaper ads over there? Wouldn’t that be brilliant of them? Keep your ad revenue at play in the regular feed (which by the way was about to max out on available space any second) and add a whole new feed for businesses to pay to advertise on … a brand new shiny empty feed to boot! A feed that could be largely paid really, as that’s not a space for “friends” to connect so monetizing the space wouldn’t be considered slimey or annoying … maybe.

Maybe I should just keep hold of this life vest I managed to grab while writing this … just in case … but most likely all I’m going to really need is a whole lot of money to work with.

Ultimately though, in the non-doomsday version of things, there are a lot of great tips and ideas to consider when sorting out an immediate moving forward plan. The main theme seems to be to focus on creating content that people will really engage with. I highly recommend Jon Loomer’s piece linked to above and watch Mari Smith’s Facebook Live video.

To make that simpler, here it is:

Extra Tip

As this is all theoretical presently and it’s hard to create a solid plan with half-information and I’m sure you’re looking for an immediate action-item, if you change only one thing in your Facebook strategy immediately, it should be creating Facebook Live videos on a regular basis.

2 Comments

  1. Mari Smith says:

    HI Mary – awesome post and gotta tip my hat for that title, hahaaa!! Love it. Thanks heaps for the shoutout. Verrrry interesting times just now, for sure.