Facebook Confirmed As Ad Platform -- Did You Not Get The Memo?

"You can't kid a kidder." I was recently introducing my youngest to this phrase as I revealed that, hard as it may be to imagine, I was once her age too and trying to get one over on my parents.

I'm sure it's exactly how most of us feel this morning hearing that Facebook is altering its algorithm. Pics of Christmas trees, puppies and kids in school uniforms are on the rise. Posts from businesses are on the decline.

You've got to hand it to Zuckerberg -- he is a master of spin. In presenting this move as a means of making feed more "meaningful" he is striking a chord with Facebook users across the globe. This could actually look like he's doing the right thing by users. More cute kittens and updates on what an ex has just done, fewer invitations to download a brochure on sheds or purchase an invention that looks amazing, but is actually on Amazon for a better price and with free delivery.

The problem is that Facebook has history here. It wanted to get businesses investing in the platform and so it welcomed their budget with open arms. It had the attention, the companies wanted exposure to, all (mostly) free of charge. Of course, that was never going to last long.

A couple of years ago, the algorithm was tightened and social media managers were sent in to a panic as organic reach feel off a cliff. Presumably, it varied but the accepted wisdom at the time was organic reach was only hitting around 10% of people who had liked a firm's page. 

The answer was simple, and it had been there all along. Advertise. So, that's what a lot of companies have done and that's what Facebook wants to see more of. By tweaking the algorithm again against businesses, in favour of friends' posts, Zuckerberg is tightening the screws even more on companies.

To be honest, I think we have to see this for what it is. It isn't a case of Zuckerberg "fixing" Facebook during 2018, although it may look like it because that's how it's being presented. 

No -- it's final confirmation for those who didn't get the memo a couple of years ago. Facebook is an advertising platform. It used the classic ploy of bringing in businesses with a promise of lots of free exposure and has gradually whittled that down. 

If you want to guarantee being seen on Facebook, you have to advertise. It's kind of been that way for at least the past couple of years, but now the social giant is being even more blatant about it. 

Advertising was always social's dirty secret. Most sane social media marketers knew the platform makes an incredible advertising platform. All that knowledge about people who like you, all the profile details and like histories of those who have yet to hear about you. It's got to be the most data-driven ad platform going, hasn't it?

So the bad news is that if you weren't already aware, brands have been suckered in to investing in Facebook on the original promise of getting free exposure. The good news is that it's actually a good place to put budget once you have accepted that it's an advertising platform and the days of free shoes shines are nearly all but gone.

1 comment about "Facebook Confirmed As Ad Platform -- Did You Not Get The Memo?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 16, 2018 at 8:36 a.m.

    Of course, FB, is an advertising "platform"----or "medium"-----but whether it's "a good place to put budget", depends on a lot of factors----ad visibility, reach issues for actual ad schedules, lack of suitable content, honest audience reporting, etc.---that need to be considered.

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