On Thursday 11th January 2018, Facebook announced that it would be changing the type of content we will typically see first on our news feeds. This change will see a shift in more engaging and interactable content. Put in more simpler terms: content from friends and family, instead of pages. But, what does this mean for brands and marketers?
It’s a wake-up call. Facebook are certainly not hiding the fact that brands and marketers will be impacted by this change. In their official statement made via CEO Mark Zuckerberg, it states, “Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease.”
If the content on pages isn’t necessarily engaging or encouraging a conversation, then expect to see an even greater decline of reach.
Take a read of the full post here.
So, what can marketers do to conquer this algorithm change?
Carrying on as if you haven’t heard about this change most definitely isn’t the answer.
Social strategies need to be reviewed and the style of content should be updated to encourage conversation.
But, do not follow the ‘engagement bait’ route. Encouraging the use of phrases such as ‘Share this post to win a trip to the Maldives.’ or ‘Tag a friend who you’d want to visit this restaurant with’ is a definite no no.Following feedback from users, Facebook is actively putting processes in place to ensure this type of content does not take advantage of their new algorithms.
Read more about ‘engagement bait’ here.
What can marketers now do to still gain reach?
As a social media marketer, or a marketer who manages social media on any level, if you’re not analysing and viewing trends of your posts, then you’re seriously missing a trick!
The Facebook insight tool provides a wealth of key information that allows you to better position the content and target it to the right audience, at the right time. With these changes taking place, analysing posts is more important than ever in creating content that will organically engage audiences and jump to the top of newsfeeds.
It may seem like an obvious statement to make. We all want to create engaging content that will get the best reach and beat all of our competitors, but how do we do it?
Content does not take one form, there are multiple types, some which usually get better reach than others. Video being one, specifically live video, which research suggests gets a 6x greater engagement rate than non-live ones.
There are also options to create polls and ask questions. This promotes conversation and will help brands master this change.
"As a social media marketer, or a marketer who manages social media on any level, if you’re not analysing and viewing trends of your posts, then you’re seriously missing a trick!"
Show them the money
There is still the option to use paid promotion to reach audiences and, if possible, is a vital part of any good social media strategy. Advertising on Facebook remains one of the ways to gain the best marketing ROI.
Look to create genuine content that has the audiences’ interests at the forefront. Facebook’s new algorithm gives brands and marketers the opportunity to truly engage with their audience and create meaningful interaction. Some marketers are driven by numbers; a reach of 5 million, 7k shares, 500k reactions etc., but in the grand scheme of things, surely interacting with ‘your’ audience and creating something of meaning will have far greater business results?
By David Lewis - Marketing & Social Media Executive