Whether you’re a freelancer whose main specialization is social media marketing or a business owner who relies on it to promote your products and services, it’s important that you’re always up-to-date with the trends. And ICYMI, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared in his FB note that the network will now focus (more) on privacy.
Yep, nothing wrong with that. It’s absolutely a good thing! At least for individual users. But how will this affect social media marketing in general? What changes can we expect to see?
Facebook became the “poster site” for social media marketing. For years, it has served as a “town square”, allowing us, particularly businesses and organizations, to reach bigger audiences. Facebook has become so effective in piquing the interest of people, that we will engage in public conversations—at least in the form of comments on public posts.
We can’t deny that Facebook has affected how we interact with the world in a major way. It was near perfect, thanks to continuous improvements, until new threats came into the picture: fake news, invasive ads, data mining, addictive algorithms, and more.
In an attempt to tone down the effects of these threats and eventually get rid of them, Facebook is now transitioning into a private communication tool, posing itself as a place for one-on-one and small group messaging.
There are various ways Facebook will ensure that users’ data, conversations, and other information are secure and private. We’ll begin to see updates disappear shortly after sending them. Messages will also be likely encrypted. These are all to keep them from the eyes of advertisers.
Because Facebook also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, we might also soon see these finally merged with Messenger, making them inter-operable and at the same time, more secure.
Check out this video to know a bit more about the changes we’ll soon see in our Messengers:
Sounds Good, But What Will This Mean for Social Media Marketers?
Privacy is important and we all value it, but with encryption and all, would this mean that advertisers will now have a hard time maximizing their strategies and budget? Will it be harder to reach audiences now?
The Internet is an ever-changing platform, and we should be expecting changes like these from time to time. And as always, there are ways to get around these planned developments. For social media marketers and brands, here are a few strategies to adapt:
Understand the messaging culture
Messaging has norms and rules separate to social media. For marketers and brands, it would be wise to begin by embracing messaging as a customer service channel, more than an advertising platform.
With the majority of consumers now opting to reach brands (and be reached by them) through messaging apps over other means like email or phone calls, it won’t hurt to come up with an outbound strategy that of course provides value to customers.
Speaking of value, you need to offer it in order to build a genuine connection with customers. As users’ data will now be protected more than ever, you’ll have to get users to provide you with their data in their own free will.
How do you do that? By providing them with something of value in return. It could be free special content or exclusive discounts.
With the shift from one-to-many to one-to-one, it can be a challenge to tackle many chat windows at once. Of course, outsourcing customer service operations is always an option, but we can’t skip the fact that messaging bots are becoming more and more a part of the present and the future.
While messaging bots are mostly a work in progress right now, sooner than later, they will eventually become more reliable. They will eventually become part of the norm.
Brace yourself for more changes
The changes in Facebook’s family of messaging apps is just the start. In Zuckerberg’s Facebook note, he explicitly said that more services and improvements will be laid out, all to realize the goal of making Facebook (and its siblings) a platform for different kinds of private services.
Being that Facebook is the biggest social media channel today, we shouldn’t be surprised to see others following the lead.
What's The Biggest Takeaway?
So what’s the biggest takeaway here for social media marketers and brands? That the “viral” model will soon be replaced by more personal and earnest social connection. The transition won’t happen overnight, but you should be ready and fully equipped once it does.
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