On January 12, 2018, Facebook announced a big change in its approach to the ever-changing News Feed algorithm. Consumers, be happy. Marketers, time to get creative and strategic!
Mark Zuckerberg posted an update stating that Facebook will shift its focus in 2018 and attempt to “help us connect with each other.” The key word: CONNECT.
Zuckerberg continues by saying their research has shown that when we use social media to connect with people and things we care about, it has a positive impact on our own well-being.
Passively reading articles and scrolling through videos have proven to have less of a positive impact. Public content (published by media and business pages) will now be held to a new standard to encourage meaningful interactions between people.
Organic reach has been on the decline for years. We’ve watched Facebook Business Page’s reach drop from 15% to 8% to 5%, and down to less than 1% for some, currently. As marketers, we had to adapt to the change and new “pay-to-play” model as Facebook began monetizing the platform.
Facebook’s official announcement addresses what the new change means for Pages:
“Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”
Take a deep breath. This doesn’t necessarily mean your Page’s content will never show up again organically. The impact will vary from Page to Page, based on factors such as the type of content produced and how people interact with it.
Ultimately, the impact on your Business Page is going to be driven by:
- How active and authentic your followers are
- How meaningful your content is
- How much conversation your content drives
A Page that is driving meaningful conversation may see little or no effect. A Page that drives little reaction or no conversation will likely see a big change.
What to Do
So the question we’re all asking ourselves is: how do I ensure my content stays in my core audience’s news feed? By reading between the lines of Facebook’s announcement, and employing a few strategic changes, we’re here to tell you this isn’t the end of the world for your business.
Create Meaningful, Engaging Content
The number one rule has, and always will be, to keep your audience’s interests top of mind when creating content. What are their interests? What are they passionate about? What do they talk about? Understanding your audience and driving conversation should be at the center of your strategy. Try creating a few personas and then, brainstorming on what content each of these would go to Facebook to see or read.
Focus on the community as well. Facebook emphasizes the fact that its goal is to make a positive impact on people’s lives, ultimately making them happier. Keeping that in mind, leverage the social good that your company is doing in the community.
Allocate Budget to Content Promotion
As Facebook has continually reduced organic reach, it’s become more and more important to allocate budget to key News Feed content. The newest update does nothing but reinforce that strategy.
Your social content is an extension of your brand, helping to introduce your business to new audiences, and build relationships with current customers. Through strategic ad targeting, we can ensure our social content is being delivered to the right people at the right time with the right messaging.
Diversify Your Distribution
While Facebook continues to lead the pack in the social space, there are other avenues to explore when distributing your message and content. The last thing any marketer wants to do is rely too heavily on one platform, so now is a good time to explore additional outlets.
For instance, take a look at trusted sources within your primary audience. Influencers (whether big or small) can help spread your message/brand/product within their followings.
Do you have a loyal customer base? If so, develop programs to leverage those advocates through user-generated content. Depending on your brand and industry, there are a number of additional outlets to explore in the social space.
What NOT To Do
Have you heard of “engagement-bait” yet? If not, be sure to get familiar with this term Facebook introduced to us in mid-December. Facebook will be demoting posts that ask users to Vote, React, Share, Tag or Comment in an unnatural way.
Whatever strategy you deploy to help fight the change to Facebook’s News Feed, don’t do this!
This isn’t the end of social media marketing as we know it. If anything, it provides us all with an opportunity to reassess our strategies, get creative, and test new initiatives to help communicate better with current and future consumers.
Want to receive the latest industry updates straight to your inbox?