Tuesday, August 18, 2015

9 Important Digital Marketing Implications From The New Facebook Notes Revamp

9 Important Digital Marketing Implications From The New Facebook Notes Revamp
Just read an article from TechCrunch.com regarding Facebook is revamping its Notes feature and getting ready to take on the Blogging business taking. The new look highly resemblances the medium.com, which is much more classy and elegant then the traditional look and feel with a heavy ugly looking sidebar.  The feature is being tested and not yet open to public. However, you can take a look at this sample page:

Facebook has been, and still is, a great platform for sharing content and driving traffic to your website. However, with the newly revamped Notes, I am anticipating that Facebook wants you to move (or at least copy) your content from your website onto Facebook instead of on your own site.

In May 2015, Facebook also announced a partnership with nine content companies such as BuzzFeed, New Your Times, NBC News and others. This is a clear indication that Facebook wants content on its platform and not want to redirect its traffic to outside of Facebook. While the May partnerships may target large content publishers, the new Facebook Notes targets everybody from individual  to companies on Facebook.

Recently (a month ago) I have experienced a sharp drop in my experimental Facebook Page post reaching to Page fans, who are supposed to visit my experimental websites. Facebook applied (and will continue to apply I suppose) rather heavy filtering to the posts that drive traffic to web page containing Facebook's competitor's content. Just so happened my website has lots of YouTube embedded video. A month ago, my posts that referred to these type of pages with embedded YouTube video was able to reach out to most of my fans. Now Facebook hides these posts from my Facebook Page's fans. However, when I upload the YouTube video directly on the Facebook Page, the post got instantaneous reach to many of my page's fans.

Base on the emerging Facebook Notes, the mega partnership between Facebook and nine content companies and my recent disappointing experience in driving traffic from Facebook Page to my site, I can see that the day of using Facebook to drive traffic to your site is approaching an end. The new era of posting your content to Facebook is coming.

For digital marketer and site owners, there are several implications or questions we need to be aware of or ask ourselves seriously:

  1. Can you post content to Facebook instead of on to your site?
    If you are a site owner who relies on advertising revenue generated from your site, you are in for trouble if most of your traffic is redirected from Facebook. Bear in mind that the situation is less urgent if you have your own good content, however. If your site only curate contents from Facebook competitors, you better think twice!
  2. Can you afford Facebook taking over your site's memberships?
    Yes, the readership relationship now belongs to Facebook, not your website. Does your business relies heavily on direct CRM? If so you need to think twice on relying on content posted directly on Facebook.
  3. You need to grow your other social media properties.
    If you still want your traffic onto your won site, then it is more important that your social media strategies does not rely heavily on Facebook. You will want to grow your other social media properties membership like Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and others.
  4. Review your CRM strategies.
    What Facebook does is perfectly okay for its business grow. However, as site owner, we don't want to rely on just one company. We want to make sure we own direct relationship with our customers and readers. I know many small scale digital media companies simply have let go of the concept of registered membership to opt for short term quick drive of traffic from Facebook. Now they will have to rethink how they will grow our CRM database instead of just growing Facbook fans.
  5. Revisit your SEO strategies.
    You will want to revisit your SEO strategies to drive traffic from good old google search engine.
  6. Host your own blog instead.
    It would be logical to expect Facebook will favor post with links to non-Facbook competitors. So that means that you should host your own blog instead of just building it on Tumblr or Blogger.
  7. Make sure your content is not Facebook Competitive.
    If you still want to drive traffic to your website, make sure you web page does not contain Facebook  competitor's content such as YouTube video. You can considering hosting your own video.  It probably means that you will have to upload your video to YouTube still, cause it's still the king of video social media network but you will want to host your own video on your own server if you want to get traffic from Facebook.
  8. Measuring traffic.A good part of your site's traffic will be switched to Facebook Notes instead of on your site. Your traffic will be split into the "Facebook Referred Traffic" and the "Non-Facebook Referred Traffic". It also means that you need to merge your site performance report to see the who picture of your digital content performance, assuming traffic will provide sufficient analytic reports like Google Analytic does. This is probably the least strategic consideration but it will cost you resources and money in gathering data review your site's performance.
  9. Bigger Online Advertising Budget.Paid Advertising is always here as an last option for driving traffic. I don't think Facebook will reject your advertising dollar. So if you can afford it, allocate a bigger budget on buying Facebook Ad instead and, of course, you will want to make sure your Facebook Ad are configured properly to opt for best advertising dollar returns.
In the last decade we have witnessed a paradigm shift to Social Media Marketing. Many of my friends told us to stop doing everything but only to build Facebook App at one point in 2005. I of course did not listen to my friends as they were simply short-sighted and did not think from strategic perspective. We all know that the online properties built on Facebook was only a free-lease and it will ends some day. It seems such expiry date is closing in. Facebook is still the king of Social Media and we need to adjust our strategy accordingly. However, we don't want to put all eggs in one baskets. The road ahead in getting low cost traffic from Facebook is gone. We have to work harder to stay afloat!