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DMA Digital Diary: Choose which brands you don’t want to see

When Facebook announced this week that it will reduce ‘overly promotional’ content, it meant that brands need to think of a new policy of using the organic reach of Pages on the social media platform.

This move by the social media giant would lead to many posts which are pushing people to buy a product or install an app, enter promotions with no real context, or reuse ad content to be automatically removed from the News Feed.

Social media has been an integral part of brands’ marketing strategy, and while the social media platforms support that, they also want to control clutter to keep it relevant for users and also push brands towards using the paid medium via Facebook ads or Promotional Tweets.

Facebook wanted to make sure that its users don’t feel that they are being bombarded with promotional content from brands on its News Feed, as this would lead them to stop checking Facebook altogether. As a result, besides reducing the number of promotional posts a user will view, it also came out with a way to allow users to turn down brands they find annoying and ‘see less’ from them.

“If you see a story you’re not interested in or don’t want to see, you can tap the arrow in the top right of that story to hide it. Starting today, when you hide a story you’ll have the option to ask to see less from that person or Page,” the company blog said.

For marketers it essentially boils down to one thing – keeping their content relevant and creative on social media networks, failing which they can lose their audience altogether.

“News Feed is already a competitive place – as more people and Pages are posting content, competition to appear in News Feed has increased. All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time,” the company blog added.

Interestingly enough, Twitter and Google are also allowing their users control over the brands they want to see. Twitter allows users to dismiss a Promoted Tweet if they do not want to see it on their timeline.

Google allows its users to block specific ads, mute ads they don’t want to see or ‘edit their interests’ to see adds better suited to them.

Essentially while it is important to have a social media strategy in place and get the desired number of likes on their page, marketers and brands also need to think about how well will they leverage these platforms to keep their audience engaged.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.