This “Keep Calm and Shine On” t-shirt is a riff on the popular “Keep Calm and Carry On” meme used by Autism Speaks to help promote the annual World Autism Awareness Day.
The California Coverage and Health Initiative used this variation to promote enrolling in health care coverage as of October 1st.
And the American Society of Civil Engineers used it to promote the profession.
Many charities are often stretch to find the time and resources to feed the content beast and riffing on popular memes can an efficient and effective way to create content, especially with the plethora of free “meme creators“available
But if Autism Speaks or any of the other countless charities continue to use twist popular memes to support their good causes on Facebook, they be punished for using “crappy memes.” Last month Facebook made some algorithm change for Pages that gives more visibility to timely, relevant, sharable content from trusted sources and punishes Pages that ask people to Like their posts or that post “low-quality” memes.
In this TechCrunch post, it explains how the Facebook newsfeed is changing for brands. Facebook did research of users to find out what would make a page worth seeing in its newsfeed. Facebook integrated this user feedback into its computer generated algorithm that identifies high- and low-quality posts, and places the best ones higher in the feed. The most important thing for Pages to know about the change is that posting popular memes with overlaid text on images might not be the best strategy going forward.
According to the post that quotes Facebook officials, pages that would most likely suffer are those that exclusively post low quality content such as “like this” content or memes. But the rewards are higher for those pages that post high quality content.
But it is Facebook’s role to judge what is or isn’t good quality content? In this opinion piece from Convince and Convert, author Brian Carter lays out a good argument against Facebook using an automated method to curate (or censor) content in people’s news feeds. He says, “The newsfeed algorithm’s job is to surface what people interact with, thus improving the quality of their feed. Now, Facebook is saying you’re wrong. ‘You are too stupid to recognize quality posts. Even though you interact with these memes, we’ll help you be more sophisticated by not showing them to you.’
He also goes on to make the point that this Facebook changes punishes small businesses (he could also insert nonprofits) – “Many companies, especially small ones, are at a disadvantage in this new world of publishing interesting content EVERY day. How does the understaffed, undertrained, and underfunded small business create something new and effective every day?”
He also takes Facebook to task for not defining what content is and that makes this a slippery slope.
More analysis of the Facebook changes from Mari Smith.
What do you think of this Facebook change? What is the impact on your nonprofit’s content strategy?