The announcement earlier this month by social media titan Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook’s News Feed will undergo a revamp sent a collective chill down the spines of brands, businesses and news publishers around the globe.Now that the dust has settled and as we wait for the Facebook rollouts to begin, let’s pause for a moment and examine the potential impact of these changes on the social media landscape and what it means for LinkedIn.
For those lucky enough to have been hiding under a beach umbrella for the last month and missed the memo, here’s the recap: Facebook, with the intention of creating “more meaningful social interactions” is changing its algorithm so that content heavy news feeds are out and ‘people content’ ie warm, fuzzy posts featuring your friends and family, are in.According to Zuckerberg, Facebook was built, “to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That's why we've always put friends and family at the core of the experience”. But in reality, the opposite has been true, and I know myself as a consumer, I have increasingly switched off from Facebook, thanks to the seemingly unstoppable stream of content from news sites, businesses, brands and sales-hungry bloggers.
At this point, it might be wise to declare (before someone else does) that, as an agile digital marketing specialist, I too am guilty of utilising Facebook as a useful medium to engage, promote and deliver Lucy Bingle content on what is a highly visible platform.
Who will be most affected by these changes? According to Rick Edmonds of the nonprofit Poynter Institute, it is those publishers that rely on Facebook as their primary source of traffic that will be hurt the most by the Facebook News Feed changes, as will sites that invested heavily in video to attract users.In light of this, marketers and publishers will now be compelled to review their strategies, and they will be left with little choice but to consider alternative ways to distribute their content, whether this be via email newsletters, LinkedIn, an optimised website or other channels.
For those of you who know me, I have worked in the marketing space for almost 20 years and over the years have gravitated towards LinkedIn as my primary marketing channel. One of the reasons I established my business was because I found it to be so incredibly underutilised yet by far the most effective means of marketing as you can very quickly demonstrate your expertise, build brand awareness and generate real leads. Over the last few years LinkedIn use has ramped up considerably and now boasts over 500 million members.
So, where to from here? My advice is, don’t dally! Jump on the LinkedIn bandwagon, set up your company page, get your head around the LinkedIn publishing platform and play about with the new lead-generation and targeting tools such as the fantastic recent addition of the native video function (available on the LinkedIn Mobile App).
Most importantly, keep in mind that the rules of engagement on LinkedIn are different. This is not the place for fake news, fake profiles and vitriolic outbursts. LinkedIn is social media's most trusted professional content platform and we like it that way. Jennifer Grazel, Director, Head of Global Marketing, Enterprise Services at LinkedIn says this trust has evolved because the platform is, “founded on people’s professional brands, (and) people expect a certain value exchange – both from us as a host and from their fellow members and brands. When you find a platform that is safe and delivers for your brand, it makes sense to use it to its fullest extent. Ms Grazel cites companies such as EY, JPMorgan Chase and American Express that have led the way on LinkedIn. “They maintain a constant presence, enabling execs and employees alike to surface their content, and finding new ways to add user value”
And finally, to all those Facebook marketers and publishers facing a new dawn, don’t be disheartened and stay inspired. The fun (aka challenging) part of being part of the digital media story is that we all must be prepared to pivot and change when necessary.
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