Changes Keep On Coming
In case you hadn’t noticed Facebook made several significant changes to their platform this week. And even more dramatic changes are expected later this week. All these changes had me thinking: how are people handling the near constant stream of changes Facebook foists upon them?
Change is one of the most difficult problems business managers face. Whether it is training employees to learn a new process or training customers to navigate a new system, change it a tricky thing. In fact, Spencer Johnson wrote a very successful book (“Who Moved My Cheese?“) to help business managers cope with the problems of adapting to change. Johnson’s book has been translated into dozens of languages and sold millions of copies. Due, in no small part, to the fact human beings naturally resist change.
So, how are users taking these latest changes, and what will they do when Facebook changes their Profile page?
Mark Zuckerberg has said he believes all information on the Internet should be shared, and this belief forms the basis of his social media behemoth, Facebook. Everything they have done up to this point has been geared toward making more information about YOU available to other users in your social network. Later this week Facebook is said to be rolling out new Profile designs, made to look like a Timeline of events from your life (or at least which parts of your life you decide to share online.) Whether or not users will react favorably to these changes really doesn’t seem to matter to Zuckerberg. He has yet to show any interest in changing his mind about the personal information people post on Facebook, no matter what they might think about his thoughts on the matter.
Some analysts predict that Facebook’s “Like” button will become irrelevant, thanks to a new tool launched earlier lastweek that lets users mark which posts they want to see in their news feeds. Eventually, the site will be able to curate posts based on that information.
For marketers, this scenario has major implications.
“The ‘Like’ button is everywhere,” said Adrienne Waldo, a marketing executive at NY-based Blue Fountain Media. “That’s the main metric on Facebook right now, and if it goes away, how are marketers going to measure success?” If the button does go away, Waldo said, marketers would probably start analyzing how often users share content and their level of engagement to determine a page’s success. But that approach will bring changes too.
“I think it means that brands will have to tell a cohesive message,” she said. Because users can more actively decide which content shows up in their news feed, companies need to be more thoughtful about the information they post, she said. “It’s a big deviation from what brands are doing now,” Waldo said, explaining that many post “random stuff” on their pages. Instead, she said, brands will need to have “very high quality content” to be successful on Facebook.
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