Should Your Business Worry About Facebook’s Latest News Feed Update?
Facebook is re-tweaking its News Feed...again. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a post, "I'm changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions." He continued, “But recently we've gotten feedback from our community that public content -- posts from businesses, brands, and media -- is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
He said the change should make everyone feel better: "The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long-term measures of happiness and health."
With fewer posts from businesses, brands, and media expect to see more of what users "friends" are sharing and liking.
What will this mean for Brands?
As Facebook begins to prioritize content that enables meaningful people-to-people connections and interactions, businesses can expect the organic reach of their Facebook pages to drop.
Specifically, users will see more posts from people they’re connected to in the news feed and less content from pages they follow. This is a significant change from the earlier values of the news feed, which prioritized the total time spent on Facebook and how many people shared posts directly.
While Facebook still values page content as an imperative part of their platform’s ecosystem, the news feed will move the focus from ranking content that’s directly consumed from pages (which will shrink in reach) to content that is shared and talked about between friends (which will grow).
Brands will need to “pay to play”
This latest change to the News Feed algorithm is not the end of the world. For brands big and small -- not for the first time -- it means that you’ll have to adapt and adjust to Facebook's new direction if you’re to use the social network as a way to reach customers. This means implementing a paid strategy. No business has been able to overlook Facebook's reminders to boost a post or promote a page, and the evidence shows that for those who are savvy, patient, and willing to experiment, Facebook advertising can be extremely beneficial.
One thing's clear: most brands won't just up and leave Facebook. Its 2 billion users and hyper-targeted ad platform still make it a major marketing channel online, in spite of this news.
What to do right now
With Facebook’s announcement of news feed changes, pages and brands can anticipate having less of their content circulated in the news feed. Overall reach, video watch time, and referral traffic for all pages will decline.
As the changes go into effect, brands will want to take steps to encourage meaningful interactions on the platform. For starters, publish quality content that will encourage conversations, engage in Facebook groups, and invest time in live video. Also, learn how to advertise on the network and teach followers how to see your page’s content first.
If you haven’t been publishing relevant, fresh content and haven’t dabbled in Facebook’s paid promotion platform, then now is the time to jump onboard. Not sure where to start? Let’s talk about a strategy that will ensure your brand’s reach on Facebook doesn’t diminish.
Orlando marketing agency PH3 Agency + Brewery has helped businesses increase their exposure and quality leads through branding, content development, digital/web, search and social strategies since 2003.