GLOBAL: Facebook’s ongoing problems around data and privacy have added another complication for social marketers adjusting to the platform’s recent moves to shift the balance of users’ news feed posts away from advertisers and publishers back towards friends and family.

A WARC Trend Snapshot, The social ‘clean-up’, looks at how changes to the organisation of personal and professional posts in several social networks is having a profound impact on the ways in which brands interact with consumers via these channels.

Facebook’s January 2018 changes will mean brands inevitably end up paying for reach, so they should rethink the volume of content they are pumping out on social and focus on producing less but more engaging and relevant content.

They need to “focus on their business objectives, and on targeting the right people at the right time with the right content, and on driving what is important to them rather than focusing on Facebook interactions,” said Charles Ruyant, head of social advertising/EMEA at OMD.

And they ought also to go with the Facebook flow, advised Daniel Gilbert, chief executive of performance marketing agency Brainlabs. He said: “Create interactive content, use Facebook Live, Messenger, Stories, Groups, and, wherever possible, find ways of supporting Watch.

“These are the parts of their platform Facebook are clearly trying to develop, so you can be sure their algorithm will reward you for boosting them.”

Advertisers may be wary of using the platform, however, given recent revelations about how 50 million user profiles were harvested by an app and passed on to political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

CNBC reported that German financial group Commerzbank and Mozilla, owner of the Firefox web browser, had suspended advertising on Facebook, with both citing data security as the reason.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced last week that third party apps collecting suspicious amounts of data would be investigated and, if necessary, audited.

He acknowledged to the Wall Street Journal that this would not be a “bulletproof solve”, but added: “The real point of what we’re trying to do is to make it a lot harder for anybody to misuse the data.”

Sourced from WARC, CNBC, Wall Street Journal