Have you seen the Post from Mark Zuckerberg? In recent years, stations have finally begun to establish their social media strategy and along comes this torpedo.
According to Zuckerberg, “One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent … public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
Without calling your baby ugly, he’s calling your baby ugly. After all, organic content by stations on Facebook has never been about creating community and fostering conversations among listeners.
Instead stations blast out content simply to fulfill internal posting mandates, stations sell their organic posts to advertisers, and random videos are posted in a hopeless attempt to go viral. Exceptions are few and far between as we were discussing back in 2012.
Mark continues, “Since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do – help us connect with each other.”
He continues, “We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our 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. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”
Facebook redefining the rules is hardly new, after all it’s Mark’s world and we’re all just along for the ride when it comes to social media. That’s why we believe your digital and social strategy should be centered on an enduring principle such as the role employment plays in heavy listening rather than chasing likes, posting just to be prolific or trying to go viral.
In addition, if you’re waiting to be thanked for all the free on-air promotion and publicity that AM/FM Radio has provided Facebook over the years, easily valued in hundreds of millions of dollars, don’t hold your breath.
When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens
At DMR/Interactive we are excited about these changes. There’s a great opportunity for stations to adjust priorities away from creating underperforming Facebook posts and instead repurpose staff time and efforts to drive on-air ratings and revenue.
1. For most stations, Facebook owns the relationship and access to the listener. Stockpiling Facebook likes was the priority early on instead of collecting listener data and getting to know these employed listeners by name, especially the in-demo Super-Fans in your Hot ZIPs. In fact, we’ve used ads on Facebook to capture opt-in contact permission on millions of employed, heavy listeners, so our clients can stay in touch with them, even when Facebook rewrites the rules. Just remember your ABC’s. Always Be Collecting Data.
2. If it wasn’t a relevant organic post, simply spending money to boost it won’t help. There will be a temptation by stations to simply put a little money behind your organic posts in an effort to delay the inevitable and avoid revamping your current strategy. Of all the constraints station employees face, having too much to do and not enough time to do it, is close to the top of the list. Don’t miss a great opportunity to free-up their time.
What to do instead?
3. Surprise and Delight your in-demo contest winners in your Hot ZIPs. Stations roll out the red carpet for advertisers, but are mostly indifferent when a winner comes in to pick up a prize. A handwritten note, a quick tour of the station and an invitation to take a picture in the studio (using their phone) are all things these most valuable listeners will remember and share, especially on Facebook of all places! PromoSuite Next makes it easy for your station to implement this strategy.
Facebook is the 800 pound gorilla of social media and your last organic post has not yet been written. However your organic strategy needs to keep pace with the times.
As Mark mentions in his post, it will take several months to fully roll these changes out, so let’s talk about how to best leverage Facebook in your next marketing campaign and how to further optimize your organic strategy.
Andrew Curran, President and COO