Isn’t it great when you and your friends are sharing the same posts? It is always exciting to find like-minded people. But have you ever noticed how yours and your friends’ or colleagues’ news-feed contain about the same type of content? It is quite perplexing once you start noticing phenomena akin to these on our favourite social media platform. This might seem unbelievable but that is how the social media company makes its money. Do you want to know how they do that?
To put this activity in simple terms, the Facebook news-feed algorithm depends (vastly if not entirely depends) on our general interests, our liked content, commenting on or sharing behaviour. This idea might seem groundbreaking on the surface to some. This sounds good only until you realise how Facebook makes things difficult for brands to show their content to regular people.
One simple fact might give you a glimpse of the big picture, 92% of digital marketers used Facebook ads in 2019. That is how many digital marketing minds are trying to push through the competition. Their only objective is to get their clients’ contents to our news-feed. And, to get to our news-feed they boost the posts. Of course, smart brands tend to allocate their boosting budget in more astute fashion. And to do that, they do need to target the right slice of the audiences. There are 1.09 billion people who are logging into Facebook every day, and digital marketers need to give their A-game to reach out to their right audience bracket.
Despite their best efforts, marketers must rely on Facebook’s algorithm at the end of the day. Is the Facebook algorithm serving these marketers the way it should? Honestly, Facebook’s boosting strategy hardly meets our demands these days. Do you want to know why are we saying this? Because these targeting parameters generalize our interests based on the crowd we move with. Just think for a moment, would you want to trade your news-feed with our father or mother? No disrespect, no qualm. Just a simple swap. When we are talking about contents, we engage with across social media platform, it is not like the “family who eats together stays together” adage anymore, is it now?
We are living with a family, living under the same roof, using the same internet connection, going to the same restaurants. Facebook’s algorithm is considering those common events to develop targeting for the sponsored ads. For instance, let’s say a restaurant is trying to grow their customer base, now if anyone analyzes the strategies rationally, they should offer schemes like certain percentage discounts, buy one get one offer, item prioritizing discounts, etc., which will capture different streams of people inclining more towards the offer that suits them best.
You cannot just give offers that would somewhat target the overall mass in general. But you can see how this targeting procedure failing us silently, can’t you? To be fair, Facebook boosting has a funneling process and Google has the Pixels system. And honestly, they both have seen their best days in 2019. We need something very refined to generate more sales this decade. In 2020, we need something more sophisticated than just Facebook boosting, boosting funneling or Pixels. Can we rely on our favorite social media platform to meet our growing demand this year?
Head of Brand Marketing, Nagar
(Mr. Monsur has made it his mission to be a storyteller of the human experiences. His professional experience spans 12 years of exposure to multiple disciplines in branding, strategy, research, marketing, event management, publication and PR in engaging key stakeholders across sectors.)