The only constant when it comes to Facebook is to expect change. While no one knows exactly what changes will occur in 2017 (except maybe Mark Zuckerberg), you can use current trends as indications to reveal where the platform might be headed. Here’s what I predict will be important for businesses and brands on Facebook in 2017.
Surprise, surprise! Video is already extremely popular for online marketing in general, and the popularity will definitely continue into 2017. Facebook rewards brands with organic newsfeed visibility if they upload video natively to their Facebook pages, and I expect to see Facebook rolling out more incentives for brands to utilize video marketing on their platform in the coming year.
CONTINUED DECLINE OF ORGANIC REACH
Unfortunately, it’s very likely organic reach will continue to decline for brands and marketers on Facebook, so start planning for your 2017 advertising budgets immediately! Facebook is an extremely effective platform for driving web traffic, building awareness, increasing database contacts, and creating laser focused marketing campaigns (to name a few benefits). The point is, don’t let the decline of organic reach drive you to drop the platform altogether, because you’d be missing a HUGE opportunity. Instead, start planning for how you’re going to use your marketing dollars strategically, so that you’re not just paying for posts to be seen, but that your paid posts are contributing to larger brand goals and other marketing supporting activities.
PRIORITY ON THE AVERAGE FACEBOOK USER
In Q2 of 2016, Facebook reported to earning $6.44 billion in ad revenue. They’ve obviously learned how to successfully monetize their platform. While advertisers and marketers are clearly a priority for Facebook, we are placed second in line when compared to the average Facebook user who uses the platform for personal use. The experience for the end-user is extremely important to Facebook – as it should be. If, for whatever reason, people stopped using Facebook, they would lose all of their revenue, because advertisers wouldn’t place ads on a platform that nobody was using. This is one aspect as to why algorithms exist. Suffice it to say, your content and advertising campaigns in 2017 will need to be created with user experience in mind. I would predict that campaigns built with this objective will see higher results from Facebook.
2017 will likely be a wild ride of platform changes and updates. Your biggest asset will be to remain flexible and strategic. I do believe no matter what updates happen on Facebook, there is always a way for brands and businesses to benefit as long as they remain committed to providing engaging and relevant content for their audiences.