This month, Mark Zuckerberg announced a major change to the Facebook News Feed, causing businesses to have to reconsider their social media strategy.
To summarize what the changes are, Facebook is going to be shifting the focus of what people see in their News Feeds away from businesses and media outlets and back toward posts from friends and family. Acknowledging that Facebook’s original goal was to help people stay connected, Zuckerberg said, “public content — posts from businesses, brands, and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
In today’s world, it’s hard not to agree that we should be going back to simpler times where our News Feed was populated with photos and sentiments from friends and family, not fake news and click bait. And this is definitely going to impact how brands and businesses use Facebook to interact with and reach new customers.
The good news? This means that the businesses and brands who continue to produce high-quality content will not only stand out, but thrive.
How can you beat it?
Facebook has 2 billion users and one of the most successful, hyper-targeted ad platforms in the digital space. Advertising on Facebook isn’t going anywhere, you just have to update your strategy.
So what can you do as a business to make sure you rise above these changes to the News Feed? Here are a few tips:
1. Create meaningful conversations about your brand
When posting, strive for genuine interaction with your posts. Asking open-ended questions about your brand or what your audience wants to see/values is a good place to start and can give you a pulse on what they’re interested in interacting with.
Stay away from engagement-bait type posts like “Like this” or “Tag someone.” Zuckerberg said, “People have told us that they dislike spammy posts on Facebook that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions. For example, “LIKE this if you’re an Aries!” This tactic, known as “engagement bait,” seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach. So, starting this week, we will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait.”
Instead, ask questions that mean something to your audience and will prompt a genuine, meaningful response and discussion.
2. Create more video content
Video content is king on Facebook and will remain so in 2018. Facebook prioritizes video content in the News Feed with live video being prioritized even higher. Video should be central to your marketing strategy, including utilizing Facebook Live. As Zuckerberg stated, “We’ve seen people interact way more around live videos than regular ones.” Facebook Live is a great option because it usually generates a lot of conversation, which gets you seen in the News Feed. Regardless, your video content should be high quality and include content that your audience wants to see.
3. Create a strategic paid strategy to reach the right people
It’s time to start leveraging Facebook Ads and its wealth of targeting capabilities. Having a paid strategy will ensure that your audience sees your content.
If you have a good social media strategy, you shouldn’t have much to worry about – the shift just means we have to get more in touch with those we want to reach. Again look at these Facebook News Feed changes as a fun challenge and rise to the occasion.
4. Explore Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups don’t work for every type of business, but if it makes sense for your brand they are a great way to build a community of people with common interests. In fact, Zuckerberg said that “the first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups,” which means group posts will be placed higher in the News Feed than regular posts. Groups take a longer time to develop than a regular Business Page but are worth it in the end.
Moral of the story: these Facebook changes are not the end of the world. As marketers, it’s always important to be adaptable; it’s the nature of our industry. While these changes may cause a slight decrease in reach or engagement, if you pivot your strategy they can end up being valuable changes in the long run. Zuckerberg noted that he expects “the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.” We want our Facebook audiences to engage and interact with our posts because they find meaning in the content. With a renewed strategy, these new changes will just ensure the leads you get from Facebook are quality ones.
If you’re looking to update your social media strategy in 2018, contact us today!