You may or may not have read the dramatic articles about the new News Feed tests Facebook has been running in 6 countries. The gist: Posts from Business Pages were put in a new, separate feed, and the “main” feed displayed only posts from your Facebook Friends and paid content.
Here are the 2 articles that made the rounds and kicked off the Facebook panic.
Since “teaching” users to purposefully start checking a separate feed would be pretty impossible, the Facebook Freak Outs were justified.
Now to be clear, the articles were not reporting falsehoods; these separated Feeds was the test Facebook was running in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia. And, if implemented, it would indeed be death to small business.
Within a few days of the hysteria spreading among Facebook marketers, Facebook published this clarification article.
The most critical section of this article, in my opinion, were these two sentences:
“There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or Explore. Unfortunately, some have mistakenly made that interpretation — but that was not our intention.”
While this four alarm Facebook fire didn’t turn out to be real (this time), it serves as a great reminder (and potential wake up call) to review your online marketing strategy. Many, many small businesses rely solely on their Facebook Business Pages for their social media presence, and some, for their entire business presence.
Having an updated, user-friendly website has always been important since your website is your business’ online home base and it’s the one thing you can truly control. If Facebook changes the rules tomorrow, there’s nothing any of us can do about it. If you have a good site, you can rest assured that your business’ presence isn’t 100% relying on Facebook.
So, if your site could use some freshening up, perhaps this is the impetus to get that done (or have one built if you don’t already have a website).
If you’ve been toying with the idea of adding another social media platform to your online marketing mix, maybe this Facebook hysteria is what you need to get started somewhere else. Given the current Facebook state of affairs, a bit of diversity in your online presence is more critical than ever before.