How to Play By Facebook’s New Rules

Facebook is changing their algorithm again. This time you’ll be seeing less public content from businesses, brands, and the media, and more content that promotes meaningful interactions between people (get ready to see more pictures of your great aunt’s cat showing up in your newsfeed). This means businesses are going to have to work harder than ever to get their customer’s attention and be a little more creative when doing it. 

Businesses and brands are going to have to pay more attention to what they’re posting and make sure they’re creating content that invites and encourages real, meaningful conversations. Gone are the days of link dropping. It’s time to explore other avenues such as Facebook Live, increasing the ad budget, and utilizing Facebook Groups.

 

 

 

Rich: Brian Fanzo inspires, motivates, and educates businesses on how to leverage emerging technology and digital marketing to stand out from the noise and reach the Millennial and Gen Z consumer. He has a diverse background working for the Department of Defense in cybersecurity, then as a technology evangelist at a booming Cloud computing startup, and is currently the founder of iSocialFanz, which has helped launch digital and influencer strategies with the world’s most iconic brands like Dell, EMC, Adobe, IBM, UFC, SAP, and in the exact same category, Applebee’s. 

A proud pager-wearing millennial and dad of three girls, Brian hosts two podcasts, FOMO Fans and SMAC Talk, and he’s traveled to over 70 countries and has spoken at many of the world’s largest events including SXSW, Social Media Marketing World, and CES Mobile World Congress.

Brian is a diehard Pittsburgh sports fan and a semi-professional poker player that isn’t afraid to leverage his fast talking skills to read your body language and spot when you’re bluffing. Brian, welcome to the show.

Brian: Thanks so much for having me on, I’m excited to be here.

Rich: We just had an awesome conversation about sports. I said it’s awesome because I’m a Pats fan, but we were talking about Pittsburgh is a great team, the Patriots are a great team and it’s just good to talk to somebody who appreciates the game for what it is.

Brian: It is. I love that we can have a conversation rooting for different teams for the appreciation of what it takes to not only be great but to be great for a long period of time. So I appreciate that as well.

Rich: Absolutely. Good sports is just good sports. Alright, enough about the sports. So anyways Brian I told you before, I reached out to you because a listener here recommended I talk to you because I had written about some of the changes going on with Facebook and so I couldn’t help but notice that 5 minutes after I asked you to come on and speak about the changes on Facebook, Mike Stelzner of The Social Media Examiner announced that they’re adding a new session at Social Media Marketing World featuring you talking about the changes in Facebook. So I guess my first question is, do you think Mike Stelzner has my phone bugged?

Brian: Yes.

Rich: Maybe, alright. My next question is, how did you get to be the guy talking about organic Facebook reach and all the changes going on in Facebook?

Brian: That’s an interesting one because for me a lot of the time I talk about my fulltime main focus is being a keynote speaker. I speak at 50 events around the year, that’s kind of my main business. And I talk a lot about embracing change, I have a philosophy that’s called “Think Like a Fan”, which works perfect since we were talking sports, but also my last name being” Fanzo”.

So I help brands build a strategy around “think like a fan”, and what that really means is how do you create inspiring conversation, how do you create content that is worthy of being shared by your fans, and how do you put yourself in your fan’s shoes as to how you operate. And so that actually led to me hosting a podcast called FOMO Fans, which stands for “fear of missing out”. So I love figuring out these leading edge technologies and these big changes, and kind of translating that to what makes more sense. And so I’ve spoke at the last three Social Media Marketing Worlds, and Mike and I talked about speaking this year and there really wasn’t a set fit.

We talked about a couple different topics and with these Facebook changes with the newsfeed, really what they’re doing is they’re going back to what they’ve been preaching about the last couple of years but they’re actually putting the platform in place to actually make this possible. Which really means they’re focusing on social media being social, they’re embracing the idea of meaningful interactions, and really bringing this to a community-type environment. So as soon as the Facebook announcement had come out I had done a podcast episode on it, Mike reached out to me and said this is a perfect topic right in line with everything that you’ve been preaching, and now Facebook has finally sort of aligned with it. So it seemed like a perfect no-brainer and I was excited Mike reached out.

Rich: Awesome, looking forward to seeing that presentation I guess in a little over a month. So break down the changes that are going on in Facebook for the people that have been living under a rock, or paying more attention to the government shutdown.

Brian: So for all those are maybe even a little confused about what this all means, there are some people that are over-reacting and some people that are under-reacting. I think that for me it’s interesting because I use a hashtag a lot on social that I say “#inZuckwetrust”. If he’s doing something or shifting a different direction, I believe when he makes massive changes to Facebook, I believe it impacts every social media network, it impacts digital marketing strategies. Not only because Facebook is so big and Facebook is Facebook, but I also believe Mark has his own way of doing things and part of that evidence is the day after he announces the changes the stock falls 4%.

And so part of that is because what Mark has always believed at the core – and he kind of put this in his message – is that he wants social to be not only enjoyable, but he wants it to be as close to our offline interactions as humanly possible. So that’s why he went all in with Facebook Live video, that’s why Facebook Live – we’ve heard this probably a million times in the last year – is that live video gets the extra love on Facebook and Mark really embraces that because there’s nothing more real and more honest online than live video.

For the last couple of years I believe Facebook has put it out there and said we want meaningful interaction, we want people to be engaged, we want to reward content and posts that really inspire conversation. The problem has been the people that have been gamifying it and uploading those ridiculous viral videos that everyone posts and they’re getting 2-3 million views, those people have still been rewarded. So although the last 2 years Mark and the Facebook team have been preaching engagement and conversation, they haven’t really been backing it up, they’ve been allowing the gamification to kind of take advantage of some loopholes.

And really the big change that Mark and Facebook is pushing out here is they’re really focusing on this term – and I love the actual term – the term is “meaningful interaction”. What he means is that’s not just a ‘like’ or a comment, apparently what they’re really rewarding now, rather than giving a post credit because it gets 100 ‘likes’, they’re going to give posts more of a ranking inside of a news feed if they have threaded conversations that are detailed and back and forth. So if you have a long comment or your first comment and someone is curious about something and you go back and forth – very much what you see in the Groups, if you belong to Facebook groups – they are much more threaded conversations. What Mark and they are doing is really trying to reward that. And I think the most telling thing was their focus was actually to inspire people to spend less time on Facebook, but the time they do spend on Facebook, for it to be more meaningful.

Well that statement alone is why the stock dropped 4% because let’s face it, Facebook makes their money on ads and ads aren’t going anywhere, ads are still going to be there. But what this really means is he is kind of backing up what he always believed is that if your friends are having a conversation inside of a post, you’re going to have a higher chance of seeing that post in your newsfeed than a post from a brand page that you might have liked a couple days ago. That is a drastic change, especially for us marketers or for those of us that have invested in building Facebook pages. But it’s also an exciting change because it truly means social for social, not social media marketing per se.

Rich: Ok, so what does this mean at the end of the day? As a marketer and a business person, are you concerned about the changes?

Brian: So I think we learned over the last couple of years that organic reach really just means that when you post something eh percentage of people that have liked your page, what’s the percentage of them that will actually see that in your newsfeed. Organic reach has dropped drastically over the last couple of years. Live video has given us a little bit of a bump, but for those that are running Facebook marketing campaigns, we know that there is the ad play. And Facebook ads are the best money on social media marketing without question. You can truly target your audience.

But when you’re thinking about beyond Facebook ads, what is a brand doing on Facebook, what is the value they’re adding to people’s lives and conversations on Facebook. And sadly the last couple years we’ve been figuring out ways to use a pretty picture here and there, or upload a video because we know video gets more reach, we really haven’t been fostering conversation on our Facebook page beyond the ad.

So if I was a Facebook marketer – and I actually had 3 clients immediately reach out to me – and they said, “Ok Brian, what does this mean for our content calendar? What does this mean for what our approach is?” And I think one of the things we have to think about is the ad money will still be spent, we still need to use our ads to target that consumer that we know we want to reach. But for other things that we’re doing on Facebook, we now need to start looking at things like employee advocacy and influencer marketing a little bit more, because the content that’s going to get rewarded is not a post by your brand on your brand page, rather a post from an employee from your company discussing a topic that you also might have blogged about.

So what we’re really kind of having to change – and this is one of the things that I’m really focused on preaching and helping people understand – is brands are going to have to use their Facebook pages to spur conversations, but also participate in other people’s conversations. So we’re going to start to see the people that run the Facebook page probably have a little bit more active role. We’re going to see a little more personal engagement. Now it’s not just about what time you post on your Facebook page, but it’s also about what are we going to focus on about our engagement.

If I was running a team I would focus on my social media team. If we have a community manager or social manager, instead of figuring out 4 great posts for your Facebook that day, I would be focusing on one great post and then spend those 4 other slots of time on how can we spur conversation, who can we reach out to and connect with and say, “Hey, what are your thoughts on this?”, and really driving meaningful interactions within the comments of that post. And it is a little bit of a shift, rather than focusing on the time we post or the time of content, we’re now going to need to talk about how do we foster conversation, how do we grow these conversations to people that might not have seen the content originally, kind of tagging people into conversations when it makes sense. We’re going to start to see that used a little bit more, of course marketers are going to try to ruin it a little but I’m sure by tagging a whole bunch of people in it.

Facebook has come out and said, if you’re newsjacking, if you’re fake news, or just re-uploading a viral video, no one will see that content. That content went from having a gamification value to zero value. So I think this is an interesting shift to say social media managers are going to have to be a little bit more community engaged and we’re going to have to really start testing what type of content fosters conversation.

Rich: Alright, let’s go into this a little bit deeper, because a lot of people listening are either solopreneurs or small businesses, so I think most of them have shifted away from 4 posts on their business page anyway. And I think right now we’re talking about business pages, because profiles may be unaffected, may be getting a boost from this, who knows.

But so let’s say we run a small business and we’re talking on focusing on one post a day, so what are we going to do differently? We’ve come up with the best topic for that given day, we post it, we’re not getting any organic reach probably anymore, so am I going to say to my staff I want you each to leave a comment on this and start a conversation around it? Am I going to start as a business tagging people who I’m allowed to tag to try to get them in this conversation? I mean I have tactics that I use as a personal profile that get me engagement. I mean, sometimes I’m using them and sometimes they just happen naturally. And then am I telling my staff to go to other posts to engage as my company? What are some of the details of how a small business might react to these without actually talking about spending money on ads?

Brian: So I think initially we’re going to see some of those things that you said, and actually one of the initial reads that I was focusing on that The Verge and Tech Crunch both put out, was for them what they’re going to do is when a post goes live from their brand account, it is going to be sending a message to their employees to say add your thoughts on that post that we just shared inside of the post.

But it’s not just that initial sharing, it’s fostering a conversation. So I think if you’re a small, medium-sized business, what the actual post itself is might need to change. Before it might have been a blog post or maybe we were trying to gamify a little bit, we put a picture and a blog post link inside of the comment. Things like that we’re still going to tweak with, we haven’t figured that altogether, it’s only been about a week and a half since the initial rollout of this.

But I think what you’re going to start to see is not only employees getting involved in that conversation, but doing some of those things that you do on your personal account where, “Hey guys, isn’t this a great conversation? Every time I think about influencer marketing I always bring in Theo Odin. Theo Odin, what do you think about this?” And we tag that from our personal account inside of that Facebook page.

But also taking that a step further, if you’re not sharing the link of a post and you’re sharing a mindset-type post, which if you’re a small business might be saying, “Hey, it’s coming up on Small Business Saturday, we’re excited about doing that. Here’s 5 of the promos we’re watching this weekend, what are you guys most excited about?” What we’re going to start to see is can you get people to share that to their personal account.

So maybe that’s an employee sharing that to their personal account and the employee’s post is, “I really like #3, I’m so excited. My small business is doing this, this, and this. What do you guys think, are you excited about that?” And then kind of allowing the conversation to grow in there. So the question becomes, how do you as a brand continue to engage? You’re going to see notification changes in Facebook Business Manager, we’re also going to see people probably doing a little bit more from their personal accounts than they have in the past which is a little scary. I think that’s a shift that we haven’t really figured out exactly how to do it.

But I think we’re going to start to see some of these posts where it’s less about linking out, it’s less about an image, and it’s more about really asking the audience what their thoughts are. And then when they give you their thoughts it’s our job as social media managers to create from that a conversation. So if someone says, “I like #3”, you’re going to have to go beyond that. So I’d reply to that saying, “What about #3 did you like? As a social media manager I thought everyone was going to like #2.” Kind of letting that conversation grow because that’s where it’s going to get rewarded and put back into the newsfeed versus the old way of doing that and just getting a bunch of our employees to do one-off comments.

Rich: So I guess one of the questions that I would have as I look at my own small business – and admittedly we do Facebook ads and we work on client projects on Facebook, so it’s part of our day to day – but as I look at this I have to sit there and wonder what’s the ROI for me. Is it really valuable for me to engage in conversation as flyte new media or as Agents of Change, or does it just make more sense for me to throw money at ads and have my conversations elsewhere where I might get more engagement? Whether that’s on Twitter, whether that’s on LinkedIn, whether that’s on a podcast or even in real life.

Brian: So I think this is that weird balance we have to find as we’re moving forward in social media marketing. I think one of the things we have to realize is where do we spend our time building a community of advocates versus when do we use our social media time to market. I would argue a lot of time – even what you’ve already been doing on Facebook – a lot of times is engaging with customers that are already there. I’ve always said the reason I like Periscope alongside of Facebook Live is Periscope pushes the Twitter, and Twitter allows you to reach people that don’t know you, don’t like you, maybe they’ve never heard of you, but if you use a hashtag it shows up in their feed.

On Facebook when you post to a Facebook page or you go live on Facebook Live, the only people that see that are people that already liked your page, unless you’re putting an ad behind it. So one of the things in that mindset is, if they already ‘liked’ my page they already have a little bit of an understanding of who I am. So I think what we’ll see is that if you’re looking at your marketing focus its lead generation, new customer acquisition, you’re going to start to see a little more focus maybe on LinkedIn, maybe a little more of that on some of the other channels, maybe a little bit more attention to email marketing.

But I think when we’re looking at how do I foster conversation, how do I better understand my customer, how do I build hat community of advocates that ultimately will be my recruiting staff that will help me when I launch a products, that’s going to be where Facebook value is. So to answer your question there, I think what you’re going to shift is, you’re going to shift why you’re on Facebook. You’re not on Facebook for lead gen, you’re not on Facebook for driving new traffic to your website, but you probably are on Facebook now moving forward to understand your customer better, to get some of those questions answered.

One of my favorite things that I’m going to build into our strategy is that we’re going to use Facebook dialog to decide what our email newsletter will be next week. So it’s something that inspires lots of conversation and was very engaged with our active community on Facebook. Well now we’re going to test that same answer on our email newsletter, and then maybe that’s going to be part of our blog post. So really letting Facebook be more of a community interaction of value for our business rather than being kind of social media marketing – which it has been for much of the time – because let’s face it, when we’re doing the true marketing on Facebook, we’re going to do ad retargeting, look alike audiences, and kind of building it out and putting a little bit of spend behind it. And I think that’s probably going to be the biggest shift that we have to go through.

Rich: It does seem like businesses are going to have to make a decision and maybe kind of split some of their Facebook activity between ads that drive traffic and sales, and spending and investing time in that level of engagement that might be about customer research or just loyalty or whatever it might be. Those are two very different activities that may have very little overlap going forward.

Brian: Without question, which is also an interesting trend because I’ve worked with a lot of big B2B enterprise technology companies and over the last 2 years they’ve kind of consolidated the ad spend into the marketing department now, because they want those two teams working together because they wanted to see what was working on Facebook. And now all of a sudden because of this shift we’re going to almost see those going back to a little bit different. Because what the ad teams goals are going to be with using Facebook is going to be completely different than what your social media management team will be doing on your traditional Facebook page.

And that might also include how do I as a small business – not only launch my own Facebook Group – but how do I become more active a leader of my business outside of Facebook Groups that then might allow me to share some content within. Because I think Facebook Groups are going to see a massive change. You and I are both a part of a lot of the same Facebook Groups and some of them are link dropping, ridiculous Facebook Groups, and other ones are really built around organic conversation. I think that organic conversation ones are going to see a little bit more link dropping as people try to figure out how to get that active user maybe outside of Facebook.

But this is definitely a shift. If you are looking at it 2 different ways, the social media manager is going to be doing something completely different than the ad manager on Facebook. 

Rich: Ok, good points. I want to come back to the Group thing, but before we get there I want to talk about something you mentioned earlier, your personal profile. Now I have been an entrepreneur all my adult life, so when I started using Facebook all those years ago I didn’t think any differently about my life. A big part of who I am is my business and my conference. So I don’t mind talking about them because it’s part of who I am. I know some entrepreneurs don’t feel that way at all and they don’t want to share their business stuff on their personal profile. 

For me I don’t know how much of a big shift this is going to be. I’ll continue to talk about things that I care about; Spiderman, sports, that sort of stuff, or when I put together another song list and I’m looking for ideas. How are you planning on handling your personal profile and leveraging that to grow your audience behind some of your own brands?

Brian: So the privacy settings are going to be our biggest friends. So I think what we have to start to think about is for a lot of people their personal profile isn’t public, but I like to remind people – especially in this digital world we live in today – we’ve always heard the old adage, “people buy from people they like”, and I’m adding a new adage to that. I say, “people buy from people they can relate to”. So relatability is extremely important.

So for me when I’m looking at this, I share things that when it’s about my business or a new podcast episode, I share that using the privacy setting “go public”. So I use it as public so people can follow my personal account without having to add me as a friend, but that can share more publicly. Then when I’m sharing something maybe a little bit more personal, maybe pictures of my kids or maybe something that I don’t want someone else to share in a Facebook Group, I of course change that privacy setting from “public” to “friend”.

But I do feel this is a shift, and this is a shift across the board. I’m the same way as you, what I end up growing my business on is people get to know me personally. The amount of times that people are like, “Brian, I never heard of you but we’re both a dad of 3 girls”, or, “I never heard of you but I saw your post about Pittsburgh sports”, or even you and I were talking to start this off and I had a post about Brady on my personal accounts yesterday, those kind of personal interactions are technically marketing for our entrepreneur businesses.

So I’m really going to continue to do that. I also remember to respect the newsfeed, and if you’re sharing too much stuff on the public side you’re probably going to alienate some people. So it’s a little bit of training. I think we’re going to see user behavior be a little bit shifted. I know I talked to one or two other leaders in this space and they said they’re probably going to be a little bit more active sharing their content within Facebook Groups from their personal account, which I can see that being an advantage.

But for me I’m going to share publicly content, I still understand when some things are privately. But much like Instagram and much like LinkedIn, I believe we’re seeing a much closer merge between our personal brand about who we are and what we do for our business. And that can include if you’re not an entrepreneur. Small business owner, even an enterprise that can really empower its executives and leaders to share a little bit more personally from their personal account, I believe are going to start to see massive rewards and Facebook is probably the first one that’s leading the way. 

Rich: Alright. Now let’s get back to your comments about Groups. You said that within Facebook Groups you expect to see more of this link dropping. Do you think that there are going to be or are you going to implement other changes within Facebook Groups to either promote, drive people to pages, or to build brand loyalty and awareness, what do you see coming?

Brian: So I think one of the things I’m going to see – and I actually already started doing it – is oftentimes Facebook Groups… I mean I think there is so much value in Facebook Groups, most people I talk to though are not sold on Facebook Groups as a value. I often tell them there are some Groups that they should probably belong to that I think can really add value to your personal life, your business life, and also allow you to better understand your customers. One of the things I see as a shift is that it used to be before whenever someone would talk about a podcast or we’d maybe have a conversation about one of the things that I talked about on my podcast, I used to just link them to my Facebook page. Just @fomofanz and they can go to my FOMO Fanz Facebook page. Well I’m going to actually change that behavior, because what I’m posting on my Facebook page moving forward isn’t going to be just links to my podcast. So rather than just tagging my Facebook page, I’m probably going to drop a link to one of the posts on Facebook about one of the episodes. So I’m going to get a little bit more direct when I link back to my page, because if someone is coming back to our new pages they’re going to see a lot more than our conversations. And at that point you don’t want to send someone to a conversation, you want to send them to a specific piece of content. So I think that’s a change.

I also think you’ll see a shift, I think of Facebook Groups oftentimes as a dictatorship. The person that starts the group is the person that decides the rules. Some groups are really good at keeping things aligned, other ones it’s a free for all that oftentimes can kind of get out of control. We’re going to see a lot of bad behavior of things that test the limits of what people want to do, because I think still linking out outside of Facebook is still kind of weird in a group because oftentimes if someones is knee deep in a group having a conversation, they don’t want to leave Facebook to read the content. They would much rather stay in Facebook to read because that’s what they’re looking for.

So I think we’re going to see that. I think we’re also going to see – and this is something probably to pay attention to – by the end of the year we’re going to start to see less of the Facebook Group updates in our newsfeed. We’re actually probably going to go into those groups to see those, this is something that I believe we’re going to see very soon. If you are a Facebook Group owner and you want to get your Facebook posts that are inside of the group into the newsfeed, you’re going to probably start spending  ad money to do so.

Let’s face it, if Facebook is making this change we know that ads are where they’re at. And I’m a big believer in the value of the little bit of money that I spend on Facebook comes back to me tenfold, sometimes fifteenfold. But don’t be surprised if we start seeing ways for Facebook to monetize Facebook Groups, because today at this moment they don’t have a monetization plan with that, but I do see a smore user behavior trends to Facebook Groups, maybe we even see a separate news feed at the top of our Facebook feed – one that says the news feed and one that says our group feed – because then they’re separating the two different ones. 

It’s going to be a very interesting shift. It is very early days, we’re still testing it out. I know a couple of the news sites posted today that weirdly enough they’re seeing a boost in organic reach on some of their posts on Facebook. So I still think we’re figuring out exactly what this means for groups and even Facebook Messenger going forward.

Rich: Yeah well I’ve always noticed that news organizations tend to get a lot of comments anyways and the bottom line is politics are so volatile these days – at least in the U.S. but also worldwide – that you’re going to get comments on the left and the right and I guess whether for good or evil those are the kind of meaningful interactions that Facebook is looking for. So on some level, hindsight being 20/20, doesn’t exactly surprise me.

Brian: And I would say on that exact note I would almost say “think like a fan”, in the sense that we know it’s politics, we know it’s sports, I posted that post about Brady yesterday being the greatest of all time even though I’m a Steelers fan and hate the Patriots. That post I knew was going to be crazy full of engagement and people could check that post out, and it is full of comments, thumbs up, and haters. But if you think about it in the sense of your business – and I work from a wide range, I work in the B2B business to commercial real estate, to a small business that has a manufacturing company – what you have to start to think about is what does my audience have that same passion for or what would spur a similar debate. So maybe you’re a plumber and you’re talking about plumbing services on your Facebook page. Rather than just talking about plumbing services, maybe you start creating a conversation about what is the worst thing to come home to; your basement flooded, your bathroom sink clogged, or your dishwasher disposal not working? Something to really foster that back and forth debate.

Those are the things we’re going to have to think about, because to your point exactly, the rewarded content that Facebook is seeing is not that it’s polarizing it’s that thing that not only inspires you to react but when someone comments back to you, it opens the dialog to continue. I mean, I’m still getting notifications on that post yesterday and it’s a conversation we’ll start seeing. And news feeds that figured it out, all those brands have to figure out instead of how do we market using Facebook, it’s how do we inspire fan-like conversations in what we’re sharing on Facebook.

Rich: That makes a lot of sense. So this has gone a little bit long and I certainly appreciate you coming on. You mentioned influencer marketing, how are you going to be doing influencer marketing in a way that might improve your organic reach on Facebook?  

Brian: I love this play, I believe micro-influencer marketer has been taking off. And really what that means for all intents and purposes is I think brands for a long time have looked at influencer marketing incorrectly. There’s the brand spokesman like Matthew McConaughey is on TV with the car he’s promoting, that’s just kind of a word of mouth you you want to be associated with Matthew McConaughey.

But ultimately an influencer is someone that inspires people to take action. And most brands if you have to put it down there, would you rather have someone that has 100,000 followers but only 5 take action based on a post, or would you rather have someone that has 5,000 followers dan they get 10 people to take action on the post? You want the people that are closer in proximity but also inspire that true action.

But one of the things that we’ve kind of always been missing was – I’ve built influencer strategies and I’ve also been an influencer on the other side – very few times do you see people or brands telling you how to engage about what you’re doing on your personal account. So I think where we’re going to see is rather than being the traditional way that says, “Hey, if you’re at our event we brought you in as an influencer, or maybe you’re coming and visiting our small business. We hope you tweet about being here, use this hashtag, take an Instagram post.” The old was was, “Share our link to Facebook”, but other than that the new approach to Facebook influencer marketing will be, “Hey, we would love for you to foster a conversation about one of our themes.”

And for example I worked with 3M recently with the top ranked marketing team and they brought me in as an influencer and their big mission was about what’s better for the world and empowering the scientists of the future. So for me as an influencer, rather than sharing a blog post by 3M, maybe now in this new version of Facebook they’re asking me, “Brian, we would love to hear what your community feels  about these 3 topics about scientists”. And maybe you say, “When you think of a scientist, what are the three things you think of?” And then the brand can engage on that post because it’s a public post, so I think we’re going to start to see influencer marketing finding massive value if their influencers are willing to share public posts that inspire conversations rather then have your influencers that just share to a Facebook page, which was kind of the way for influential marketing with Facebook. 

Rich: Ok, I do have one more question for you. So all of this sounds good, and you mentioned your Tom Brady post yesterday and a couple days ago I happened to post a question as Rich Brooks, “What celebrity would you want to crash your birthday party?”, and I knew that was going to get engagement – and it was part of a real in life conversation so I wasn’t trolling for comments – but I knew it would get engagement.

So that’s great if you’re Brian Fanzo, if you’re Rich Brooks, if you’re anybody on your personal account you’re going to get engagement. You’ve been kind of invisible as a business on Facebook for so long because your organic reach is so small. I’m sure we could come up with some sort of type of engaging conversation. But how do you get those first few people to really start it? Because it feels like as a brand I’m still invisible on Facebook, at least in the newsfeed.

Brian: So I think linking back to a conversation you started in a Facebook group. So let’s say you post on your Facebook page – which doesn’t give you that much organic reach – but then you personally are engaged in a Facebook conversation about a very similar topic, you’re putting that link inside  a conversation in a Facebook group. Or let’s remember we can also use other platforms and I’m a big fan of omni approaches. So maybe you do an Instagram Story about the topic and at the end say, “Swipe up to go to our Facebook page to add your thoughts.” So almost using some of these other channels to drive traffic back into the comment section of your Facebook post, which  sounds kind of odd because Facebook is where everyone seems to be.

But I kind of like that approach in the sense that – and actually Marketo just put this stat out – they said their research showed 72% of consumers like engaging with brands on multiple channels. So if you think about that, if you’re engaging with a brand and they say, “Hey, we actually have an active dialog now on this same topic on our Facebook post”, you’re probably going to see some good value of people clicking on that and then inspiring that conversation. And then as soon as they’re having a conversation, now it gets put in their friend’s newsfeed and that kind of organic reach based on the conversation starts.

Rich: I’d like to see the survey question that asks, “Would you rather hear from one channel or multiple channels?”, but I’ll leave that for the scientists out there. Brian, this has been great. I really appreciate all your time, I definitely went longer than I promised you and I appreciate you hanging out. And it’s because there was so much to talk about and there’s still so much more to talk about. If people want to learn more about you where can we send them?

Brian: So in all this craziness that’s going on I always say consistency is extremely important. So my brand and my company and kind of where I’m isocialfanz.com and every social channel that exists – even if it’s brand new – you’ll find me at isocialfanz. If you want a one stop shop to kind of get my thoughts and my insights, it’s definitely my podcast FOMO Fanz, it’s in all of your podcast players, I’m on episode 60 which I’ll record later on today, but I talk about everything around digital marketing, the latest trends, and where things are going and the podcast is a lot of fun. So I would love to have you guys check out that podcast. I love this conversation and I really appreciate you having me on and like you said, we’re in the early days  I think we’re still learning where this is all going to go. But I think it’s a great thing for social media being more social, now we as brands have to figure out what that means to us.

Rich: Sounds goo, and if you are planning on going out to Social Media Marketing World in 2018 you can definitely check out Brian’s thoughts on this and he’ll have even more up to date information at that point at his presentation. So we’ll see you out there, Brian.

Brian: Sounds great. I’m actually on after Mike’s opening keynote, so 10:30 on Thursday I’ll be on directly after his talking Facebook and what all this means.

Rich: Awesome. Thanks again Brian for standing by.

Brian: Cheers.

 

Show Notes:

For more information on the changes to Facebook’s news feed, check out this article: http://www.takeflyte.com/facebook-news-feed-changes/

Brian helps brands build marketing strategies around creating conversations. Check out his podcast where he talks about the latest trends and insights in the world of digital marketing.

Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine. He knows a thing or two about helping businesses grow by reaching their ideal customers, and to prove that, he puts on a yearly conference to inspire small businesses to achieve big success. You can also head on over to Twitter to check him out, and he just added “author” to his resume with his brand new book!