Facebook news ban: what it means for you and your news

There is a need for brands to quickly adapt to the major change, with Facebook banning Australian users from sharing and seeing Australian and international links that are deemed to be news in response to the Federal Government’s proposed Media Bargaining Law*. As the country and the world watches and waits to see how this will unfold, it is critical brands evaluate and adapt to this major change to ensure their social presence remains engaging, relevant and trusted and  not lost in the fodder of spam, click bait and misinformation.

Who is impacted and how?

  • Australian publishers: restricted from sharing or posting any content on Facebook pages, however if you are an Admin of a page you are still able to access other features such as insights, Creator Studio, services.
  • Australian users: can no longer view or share Australian or international news content on Facebook or content from Australian and international news Pages.
  • International publishers: can continue to publish news content on Facebook, but links and posts cannot be viewed or shared by Australian audiences.
  • International communities: cannot view any news links from Australian providers.

For brands, understanding these changes is critical to ensuring their social media strategies adapt and change to ensure they are not caught in the crossfire.

The rise of misinformation and how your brand can combat it

The ban means information will no longer come from qualified journalists or publications that undergo fact-checking measures. Now more than ever, brands must understand how to identify misinformation – turning on their ‘fake news’ radars to ensure they don’t get caught out in a story that damages the brand’s reputation. Endorsing, promoting and legitimising third party content will now bring with it a heightened level of risk, and brands must ensure their checks and balances hold up. Simple additions to social media procedures and protocols, such as cross-checking stories or organisations, will ensure your social strategy remains ‘on brand’ and your organisation’s reputation safeguarded.

Staying “newsworthy” without the news

For many organisations, sharing and providing commentary on the latest news and industry happenings was both a sure-fire way to remain relevant with followers, and a tool to promote insights, thought leadership and reach broader networks. With bona fide news no longer a piece of the Facebook puzzle, social media strategists are now left with a content void to fill, and brands must consider new ways to stay at the top of their followers’ feeds. Whether it be looking for other credible third-party sources, scouting internally for original content opportunities, or integrating more User Generated Content, brands must reconsider their current content offerings and look at ways they can stay meaningful and fresh.

It’s a moving feast – social listening more critical than ever

Social media provides levels of data and insights on a monumental scale, and when examined and understood correctly, creates an opportunity for brands to refine and optimise their social strategies. Social listening must become an integral part of marketers’ social media strategies to allow organisations to track and observe the conversations, brands, words or topics surrounding their company, and to evaluate the effects of shifting content strategies.

The opportunity: a new era for User Generated Content

With every change comes opportunity, and some are predicting an opportunity for a shift towards Facebook’s original intended purpose – a social network – as well as a ‘stocktake’ of how brands use different social media channels. For some brands, we may see an opportunity for content to reflect a more ‘human’ voice, pushing User Generated Content to the fore, and opening up the channel to more genuine audience engagement. If we are in fact bracing for an onslaught of misinformation and fake news, a social media strategy that pulls genuine content to the front and centre may not only help your brand ‘weather the storm’, but also pique interest, drive engagement, and create loyal brand advocates in the process.

In terms of the wider social media landscape, there will be opportunity for brands to reconsider the full-spectrum of their social media offerings – reviewing the purpose, objectives and strategy for each channel, and ensuring content remains tailored and targeted to specific audiences. With many organisations and brands grappling with the change, it is critical brands take pause to consider their social media strategies holistically, and ensure they are still reaching their target audiences and engaging with them in meaningful ways.

With many organisations and brands grappling with the change, it is critical brands adapt their social media content to ensure they are still reaching their target audience.

Contact us

At Phillips Group, we develop and execute digital, social and data driven strategies to create campaigns that drive engagement, reach, generate conversions and build brands and expectations. Contact us today on 3230 5000 to see how we can help build your brand.

*Federal Government’s proposed Media Bargaining Law: Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) Bill 2020