What You Need to Know About Facebook’s Latest Update
Facebook announced another change in their news feed algorithm earlier this month. While updates can be quite common for this social media platform, this particular one isn’t surprising due to the fact that Facebook’s organic reach numbers have been on the decline over the past couple years. An influx of pushed content from “brands, businesses and media” may be to blame. Recent feedback from users indicated a disconnect in the amount of personal connection they were experiencing on the platform. Needless to say, it was anticipated that Mark Zuckerberg would develop a new strategy to mitigate the issue.
It has not only become his personal goal of 2018 to connect people the way he intended Facebook to, but Zuckerberg also wants to make time spent on Facebook more valuable. Passive viewing has become a common outcome of most time spent on Facebook, especially with family and friends. Even though most videos or posts may be entertaining, with all the puppies and memes, or informative, from news stories and world events, Zuckerberg’s announcement mentions studies that have shown what passive viewing can do to an individual’s psyche— they become more lonely and less connected.
So while some Facebook users may be excited about this change, allowing them to reunite with their friends’ and family’s digital activity,
what will this mean for businesses and publishers?
First off, there is no need to panic. Yes, conventional methods used to date will shift, but this leaves opportunity for growth and strategic campaigning in other ways. Here are some of the most important points to keep in mind about Facebook’s algorithm change.
What to Expect from Facebook’s Newsfeed Change:
Profiles People Actually Know or Care About Will Receive a Higher Ranking
The “change” that is being referred to essentially means that videos, comments, and shares made by friends and family will take precedence, or have a higher ranking, than that of publishers and media. With a higher ranking, users will see more content that sparks organic connection and discussion from their close connections.
Less Eyeballs on the Platform
Zuckerberg even said it himself. Facebook is anticipating a drop in time spent on the platform, which will include some engagement rates as well. Ultimately though, this change is beneficial for the long-term future of Facebook.
Competitive Ad Prices
This will, in turn, cause ad prices to surge. With a decrease in ad demand due to less publisher content being viewed, tighter competition for the limited space will result.
Meaningful Content is Key
A meaningful newsfeed may look different across the board, as audiences are unique and what people care about can differ vastly, but what will remain the same is the fact that things being shared will have purpose and connection to the user and their circle. Knowing that what is being seen in the news feed is what friends and family are talking about, authentic conversation and discussion are likely to emerge. This limits pushed posts from media and businesses.
An article published by The New York Times focused on the shift of Facebook ads and believe that video will have more emphasis put on them. Currently, Facebook offers a feature known as Watch, after noticing most ad dollars were shifting to video. Experts anticipate higher quality video, including live video, being purchased and featured.
Drop in Publisher Engagement
Although there is opportunity in video ads, it is expected that publisher’s posts will see a drop in post engagement, with things such as “likes” and “shares”. It is even alluded to by Zuckerberg that posts which drive conversatio will have a higher ranking, which leads us to believe there will be more of an emphasis on the “comments” section.
With all of this in mind, here are some strategies to keep in mind or to add to current campaigns.
Adjusted Facebook Strategy Tips:
Brand Ambassadors/Influencers are Becoming Even More Valuable
Sparking organic conversation and discussion will mean that ambassadors will become a great resource to build brand awareness through what ambassadors and influencers are first, people. Also, brand ambassadors have a tendency to naturally emerge from a brand loyalty, to begin with, so utilizing this person as a resource to help spread the word to their personal circles makes sense. Which leads us to our next point…
Utilizing Facebook Groups
If you haven’t been using them already, now is the time to ramp up proficiency in the creation and utilization of Facebook Groups. These are an awesome way to build online communities that naturally prompt discussion and engagement. It even encourages online communities to engage offline as well, which seems to be part of the overall “meaningful” interaction theme we’ve been hearing about.
Video, Video, Video
There is already evidence of Facebook favoring high-quality video content. Not only on the production end but in content as well. Focusing on content that will leave viewers wanting to engage or tell someone else in their circle about it, is key to get a conversation going about your brand. Live video is also likely to help show authenticity and is a personal way to engage in discussion.
The Comment Section Will Be Vital
Incentivizing group members or audiences to comment or get their friends involved in the conversation will be essential for Facebook, now. It is also important to note that Facebook users will have the ability to change their settings so they can still see posts from their favorite pages. Under the page’s “liked” tab, there is an option to “see first” the page’s post. This is something to keep in mind when considering quality curated and created content that will naturally incentivize audiences to find value in making their page a “see first” option. After all, not everyone is excited about their second cousin losing another tooth.
Moving Forward Successfully
In all honesty, businesses who are doing things the right way will actually benefit from this change in the long run. Companies that publish clickbait posts will be penalized, as such posts will move to the bottom of a feed and will eventually disappear, leaving room for those who take time to publish quality posts.
If you’ve been considering consulting a digital marketing agency for your social media marketing needs, especially with a major change like this, we can help! The team at Lupeer is continuously analyzing trends and developing effective strategies and specialize in adapting to the ever-changing marketing industry. Learn more about what we do!
By Gabrielle Spica, Digital Marketing Intern
Gabrielle Spica is Lupeer’s Spring 2018 Digital Marketing Intern. She comes to us from Millersville University and is currently studying Speech Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. Gabrielle introduced herself to Lupeer at the Millersville Career and Internship Fair and impressed us with her outgoing personality and assertiveness and we knew she would be a great addition to our team. When she’s not taking on anything and everything we throw at her at the office, she enjoys binging her favorite TV shows on Netflix and cheering for her favorite football team, the Philadelphia Eagles.