Facebook’s New Focus on Friends and Family
According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook was “built to bring people closer together and help build relationships”. As the company is refocusing on this goal in 2018, users will see some potentially dramatic Facebook news feed changes.
After research into the social effects of social media, Facebook made the decision to do more to foster community and togetherness. It will prioritize posts that spark conversations between people. Posts from friends and family, therefore, will rank higher than posts from brands.
Before you panic and pull the plug on your social media plan, note that Facebook is not going to remove all Page posts from people’s news feeds.
That happened, yes, but it was a test. This is something else.
Here, Facebook’s new algorithm is going to prioritize content based on who is creating it, and, importantly, how many people engage with the posts. Things might get tough for a while, but it’s not insurmountable.
What This Means For Your Business
Let’s rip the plaster off. Yes, brands will likely see their organic reach, video views, and referral traffic decrease.
Zuckerberg himself posted, “Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”
Translation: “If your brand already gets good engagement, you’ll be fine. If it doesn’t, things are about to become dismal.”
There is a very bright side to these changes, though.
The Good News About Facebook News Feed Changes
On a positive note, brands will be forced to really consider what they’re sharing on social media. This is a good thing because the content we see will be entirely relevant. Facebook content from businesses will be more evocative than ever.
We may see the uprising of Facebook content checklists being developed by brands. Better content is just better. If you’re given an opportunity to create content that offers a more relevant experience (and therefore better results), why wouldn’t you take it?
How to Take Advantage of Facebook’s New News Feed Algorithm
It’s time to roll up our sleeves and roll with the punches. While other businesses are floundering, with managers slapping their monitors to Make Facebook Work Again, here are some things you can do to keep your content rising to the top and giving the people what they want.
1. Avoid Engagement Baiting – engagement baiting comes in 5 disreputable flavors.
• “Vote baiting” is enticing people to vote on a post, such as choosing between four images. Emoticons representing your choices.
• “React baiting” asks users to react if they agree with a statement or if they fit a category, such as: “Like this post if you wear glasses!”
• “Share baiting” asks users to share a post numerous times in order to gain or win something.
• “Tag baiting” and “comment baiting” invite people to perform those actions according to particular (typically commonly-found) criteria. Businesses use these tactics to artificially increase engagement. The results are superficial at best. With the Facebook news feed changes, the results could be disastrous.
2. Use Live Video – When it comes to creating engagement, you can’t go far wrong with video. Zuckerberg mentioned Live Video in his announcement, saying that they had seen much higher interaction around these than regular videos. You can bet that Facebook will be prioritizing Live Video content even more.
3. Ask Questions – If Facebook is refocusing on dialogue, don’t be in the business of creating monologues. Open up your posts for discussion and responses by asking direct questions.
And asking questions is not only a great way to encourage genuine engagement, you can also find out more about your customers, their preferences, etc. and then tailor your content to what they demand.
4. Use Images – Images are eye-catching and attract attention. When users are scrolling down a page, they are more likely to stop and read posts that are accompanied by high-quality images.
But be mindful of relevance, not just passive sharing. Facebook is watching for a variety of engagement methods and wants to shy away from passive consumption of media.
5. Provide a Sneak Peak – Use images and video to show your followers how you do business day to day. A behind-the-scenes look at your work can destroy the barriers created by straight advertising, giving your viewers a connection with you and an insight into what you do.
6. Interact – Remember that Facebook is a two-way street. This is a massive point of Zuckerberg’s announcement.
You can create engagement by engaging. Like posts. Respond to comments promptly and thoughtfully. Share your fans’ posts and content.
According to TAPinto Founder and CEO Michael Shapiro, Facebook lost 5 percent of its stock value after the News Feed Changes were announced. It would seem that Zuckerberg is earnest about his convictions and the reasons for adopting the new algorithm.
“… I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect 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.”
Creating better content is good for everyone. Period.
Over-reliance on one platform is never a good idea, but it’s not time to abandon Facebook. Your social media plan should consider the long term. Look at Facebook’s news feed changes as an opportunity to further humanize the web.