Very recently, Mark Zuckerberg and his team revealed that Facebook’s newsfeed will be changing in some pretty major ways. He explained that the overarching new direction he was giving his product team was to shift away from focusing on helping users find relevant content to helping them have more meaningful social interactions.
At a glance, this sounds great. Of course we all want to connect more on social media (isn’t that the point)? And Zuckerberg was abundantly clear that this move was motivated by a desire to help people feel better when using the platform – which is also a nice idea.
The downside of this (of course there had to be one) is that the changes will absolutely affect your business and its Facebook strategy. But, there is hope! Here, we’ll break down what this all means and how you can respond in order to continue maximizing your marketing efforts on the social channel.
Algorithm Reconfiguration – What Does it Mean to Me?
The gist of how Facebook will be retooling its algorithm is that it’s going to heavily weigh longer comments. This is based on the idea that in-depth exchanges between individuals means they’re connecting more in meaningful dialogue. On the flip side, this also means that likes and shorter comments will be given less weight in the algorithm. And posts from family members and friends will be taking more of a key spot on users’ news feeds since, after all, Facebook is calling this initiative “closer together.”
What it all means to you, as a business, is that your posts and content are far more likely to get lost in the shuffle and/or deprioritized. Videos are going to get less exposure, too, since they’re often watched passively, without person-to-person interaction. And users can actually rank the people and pages they follow so they will see more from the individuals and businesses they’re most interested in.
The takeaway: A brand’s marketing tactics on the platform will need to shift to stay competitive.
Revamping Your Facebook Approach – Where Do I Start?
With the new algorithm and changes in mind, here’s what we recommend when it comes to your Facebook strategy:
1. Focus on quality.
In marketing, we’ve all been trained to churn out more quantity of content (especially on social media), so we stay top of mind with our customer base. But this updated newsfeed approach means that less will soon be more. Switch up your social media posts to be rich with ideas, and space out the time between posts more than you used to. Also, try to encourage meaningful discussions between your followers. For example, a swim school might post a new study they’ve conducted about the most influential ways parents can support young swimmers – and then invite readers to share a story about a tactic that worked best for them with their own children.
2. Go live.
Facebook itself has said that videos which are live-streamed get far more comments on them than pre-recorded videos that are posted. This is valuable insight for marketers, and can be used to your advantage. If you run the marketing efforts at a health and wellness center, for instance, think about live-streaming moments that could be helpful to viewers, like one of your trainers demonstrating how to properly use a foam roller. You’re far more likely to get engagement this way – and spawn interest.
3. Use ads.
We’ve all done our best to take advantage of posting content for free on Facebook, in the hopes that we can save a little money while still attracting (and converting) customers. But there’s no guarantee now – and really never has been – that these types of post will even be seen by your target audience. We suggest biting the bullet and investing in an official ad engagement with Facebook Ads. They can be complicated, but we can help you navigate this. And Facebook Ads are sure to actually be seen.
There are a lot of ways you can tweak and refine your current Facebook strategy in order to maximize it in the platform’s latest “newsfeed era.” But we recommend starting with the three steps outlined above before moving onto any other undertakings. The new algorithm changes may not be the most promising for businesses everywhere, but they can still be used strategically to reach your customers on Facebook. If you have any questions about a Facebook strategy, or other areas of digital marketing, please contact us.