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4 things everyone needs to know about the Facebook overhaul

3 min read

Brands & Campaigns

Oh, no! Facebook is different! You were just starting to feel like you’d cracked the secrets of getting into followers’ “top news” feeds. Now everything is different. What will you do? Don’t panic. Breathe deeply, read these four tips and know that it’s going to be all right.

  • This will happen again. All social networks are in constant flux — a state of permanent beta, if you like. The feature you rely on (Hi, there, Facebook Places!) could disappear tomorrow. Be ready to roll with it. When you’re designing a campaign, ask yourself how a major network overhaul could affect your ability to connect with users. If a key feature were rolled back tomorrow, how would you cope? If you build your presence and your brand identity and around your fans’ needs, rather than around a specific tool or function, you’re less likely to be left in the lurch.
  • This is an opportunity. Whenever the network changes, it gives smaller, more adaptable players a chance to pull ahead. If you figure out how to optimize your presence before your competitors do, you’ve got a chance to increase your lead or cover lost ground. Periods of transition like this require maximum vigilance and flexibility, so study up on the changes and experiment rapidly. Don’t put this off. Take advantage of the confusion and hit the ground running.
  • This kind of user outrage happens every time. If you’re new to Facebook marketing, you might be a little freaked out by people’s strong reactions to the network’s changes. Maybe you’re worried that Facebook is starting to go the way of Myspace. Don’t be. People pitched a fit when Facebook went from being a student-only network to being for everyone. They moaned when the news feed debuted. They hollered about the Like button. And then they got over it. It’s an iron-clad law of the Internet that people hate format changes. This too shall pass.
  • This will happen to you, too. What holds true for Facebook holds true for your own blog/newsletter/forum — or even your logo. If you make major changes, many people will love them, most will be indifferent and a few people will go blind with rage. Remember that the people who are the loudest aren’t necessary speaking on behalf of the majority. Remember the business reasons you made the changes in the first place and then take the time to figure out what the silent majority wants before you do anything in response. Facebook usually tweaks new features in response to user reactions, but it almost never rolls the changes back completely. Stick to your guns and do what you need to do. In a few months, most people will have forgotten you changed anything at all.