Earlier this month, Facebook announced (again) changes to the social network and how users would experience the feed. These changes led to media coverage, including perspectives like my own about what this means:
And panic followed.
But digital campaigners who have been at this a while have lived through – and survived – many changes to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and all of the other social media networks used to reach voters. You’ll survive this change too.
Here are five reasons not to panic when social media companies make changes to their platforms.
Remember Why You Use The Platform
As a campaigner, your objectives are not the same as the social media company’s. You’re focused on earning votes, getting attention, raising money, and attacking your opponent. Social networks want their users to spend more time on the app so they can sell more advertising.
As long as a social media platform is attracting a user base that includes the voters you need to reach, there’s an opportunity for using it for your campaign.
You Always Have An Owned Audience
Smart digital campaigners use social media with one foot out of the door at all times. They’re building their owned audience via web traffic, email, and texting. Social media is a shared audience.
In other words, don’t build your house on someone else’s land.
You’ve Built Meaningful Relationships
The “secret” to social media campaigning is right in the name. A lot of attention is paid to the “media” part but “social” is just as critical. Humans have relationships with other people – not brands or personalities.
If you’ve been using social media like a real person, that means you’ve built meaningful relationships that will weather changes to the platform and even follow you to new places.
You’re Always Experimenting
No one knows how or if these changes will affect campaigns, but times of change are a good opportunity to test new strategies, tactics, and ideas. For savvy digital campaigners willing to experiment, there’s the potential for upside in discovering a new method or trick that others haven’t yet found.
Quality + Authenticity Always Win
No matter the platform, quality and authentic content always win out. Savvy digital campaigners know the formula for successful online content includes consistency, value, and relevance.
Social media companies make changes in response to user data about content they don’t like. If you’re using low-quality gimmicks or aren’t engaging with users, the changes will harm what you’re doing. But if you’re creating value for followers on the platform, there’s little reason to worry.
Social media platform changes come and go, but the fundamentals of digital campaigning are the same. Don’t panic and stick to the plan.