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Algorithms, the enemy of small business

Twitter just announced a change to their feed, striving to create a better “user experience”. Instead of seeing the traditional reverse chronological order in your twitter feed (viewing the most recent tweet first), Twitter will choose a few of the tweets it believes would most interest you based on your past interactions and engagements placing them at the top of your feed.

Sounds like they are drinking the Facebook Kool-Aid.

Now I understand that individuals use most social networks to simply connect, keeping in touch with those people and brands they choose. As a marketer, the onset of social media has demanded we (businesses) create a platform so our current and potential customers can learn more about us, find us and converse.

I’ve worked in the traditional media industry for several years. The one evil common thread local/small businesses are painfully aware; the bigger the budget, the more you can covet a media! Big business with their massive marketing budgets can dominate a television show, a radio station or a cable channel. As a local ad agency my tasks is to take a local businesses budget that are understandably smaller and make it work for them.

Social media gave us something we didn’t have! It gave the little guy an opportunity to compete on a level playing field. If we tweeted or posted regularly, monitored and responded…we had a chance to reach the audience as easily as the big guys. With these new algorithms the same evil thread becomes a factor.

Of course people are going to interact more with Coke, Oreo, Starbucks and Chanel! What happens to your local furniture store, beauty salon or restaurant?

It’s great that consumers are now playing a more active role in how marketers market…but beware. Social platforms are becoming just another mass media, selling itself out to the big advertisers and customizing what YOU see!

Do you like the customization or prefer to make your own decisions about what you see when?

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