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Friends before Brands: The 2018 Facebook Marketing Change

Facebook’s returning to its roots—personal connections and engagement. What does this mean for businesses? Changes.

“Ch-ch-ch-changes”

Whether spurred by Congress’s uncomfortable questions or a reborn commitment to users’ “health,” “happiness,” and “well-being,” Facebook’s algorithms over the next few months will shift dramatically. This shift moves away from helping members “find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

What does a Facebook “helping you have more meaningful social interactions” look like? It favors active engagement over passive consumption. It also favors private content over public content. In short, Facebook’s new algorithms will prioritize content created by family and friends and minimize public content like posts by brands, businesses, and media organizations.

“It will take months for this new focus to make its ways through all [Facebook] products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family, and groups.”

Mark Zuckerberg

A New 2018 Facebook Marketing Strategy

What does this mean for your business? The traditional method of sharing video and written content from your company’s Facebook profile isn’t going to cut it anymore.

And because Facebook is a pillar in today’s marketing world, marketing need to speedily revamp their 2018 Facebook marketing strategy. The question is how. In Mark Zuckerberg’s public announcement, he hints at how public content can survive these dramatic changes: “Public content . . . will be held to the same [new] standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

#1. The Importance of Employee Engagement

Engagement was already essential for a successful marketing campaign on Facebook, but now it’s doubly important. It’s not enough to create good content and hope that everyone will realize the value and engage with it. Your company must rely on a sustainable, authentic engagement boost.

It’s time to rally the troops: employee engagement may be your saving grace.

Luckily, companies have already created software that encourages employee engagement on social media. A good example is GaggleAMP, which gamifies the experience. Employees share content across different digital marketing platforms to earn points. When the company rewards employees for their GaggleAMP points, it incentivizes employees to share company content.

“The social networks have helped transform rank and file company employees into digital citizens. Companies are starting to both acknowledge and embrace this by fostering both employee engagement and advocacy. The companies that have already embraced this are now reaping the benefits in terms of positive impact on sales, marketing and employee satisfaction.”

Glenn Gaudet, CEO & Founder of GaggleAMP Inc.

Does it work? We talked to Gabby Green, Marketing Operations employee at Jive Communications, about how Jive uses GaggleAMP to give their Facebook marketing a boost. After using GaggleAMP for five months, Jive’s Facebook account saw a reach growth of 109%!

#2. Engaging with Facebook Live

This new shift is somewhat counterproductive to Facebook’s previous goal in becoming a leader of video content. Over the past few years, Facebook has incentivized video content. This has led businesses to invest money and time into video teams and creating graphic explainer videos. Subsequently, you’ve seen a lot of slick, professional, short, and engaging videos filling up your News Feed.

facebook video campaign ebook

In Zuckerberg’s statement, he provides another clue for marketing departments to survive this change: “We’ve seen people interact way more around live videos than regular ones.” So instead of focusing on producing those perfectly manicured videos for Facebook, marketing needs to master Facebook Live.

It’s a Learning Experience

Facebook’s announcement today significantly puts companies at a disadvantage on Facebook. But don’t panic. We’ve tackled algorithm changes before. Breathe. Start with focusing on employee engagement (with tools like GaggleAMP) and Facebook Live for your 2018 Facebook marketing strategy. These are excellent strategies to address these new changes, and the rest we’ll just have to learn along the way.