What Should Advisors Do About Facebook's Latest Change?

I don’t know if you listen to Chance the Rapper or not, but I’m a fan. When he released a new song with Daniel Caesar on Stephen Colbert’s show in 2017, I immediately liked it. You can watch that performance here . The lyrics are thick with meaning, but one line from the chorus has played on repeat in my mind for awhile now. He says “when so much turns too much” and I know what he’s talking about.

It’s the fifth bite of a pie that’s too rich to keep eating. It’s the necessity of more when some would suffice. It’s social media in 2018. So much has turned to too much.

Given Mark Zuckerberg’s statements from last week , he agrees. The company that positioned itself directly in the middle of our lives personally and politically, while helping broadcast the message of brands that consumers love and hate, is thinking smaller.

Late last year, after agreeing that their ad platform had brought foreign influence into the US elections, Facebook announced they would alter their processes to keep from hindering democracy. A long hard look at what’s been happening gave way to the idea that Facebook needs to get closer to their roots. They are preparing to change the algorithm for the news feed so that personal, real interactions from your friends and family will be pushed the top of your view, above non-paid posts from businesses and news organizations.

Check out the stats about publishing on Facebook in December 2017, according to NewsWhip.com:

To be clear, these are not dealing with advertising at all, just published articles. The numbers are staggering. Nearly 22 million engagements for foxnews.com in one month on 49,330 posts. That is over a thousand posts a day. It’s mind blowing and it makes sense that Facebook would change what’s happening since they themselves released data around the idea that passive engagement on social media leads to greater levels of depression . This same research found that real human interaction on social media increases emotional health.

Related: Are You Talking About This With Your Prospects?

If you currently publish content to Facebook or purchase advertising, you’re probably already paying attention to these developments. Here’s what you should know about the impending changes:

  • Real communication with your friends and family just became even more important. Publishing your business articles will continue to be beneficial, but the interaction you have personally on Facebook will mean more. Don’t stop paying attention to your compliance requirements, but know that individual interactions are going to be pushed above your business articles.
  • Advertising changes are currently not known. Facebook has been careful to not talk in detail about the specifics to business posts, but they have not given any information about changes to the advertising platform. While the general consensus is that prices will go up to compete for space in front of consumers, that is just speculation. Advertising will remain a key area of profit for Facebook, which means that the importance of ads may increase in the near future.
  • What should you do now? Probably not much. If you are publishing articles, keep doing so. If you are buying ads, there’s no need to stop. Nothing has changed yet. Once the changes begin to roll out, you’ll have time to digest them and figure out the best way forward. The one thing you should consider is if you can and want to use your personal account to talk business. The things you write and say personally are going to carry more weight. Knowing your (or your firm’s) policy on where the lines are drawn will help you navigate your social networks for maximum possible engagement.