Coping With Social Media Changes

Social Media Marketing, specifically within leading channels such as Facebook and Twitter, is an excellent way to generate brand awareness, create leads, drive traffic to your website and to enhance your customer’s shopping experience.

Social media marketing is best known for its simple user interface, the 2-way dialog between business and consumer, as well as being one of the most cost efficient forms of digital marketing.

Channels such Facebook and Twitter do a great job of releasing new features and tools to help users interact better and for businesses to measure campaign progress efficiently and accurately.

Now, with all the great updates and improvements channels such as Facebook and Twitter may implement, sometimes those very updates or changes may negatively impact businesses and marketers.

Some examples include; Facebook’s changes in its algorithm for promotional posts from a Company Page. This change was implemented to help prevent users from being bombarded with pushy sales content. Businesses and marketers became worried as it meant the need to changing the scope of their promotional content and boost it to gain reach.

Another example includes; Facebook’s implementation of a “Like-gating policy” to encourage users to like a company page based on interest. Back then company’s tend to enjoy the vanity of high page likes (now fans) and put up like gates for users to enter their contests or access interesting content. This shift ended up being a great change for businesses and marketers as the new page fans were relevant and authentic and of those who genuinely liked the page. Also, marketers and business started to view other measurements such as post clicks and engagements (likes, comments and shares) as better indicators for their campaigns.

Our  social media managers are constantly faced with new changes and policy updates where we are required to think fast and come up with an alternative solution to ensure any current or upcoming social media campaigns are not affected.

Outlined below is our general process of dealing with a social media policy change or update that may negatively impact our social media campaigns.

  1. Allow ourselves to dwell and complain about the change for no more than 5 minutes, to get it out of our system.
  2. Understand why the update or changes have been made and how it positively affects the user (fans/consumers).
  3. Think positively and objectively about the change and then embrace the fact that it was created to improve the user experience. After all, as business owners and marketers, we want our users to have a pleasant experience with our brand or campaign.
  4. Begin to assess how this change or update will affect our current or proposed strategy and create a list of each issue we need to address.
  5. Begin to brainstorm solutions for each issue to help cope with or compensate for the change or
  6. If we cannot come up with an alternative, we scrap the strategy and come up with a new one, utilizing the benefits of the change made.

For example, when Facebook banned Like-Gating, it was a bit challenging for our team to run a Fan Acquisition Social Media Contest as our client was primarily interested in gaining page likes on Facebook. We followed this process and went back to our client and explained to them that this policy change is a good thing because it helps ensure more quality and relevant page likes. We outlined alternative objectives we could take such as acquiring email sign ups which we could use as leads and develop an email mailing list. We also took extra measures to promote the contest, such as posting in forums, popular Canadian contests, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

In the end not only were we able to generate a great lead/emailing list, but we also ended generating more Facebook likes than estimated and the best part was they were of quality and relevance. Because of the determination to make the contest and the extra efforts we put into promoting it, the contest was a complete success.

Anytime a social media change or update is created, we always remember certain incidents of successfully overcoming an obstacle. We always keep in mind that our industry is ever changing, and it is up to us to keep up, adjust, adapt and react quickly as the changes come.

The success of a campaign or project does not solely rely on the hard work, technical knowledge, and capabilities. It also relies on your mindset. It is about not letting these changes get to you, ruin you or bring you down. Rather, it is about accepting the change, and creating a new strategy that will provide successful results.