Facebook Changes for Pages & what next for Kenyan Marketers & Brands

24 January, 2018

We all know a friend who part of their New Years Resolution for 2018 was to close & delete their Facebook account. Facebook too has noticed this trend is on the rise. So to fix this problem, it decided to is cut down on the visibility of brands and business page posts on user newsfeeds, to show users more meaningful content from their family, and friends.

Blame it on the Money

Facebook realized they went off key and therefore as any responsible maestro would do, Mark Zuckerberg is just putting his orchestra back on track. You see when Facebook started many years back (2004), they were all about connecting friends and family.

'How on earth did we stalk our exes, remember our co-workers' birthdays, bug our friends, play a rousing game of Farmville, and meet new people for possible romantic relationships before Facebook?' The Entertainment Weekly magazine would once ask in 2009.

Then the numbers began to grow for both users and advertising revenue, then in 2012 their IPO happened. It was the biggest IPO in technology and one of the biggest in Internet history. Then all over a sudden just like how Kenyans behaved after buying the Safaricom IPO, investors wanted it to shoot up in value and make some quick money.

So more advertising options, different content types for media companies, to brands & businesses. All these content being pushed to the over 2billion users on Facebook in an aim to keep them hooked. And hooked they became, like addicts high on a drug, scrolling endlessly. This is where Facebook got it wrong.

Social Media the Drug

You see Facebook knew they were serving a drug. Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook said this "The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, ... was all about: 'How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?'""And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that's going to get you to contribute more content, and that's going to get you ... more likes and comments.""It's a social-validation feedback loop ... exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you're exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology."

Indeed most of the top executives in these technology companies such as Apple's Steve Jobs & Tim Cook do protect themselves & their children. They are not indulging on the drug that is Social Media & other tech addictions. As Biggie Smalls in his track "Ten Crack Commandments" wrote "Never get high on your own supply."

The problem is they are in the drug business but didn't take time to understand it as the Quartz explains. Ask any dealer—cutting the product is a better scenario than having users overdose and turn up dead. In Facebook’s case, “dead,” mercifully, would mean a user who quits the site, and sets themselves free of social media. And that’s clearly not a world Zuckerberg wants to live in, as he has now learnt.

Influencer Marketing just got more rewarding

Influencers are the only brands that were doing this right all along. You see unlike brands which push to you and me what they think we need to see and have the money to boost it so that they can force their way into our space. Influencers will get our attention because for some reason no matter what the niche, every influencer has their own content style that, for whatever reason, resonates with their audience and causes that audience to explode.

Influencers do not force themselves into our space, they attract us into their space with their content. So unlike a brand, their organic content will garner even more attention now while that of brands will suffer the fate of Facebook's wrath.

Therefore as I would advice a friend caught in a felony & needs a plan, "Lawyer Up". My advice to Kenyan brands & marketers for their 'Social Media strategy 2018' would be "Influencer Up".

* Work up your Influencer Marketing Strategy in your Marketing plan for 2018

No Gaming the system on this one, Stop Engagement or Click Baiting

So you must be thinking that if all it takes for Facebook to make your organic page posts more visible are likes, shares, comments, tags, clicks and other actions from your audience then you can game your way to the top.


Those fancy campaigns where you tell your fans to Like, Share, Comment or Tag a friend to win something won't cut it this time. Posts like “LIKE this if you’re a February Baby!” won't cut it any more. This, Facebook now considers as 'spammy posts' and this tactic is described as “engagement baiting.”

Or perhaps you think you can trick people to click on a certain link on your brand or Company page, by using headlines such as "Is this what Raila told Ruto?" or "Wow! Wish you could afford a 1 week holiday at a 5 star hotel in Lamu by December. You’ve GOT to see this!"

Such headlines that exaggerate the details of a story with sensational language aimed at making the story seem like a bigger deal than it really is just to get people to click are called "clickbait headlines."

These are some of the things that caused the whole Russia - US Election interference heat on Facebook & "Fake News" in the first place. They will just earn you more 'disqualification' from your audiences' Facebook timelines.

My advice, the old adage, "Hard Work Pays!" Creating content is hard work, creating content that will be consistently engaging to your audience is harder, but it'll pay. It is the right approach, just that we all got used to the shortcuts Facebook gave us first.

Also aim to build loyal communities around your brand, Use Facebook Groups.

Who puts all their eggs in one basket...

Or Flies on one wing?

Sadly, for many Kenyan Small & Medium Sized brands their Marketing has been all Facebook. Most have worked on growing the content on their Facebook pages & using Facebook Ads. Instead of investing in their website and using different traffic sources apart from Facebook Ads. Invest in Search Engine Optimization for your business, Google Ads, Email marketing, Influencer Marketing or you can Find a Digital Agency that can help you implement these too.