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How your business can capitalise on Facebook Australia news ban

Facebook has divided opinion – and left publisher business pages bare – over its decision to restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content from February 17, 2021. But with change, there’s always opportunity and this definitely seems to be the case for some businesses in this instance.

How your business can capitalise on Facebook’s Australia news ban

Facebook has divided opinion – and left publisher business pages bare – over its decision to restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content from February 17, 2021. But with change, there’s always opportunity and this definitely seems to be the case for some businesses in this instance.

What’s fuelled Facebook’s feud?

Facebook’s ban on news content being shown within Australia – or Australians news being shown internationally – has been labelled by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a move to “unfriend Australia”.

The action stems from the Australian Government’s proposed news media bargaining law, declaring that being forced to pay for news links appearing in Facebook posts “fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content”. It follows on from Google’s decision to back down from its threat to pull its search engine from Australia and instead enter into deals with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and other major publishing companies pay for some of their news content.

Since initially pulling the trigger, Facebook has made several changes and exceptions for pages inadvertently impacted by the block. Several non-publisher pages were blocked but Facebook has since re-instated the majority of these.

How does Facebook’s news ban in Australia impact your digital marketing strategy?

For businesses traditionally reaching audiences on Facebook with news content, consideration needs to be given to targeting these potential customers on alternative platforms. For example:

  1. The Google Display Network allows advertisers to place banner advertisements on news-related websites.
  2. Electronic direct mail (EDM) marketing campaigns also provide an effective way to keep your customers informed.

With less news content on the Facebook platform, both advertisers and Facebook page managers also have greater opportunity to get in front of their customers on Facebook. Advertisers may see an increase in impressions (how many times their ads are viewed) on Facebook, while organic social media content may see increased post engagement (likes, comments and shares) from followers.

Keep in mind Facebook may see a drop in its userbase as a result of its recent changes

Facebook penetration is high among baby boomers and regional communities – demographics that also have greater loyalty to traditional media outlets and may leave the platform. For advertisers targeting these audiences it may be worth considering alternative advertising platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn or Instagram (currently not impacted by the block despite being owned by Facebook).

Contradicting all the above, it may be worth doing nothing

In 2014, Google News shut down in Spain and the impacts of the publishing industry as a whole were not detrimental. If flighty advertisers choose to pull click budgets out of Facebook, this may benefit steadfast advertisers with less competition resulting in lower cost per click and higher impressions.

If you’d like to review your business’s digital marketing strategy in light of Facebook’s Australia news ban, contact the web experts at Kook today.

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