In his keynote address at Social Media Marketing World this year, Social Media Examiner Founder Mike Stelzner ruffled marketer feathers with a heavy ultimatum: connect or die.

Facebook Chase The Content Crown

Between 2014 and 2017, Facebook openly declared war on Google and leaned into the content game. “Trending Topics” and “Instant Articles” took on online news publishers and Facebook Video launched as a direct competitor to YouTube.

It wasn’t long before Facebook stopped allowing YouTube videos to work in the Facebook Feed.


Content was king and the path forward was clear. Until…


“I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you findrelevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

Mark Zuckerberg, 2018


This focus away from content marked a complete shift in focus for Facebook and the consequences were far-reaching. Thousands of journalists lost jobs as video was deprioritised and publishing partners abandoned Facebook Articles en masse.

Better > Bigger

Now, Stelzner argues, marketers need to focus on “making a bigger impact on a smaller number of people.” 

In a landscape where connection is valued, creating evangelists for your brand is the goal.


What’s Your Story?

Instagram and Facebook Stories are at the centre of connecting people with brands.

Stelzner offers the following as reasons brands need to get on board with stories (if they aren’t already):

Stories are consumed daily, and new stories appear at the top of the screen when users open Instagram

Stories are genuine, close to the action and allow plenty of room to engage with Q&A’s, use of highlights and intimate conversations through direct messaging responses.


Go Live

Now that meaningful social interaction is valued instead of passive consumption, Live Video is a non-negotiable tool to get close with audiences.

It’s humanizing, real and get’s as close as possible to a live event.

You’re probably wondering how the heck you’re going to find the time and resources to weave this into your schedule but don’t fret, the average live video is less than 10 minutes.

It may not be much time to execute but it does take a leap of faith that audiences will appreciate the realness of a live video, warts and all.


Where To Now?

If Facebook doesn’t want your long-form video content, what are you going to do with it?

Stelzner takes a comprehensive dive into the continued impact of YouTube as a place of deep brand engagement. 

A much higher rate of people watch YouTube videos to completion and playlists keep people coming back for more.

This depth of interaction brings trust and people will start to feel connected as they explore your brand.



Key Learnings

  • Facebook wants deep social connections, and doesn’t want passive content consumption.
  • The goal now is to be influential and connected with your audiences, encouraging them to become evangelists.

This Can Be Achieved With:

  • Instagram and Facebook Stories – They’re highly visible and allow for intimate engagement
  • Live Video – It feels like a live event and comes across as genuine with real-time opportunity to respond to questions.
  • Long Form Video on YouTube – People watch for longer and can connect deeply with brands on YouTube

If You’re An Agency:

Consider how these messages will affect you in a practical way.

If stories are going to become a focus for your clients, who will be shooting them? Will you have boots on the ground regularly to catch the day-to-day action?

The good thing about stories and live is that they can be shot on the phone, but it will be worthwhile finding a spokesperson that feels natural on camera, especially when live.


Find out more about Social Media Marketing World Here 

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