Facebook Zero: How have our recommendations for Pages changed?

I’m writing this a few days after what has become known as Facebook Zero.

The day that Facebook appeared to suggest we might be looking at a future of zero organic reach for Pages.

I’ve read through reams of recommendations from experts and been inundated with ads on my News Feed from gurus offering the solution to fix the problem of Facebook Zero.

And it all got me thinking about how my own recommendations when I’m training clients might change.

What I’m now recommending to clients in the light of Facebook Zero

I’ve updated a few Facebook training slide decks and honestly, other than referencing Facebook Zero and tweaking a bit of copy here and there, I’ve changed very little. I do think some Pages will be hugely (and negatively) impacted. News and media Pages will be hit hard, Pages that game engagement, the click bait merchants. We may also see a general reduction in the proportion of organic Page posts on the News Feed and an increase in the daily photo of whatever your cousin ate for breakfast. But I’d put money on you still seeing just as many ads: on News Feed, in the right hand column, in videos (don’t you HATE those?), in Messenger, in apps, on Instagram, and at some point coming soon I’m sure, in Groups.

A fair number of things I’ve always recommended as good practice for Pages have been confirmed by the Zuckerberg/Mosseri announcements. For instance, I have always said that tumbleweed content will affect not just the reach of that individual post, but also your overall Page reputation both in the algorithm, but also with your fans. Facebook Head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri has now confirmed that.

I’ve taught for the last couple of years that Facebook’s focus is on Friends and Family first, that it knows users prefer that over public (Page) content. This was referenced by Mosseri in his somewhat under-publicised F8 conference talk back in 2016. What Facebook doesn’t explicitly reference either then or now is that in it’s research what people particularly object to is a News Feed full of ads. It’s the ads we really don’t like rather than the organic content from Pages we have actually chosen to follow. 

It’s also fair to say that in June 2017 we flagged Facebook’s new mission statement to “Bring the world closer together” and said then that this was a huge opportunity for Facebook Groups and that brands would be wise to consider a strategic shift away from Pages to Groups. And that is exactly what Facebook Zero has delivered. I’d written a blog post recommending Facebook Groups a whole year earlier than that (in June 2016).

I’ve leafed back through the booked I wrote in 2016, Winning at Facebook Marketing with Zero Budget, and with the odd exception (back then it was OK to use Reactions to, err, “encourage” engagement) the vast majority of the advice it contains on how to get the best out of the News Feed algorithm still stands firm.

Get your own copy of my updated list of top 10 recommendations for Facebook Pages

What I have done is update our Ultimate Guide to Facebook Marketing. This is a Top 10 of the things you must do on your Facebook Page right now. The list of 10 things has not changed. What I have changed is added some explanatory copy in the light of Facebook Zero that reinforces what I am recommending. Zuckerberg and Mosseri have nicely confirmed an awful lot of what I’ve been banging on about since about the year zero!

The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Marketing

You’ll see a box to sign up for our Ultimate Guide for Facebook Marketing near the top of this page. It’s a handy checklist of all the key things to maximise your organic reach together with examples and explanatory text.

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Marie Page

About Marie Page

Marie Page is one of the UK’s leading Facebook marketing experts. She is a founding partner of digital marketing consultancy The Digiterati and the Digiterati Academy e-learning portal for marketers and entrepreneurs. Her award-winning Master's Dissertation was the culmination of three years' academic research into Facebook that resulted in a book (and companion online course) 'Winning at Facebook Marketing with Zero Budget' that became an Amazon bestseller. Marie's work on the Facebook News Feed algorithm was featured in The Huffington Post. A recognised thought leader on social media, Marie is often approached by journalists for comment in articles such as this Telegraph article. She was also interviewed for ITV's Tonight show on Facebook privacy issues in relation to advertising. Marie is a regular guest on digital marketing blogs and podcasts including Social Media Examiner and Smart Insights. In 2018 she is speaking at Brighton SEO, Europe's biggest search and marketing conference. Marie is also author of two Smart Insights books: 'Smarter Guide to Facebook Marketing', now in its fourth edition, and 'Facebook Ads Guide', both edited by Dr Dave Chaffey.

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