“It’s a pity that I can only reach 16% of my audience, so I must put money behind paid” – was how Oana Neumayer of Syncapse framed the way some marketers (not Oana) see the challenge. How should brands (and those that work with brands) respond to Facebook’s changes to Edgerank that alter how posts get surfaced in the Newsfeed?
Vincent Sider of BBC Worldwide aired his own views on this earlier. But this afternoon’s panel including representatives of Samsung, Yorkshire Tea, Syncapse, AgoraPulse and Branient formed a rough consensus taking a different view. Rather than seeing the changes in EdgeRank as a ploy to force brands to pay for reach they previously enjoyed, EdgeRank is forcing brands to be more relevant and focus on brand advocacy.
Emeric Eernoult of AgoraPulse made a point echoed by other panelists: the idea that there is a “best time to post” or that “video is the most engaging content” is, as Matt Peters from Pandemic Labs put it in an earlier session, a “nonsense question”.
“Facebook is doing us a favour” with the changes in EdgeRank by forcing us to be relevant.
Only by experimenting with different types of posts can a brand learn what will be most effective. @Domdwight from Yorkshire Tea pointed out that, for them, success included a text-only status update on a Monday morning about how rubbish Mondays would be without a cup of tea.
@tobychiz from Samsung pointed to an example of a video from a user who had attached a Samsung cameraphone to a remote-control helicopter and took a video of his town as a successful piece of content for them.
Dom Dwight made a key point about how things do change: if today, videos are the most engaged-with content on Facebook, as this gets better known by marketers and the herd follows, the effectiveness of video goes down.
Our takeaway: Past performance is no guarantee of future results, whether on apps or with page posts. Successful marketers continually test a variety of tactics to put relevant content or an invitation to a relevant experience in front of the right people. It’s less seductive than thinking you can buy your way in. But it’s a better formula for success.