The End of The Fan:
An Industry Shift Implication

At The Social Clinic we have been preaching about this for quite sometime now: The entire comprehensions and understanding of the “like” [or follower] has changed. Previously, i.e., last year, we were saying that it is changing, but now alas no-more, it has changed whether we like it or not!

No more do your number of fans argue your reach or market value, no more are brands challenging competition on who has more fans, because all marketers, lead by Facebook, woke up and noticed that 1,000 fans or 10,000 fans, you can get to the same business objective in either route.

So how and why has this happened? You see, whether it is Instagram that gets you drooling, or whether you’re a firecracker on Twitter, Facebook ruled, rules, and forever will rule. Why you ask? Facebook has people-life-brand-interaction at the center of any product or alteration they perform on the framework, that’s why. Back in the day, everyone wanted Facebook likes. Having more likes than your biggest competitor was a top goal. Who could blame you? More likes meant more users viewing your content, which meant potential customers. Boy, have times changed!

Facebook’s algorithm has been twisted, shaken, turned, and restructured more than 6 times in the past 3 years, all so that it can provide a “community” experience to people and that it enhances the quality of content brands publish on its network. With a couple of major algorithm changes over the past few years, reaching a Facebook fan organically has become nearly impossible. Unfortunately, likes don’t hold nearly the same value anymore.

Visually, you see that in how the “likes” number on Facebook brand pages has been resized and redesigned over and over, from big, bold, and in our face, to smaller font, lighter color, and secondary placement.
1 2 2 2

From a factual algorithmic point of view, well, that’s a different ballgame.

As of recently, Posts highlighting what a friend Liked or commented on will either show up lower in your News Feed or not show up at all, according to Facebook. The move was made based on user feedback. “Many people have told us they don’t enjoy seeing stories about their friends liking or commenting on a post,” Max Eulenstein, a Facebook product manager, and Lauren Scissors, a user experience researcher, wrote in a blog post.

For the rest of Facebook’s 1.4 billion-plus monthly active users, the quiet demise of a small feature that has existed since 2006 will hopefully yield a little less News Feed noise. But that also depends on how Facebook executes two other News Feed tweaks also recently announced:

  • allowing posts from the same people back-to-back in sparse News Feeds
  • prioritizing updates from Facebook friends users engage with the most

“In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline,” the post stated. In which case, a Facebook Page’s influence may have diminished slightly alongside the ubiquitous Like.

Social media is not about who has the most fans and followers anymore, it’s about who is willing to have his business and marketing plans disrupted with “social media friendly content”, content that will make people engage with, truly admire, and share.

It is also about who is willing to invest in social media more.

The social media share in marketing budgets worldwide have increased from an average of 5% in 2011 to 40% in 2015. In parallel, people’s attention span is decreasing and is now at 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000.

A word of advice to marketers and brands; focus on content quality and invest on KPIs that have a return, otherwise, the money spent is only to fill up unnecessary egos. That’s not me speaking, that’s an industry shift implication.

Destroying Apple Products for a LivingThe Social Clinic Represents at The Web Summit

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published.