No need to cue panic for this announcement. LinkedIn are telling Group Admins that they will be re-integrating group functionality back into the main fold of your LinkedIn home page. And... It's about time! For too long now LinkedIn has ruined the Group experience by locking it away and having too much control on it. Making it more difficult to find groups, difficult to grow groups and the worst thing they did was make it impossible to post in groups using 3rd party tools.
Now admins will have all sorts of new tools for engaging members of their groups. They are also planning to make it easier to discover and join groups, although what that will look like isn't yet known.
These are very welcome changes. I cannot wait to test them out and write about how to optimize them so you can be better community managers. I honestly believe the future of successful social marketing will be in how we as business owners and consumers engage with each other in communities. I am always telling the sales and product marketing managers I train, that they need to be socially selling. Not "Hi I am so and so and work at so and so and here is my product, buy it." But... really living in these communities, forming relationship, adding value to the conversations and by doing so creating opportunities to sell when the time is right.
Stay tuned... I will update again when we know more about these changes.
Facebook announced that they are making sweeping changes to the way we see content in our personal feeds this week. And I say it's about time!!
We are not all the same type of consumer:
There are always those that are on Facebook for the friendships, the birthday messages, the happy news, the funny life moments. There are those that are there to read an interesting article, see some trends, laugh at a video, buy a product, engage with a brand. And then there are those that will happily, and in equal measure, do both! Facebook until now has made the decisions for us on what type of person you should be, and has let the algorithm decide for you. 100% of frustration with Facebook comes from people not understanding or embracing the algorithm and working with it to optimize their own feed experience to see more and more of what you want to see.
What Good Social Media Managers and Publishers Need to Do:
Embrace the change. Work with it to find out how best to optimize it so that you are beating the rest, who are either too lazy or too busy complaining, to be able to figure out how to engage your consumers in this new way.
What good Facebook Users Need to Do:
Enjoy! Finally Facebook is going back to the fun news feeds we used to have 15 years ago. Where you could poke a friend because you wanted them to be thinking about you, or where connecting with old school friends meant more than just having one of them randomly see and like a post about something totally not related to your relationship with them. Who knows what the change will look like, but I say bring it on... for too long we have all been moaning that we don't see enough content from the people we want, while business are moaning that not enough people are seeing their content. It just doesn't make ANY sense and Facebook are right to fix it. What Facebook is doing is giving the consumer the right to choose what they want to consume and how!
What Facebook Needs to Do:
Give the user the ability to choose, on an even deeper (not AI or ML or Algorithm) level, what they are interested. Its stupid to keep feeding a user an ad for a new car based on a search they did for a new car, months after they have already bought said new car, because your algorithm has no way of knowing that about the user. Let the consumer, who wants to, choose what commercial content to be shown... Make the advertiser pay premium to target these people so that the ad revenue is based on clear targeting FACT and not some wishy washy algorithm that classifies someone by "interest" or "demographic." As both a super consumer on Facebook and the manager of over 40 brand pages for my clients. I can guarantee you that the users will appreciate it more and the advertisers, although paying more per leed, will be getting better value. It's a WIN WIN!!.
Be the Change:
Change happens - you can spend hours, days, weeks , months or years moaning about it. Or you can be like me and work on understanding it and capitalizing on it, so that you leave the moaners behind.
Bring it on Facebook! ...and thank you!
(PS: The irony is not lost on me that I am writing an article about Facebook and publishing on LinkedIn. But who knows where I will publish this in the future, that's the beauty of change)