Good news for Facebook users, and uncertain news for businesses with Facebook ads: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the social media platform will be changing its news feed algorithm to prioritize posts by users’ family and friends over Facebook ads and content from public pages.
Revealed just last month, this is obviously big news—and will most likely be one of the largest social media changes of the year. Zuckerberg’s reasoning is that he wants Facebook to return to its roots by helping “people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.”
This change in the news feed may mean more meaningful personal connections for Facebook users, but for businesses that utilize Facebook for advertising, it may throw a wrench into their efforts.
Only time will tell what the actual long-term impact of the new algorithm will have on businesses will be, but we can predict a few things will happen…
The Amount Of Paid Posts Will Rise
Because companies’ organic reach will be dropping, they’ll scramble to make up for that loss with paid ads and posts. (This will also most likely result in ad costs increasing, since everything will suddenly be a lot more competitive.)
Interaction Is Still Key
The posts that will suffer the most are the posts that no one reacts to—no comments, no likes, etc. These are the posts that will see the largest decrease in exposure, since the algorithm for ranking will still be driven by the type of content being produced and how Facebook users interact with that content.
Watch Out, Low-Performing Organic Posts
The new impact on organic reach will have a not-so-great effect on boosted posts from organic content that hasn’t performed well. According to one Facebook rep, “If a page post is getting less organic reach due to this ranking change, it may see a slight impact in the ads auction if ‘boosted’ from the page.”
So, What Can Businesses Do?
Right now, no one is really sure. However, we can take a best guess. Here are a few tips on how businesses may be able to navigate this news feed change.
Produce Better Content
In order for businesses to have a chance and compete well during this change, they will need to up their content strategy game. A focus on creating high-quality content will be key, since posts and ads that get users sharing, liking, and talking will rank higher in the new Facebook news feed. It will now be critical for content from businesses to be valuable to Facebook users. This means a significant decrease in click bait such as “tag a friend who loves cheap beauty products!”. Welcome to a future where posts like these are punished.
This is nothing new, but a good reminder in these unsteady times. It’s okay to post daily or every other day, but posting multiple times within one day lowers user engagement and can negatively affect organic reach. It’s simply irritating. No matter what online “guru” says it’s a good idea, trust us—it’s not.
Select “See First” Option In The News Feed
Make sure to tell your audience about the “See First” option on your business page. By having your followers select the “See First” option on your page, it’s guaranteed that Facebook will make your posts show up first in their feed.
Again, Interaction Is Key!
We’re not kidding: interaction is key, and will rule the new Facebook news feed. This means not only getting your audience commenting, liking, and sharing—but also responding to them. This means answering their questions quickly, liking what they say, and so on. This will both help your organic reach and be excellent for your customer service in general.
Try Your Hand At (Live) Video
You’ve probably been hearing that video is amazing for audience engagement for a while. It’s true—and live video is even better. There’s something about users seeing that someone is “going live” that grabs their attention and taps into their desire to comment and share. In fact, live videos have an average engagement rate that’s six times more than that of any other type of content…so, looks like it’s time to jump into the deep end of live video.
It’s ultimately a good thing that Facebook is doing: going back to the beginning of their mission, where their goal was to help family and friends stay in touch. However, it may take some serious maneuvering for businesses and brands to figure out the best strategies to maintain their exposure to their audience.
At Alecan, our social media specialists will be on top of this new impact and its effect on our clients in order to stay ahead of the curve and not only survive the change, but to take advantage of it.