Is Facebook about to start charging companies to interact with their followers?
Since the launch of Facebook in 2004 countless companies, brands and celebrities have created pages and have worked tirelessly to build followers on the social network. Facebook marketing is a real thing, with companies’ big and small hiring employees purely to build and maintain interactions on the site. Type ‘Facebook marketing’ into Google and it returns 1,860,000,000 results, however many of those results could soon be null and void if Valleywag’s latest article is to be believed.
According to Valleywag, a source who is ‘professionally familiar with Facebook’s marketing strategy’ has revealed that the social giant is in the process of slashing organic page reach down to just one or two percent and all brands will be effected.
Potentially, this means that advertising behemoths such as Coca-Cola won’t be able to reach their full fan base. Coca-Cola has amassed over 80 million Facebook fans but would only be able to reach around 800,000 of them per post if the changes come into play. But the new rules wouldn’t only effect large corporations, but also smaller, independent companies too. If you have less than 5,000 Facebook likes, you may only be able to influence a handful of fans at a time. The long and short of it – if you are not paying to interact with people on Facebook, you may as well not bother.
The alternative then is to pay for more attention and that could become very costly, especially for larger, more influential businesses.
So what does this mean for businesses and for Facebook users? (Note, the change will not prevent individuals from using the site for free as always.)
According to Valleywag, the change is “a cataclysm for businesses, something Facebook is calling the extreme throttling a ‘strategy pivot’ they're slowly telling brands one by one so as not to start a panic.”
SEE MORE: Facebook finally launches hashtags
It means that any effort and investment expended in building a Facebook following could all have been a waste of time unless companies are willing to shell out yet more dollars.
The real effect though could well be this: Large corporations have the cash behind them to continue funding their Facebook pages if they wish, however it’s the smaller companies that could lose out.
What do you think of the potential Facebook changes? Would you pay to access your followers?
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”