Facebook is Changing. How Much Should You Panic?
Last Friday, Facebook made a massive announcement about the way brand content and news publishers’ will appear on users’ newsfeeds. Given that this move is largely designed to address the spread of fake news, media outlets will feel these changes the most, but they will impact businesses as well. The challenge now is to figure out how, and what you can do about it.
This move is a further reminder, if you still need one, that organic publishing to Facebook is dead. Your content is no longer guaranteed a presence in your audience’s main feed. Brands that want to increase shares and audience engagement need to invest more in creative content and paid media amplification.
The bad news with a sad reaction ☹️
How does this change affect you? Likely, your reach, video watch-time and referral traffic will drop. You’ll need to get more creative to achieve engagement and reach. With limited inventory space on Facebook, each creative execution needs to focus on how content can be shared, with the emphasis on live video and finding the right influencers. In the short-term, this means it’s also likely that advertising costs for all brands will rise as they test and trial new, more creative strategies and figure out what works after the algorithm changes.
Interestingly, Facebook says that brands employing ‘engagement-baiting’ tactics for more comments will see their posts demoted in the feed. And frustratingly, it doesn’t clearly define exactly what content will be demoted and how it plans to police this in the newsfeed’s algorithm.
On the heels of such uncertainty, and questions about why brands would continue to invest in a platform if they will struggle to reach an audience, Facebook’s shares fell 4.5 per cent following the announcement.
But it’s not all bad news.
5 good things to “like” about the changes
These changes mean you’ll see more from family and friends in your newsfeeds.
They strongly influence buyer behaviour and the decision-making process. The key is to target these cohorts with like-for-like content that creates two -way conversation, prompts discussion, or engages and encourages a sharing behaviour. If the content is relevant and resonates with your friend or your mother, they will engage, react or share it.
Consumers may revert to seeking out their beloved brand pages to see what’s happening with their brand.
Now’s a good time to check that your Facebook business page is looking flash and has the right content for your audience. Are your most recent campaigns on your brand page? Are your products visible with rich imagery and video? Is it shareable and will it generate discussion?
Facebook LIVE goes to the top.
The top of the algorithmic changes that is. Adam Moseri, Facebook’s head of newsfeed, says this newish feature will be more prominent. Live videos get six times more interactions and engagement than regular videos.
Facebook wants its consumers to know the more time you spend on Facebook going forward, the more valuable it will be to experience.
Richer experiences may prove beneficial to the platform longer term as recent statistics have shown that users are using Facebook less as they move toward newer, edgier platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Telegram.
Back to basics.
Facebook will become more social and less media-oriented.
So to summarise: simple content on Facebook for services, products, news or experiences won’t cut through anymore. Agencies, publishers and content marketers must create and test emotionally-charged, conversational stories that prompt shareable and meaningful content.
Will these changes to Facebook bring Twitter back to the people as the space for social news? Possibly. Watch this space.
For more information, you can view the full Facebook release via Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, post here.
How Facebook’s algorithm works in 90seconds.
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