Last Friday Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement about upcoming changes to the Facebook news feed that sent businesses and media across the globe into a panicked frenzy.
Why? Because he said this:
“You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands and the media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard – it should encourage meaningful interactions between people”
Immediately after this announcement went public my social media feeds and emails blew up with content predicting the end of Facebook marketing, loss of billions for companies and media around the world and blah blah blah …. Just general scaremongering really.
Guess what I did? I ignored it all and went to find out more from the source of the announcement himself (read it in full here) to reach my own conclusions.
Why are these changes happening?
Zuckerberg said at the start of 2018 that his New Year’s resolution was to ‘fix Facebook’ and this is his first step in making that happen.
Last year Facebook invested time researching what makes us as users feel connected to the platform. What makes us happy, what kind of things promote a healthy mindset and what makes us want to use Facebook. The outcome of this was that we use Facebook for two very important reasons: Family and friends i.e. communities.
This is why Zuckerberg has decided to put posts from family, friends and groups posts at the forefront of the newsfeed and change the algorithm so posts from media, businesses and brands are much less prominent.
What do this mean for your business?
This is the question everyone seems to want answered. I’m going to be honest – if you’re using Facebook properly as part of your PR / Marketing mix then this shouldn’t have a massive impact on you. If Facebook is the only social media platform you use then you need to make sure you adapt quickly to the new algorithm so you maintain your activity and engagement as much as possible.
In essence, here’s what the changes mean for business:
- Content is more important than ever: This was the case long before these news feed changes, but I just want to stress the point to you that producing amazing content regularly that your audience loves will help you generate engagement and extend your reach.
- Facebook is a ‘pay to play’ platform: Facebook is first and foremost a business, so yes if you want to be seen on the platform, you’re going to have to invest in paid advertising
- Groups are going to become a bigger focus: This is where the community element of Zuckerberg’s mission to ‘fix Facebook’ will really pay off for business. It will make us all get involved in conversations. Groups are an amazing way to do that. Do some research into groups you can join and consider starting your own so you can get involved in conversations with your target audiences. After all, that’s what social media is about.
- It’s all about the video: Live and pre-recorded videos are going to help you extend your reach and talk to your audiences. Take advantage of live videos, both on your page and in groups, and upload any videos you want to share to your business page rather than sharing the links to YouTube.
So that’s it. Not as scary as you originally thought is it? While I understand some people panicking over these news feed changes, I strongly believe that if you’re using the platform in the best way possible, your audience will still see what you’re sharing and you’ll still be able to grow your presence.
Here’s my final piece of advice to you on the new algorithm. Please don’t panic or buy into the scaremongering that I’ve seen online. When you think about it, these updates are taking us back to what Facebook used to be before businesses started using it for marketing – family and friends having conversations. If you focus on building a community that adds value rather than gaining likes, you’ll find you’ll get the engagement you want as a matter of course.
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Do you need help using Facebook for Business? Get in touch with me for help. Call 0191 236 1010, 07941694702 or email firstname.lastname@example.org