Captain John C. Tidball, of the West Point Class of 1848, started the custom of playing “Taps” at military funerals.
Another lesser-known legend about “Taps” is that of Lieutenant William Waid paying saloon-keepers to shut off the taps to the kegs in a bar.
In any event, the playing of Taps signals the end.
I believe a lot of brands and their advertising agencies are hearing Taps playing on their Facebook pages today.
What many of us in social media have known for quite some time is that the number of fans a brand has on Facebook is wholly irrelevant. Less than 5% of a brand’s fanbase even had a shot of seeing their content due to EdgeRank and other algorithmic anomalies.
But brands can’t blame it all on Facebook. Too many brands simply post the most unappealing, non-relevant, dreadful content that no user wants to see or share anyway.
Now Facebook has made it official. The free ride is over! They’re going to be turning off the spigot and they are not going to show brand content that under performs (i.e. crappy!)
Furthermore, even if you create decent content, your stuff still isn’t going to be shown as they are pushing brands to support content with Facebook Ads.
“We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.”
That my friends is the sound of Taps playing. It’s game over on Facebook for those brands that can’t / won’t / are not capable of creating compelling, contextually relevant content AND supporting said content with Facebook Ads.
However…all is not lost. A brand need not be relegated to the social morgue. That is Facebook, and its billion users, still would love to see content… if it’s appealing.
If you’re a brand that has the capacity to work the social network the right way, you may actually thrive in the freed up timelines of users who are now unclogged from stream pollution.
Since Facebook is trying to make people’s experiences more meaningful, brands need to stop posting despicable advertising and promotions and start adding value to people’s lives with material that informs, entertains, and inspires. That is, content that’s meaningful.
Oh, but this would involve not thinking of Facebook as a push-medium where you buy Likes and Facebook followers as minions…
Imagine that. Commercial, salesy, push based crap is no longer welcome on Facebook.
Actually it hasn’t been welcome for some time. It’s just now that we all know it’s official.
R.I.P. to crappy brand content, the community managers and copywriters who have foisted it upon us, and the agencies who have been responsible for strategizing and perpetuating the banality of their client’s Facebook postings