Facebook just dropped the F-bomb!
Facebook dropped a major bomb on us Thursday night, with the announcement of another algorithm update . It’s probably one of the biggest updates we’ve seen and it specifically targets Facebook pages/public posts. The Facebook Apocalypse, or “F-bomb” as I like to call it, has people running through the streets screaming “The Facebook sky is falling!”
Is this the end of days for Facebook Pages? Definitely not. But, if you’re a business owner, marketer, social media marketer, or publisher, sit down, take a deep breath, and keep reading.
From Mark Zuckerberg:
“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.
We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.
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.
… Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. 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.
What’s the update?
“With this update, we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people (HD: not between pages & people). To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed. These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to – whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.
We will also prioritize posts from friends and family over public content, consistent with our News Feed values.”
So, what does this mean for brands and their Pages?
“Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.
As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”
With the number of people, publishers, and businesses on Facebook, they’re running out of room in their news feed and there’s only so much content they can serve. Pages have already seen a reduction in organic reach over the last year, but this is going to be a more significant hit to Pages.
Facebook will be prioritizing posts from friends and family over public content (Facebook Pages). People will start seeing less public content in their news feeds including videos.
What can you do to minimize the impact?
First off, DON’T PANIC! I mean, don’t panic. I know it’s hard and I will admit that when I first read the announcement, I panicked and joined the others running through the streets screaming “The Facebook sky is falling!” Because as a social media marketer, I know how powerful Facebook can be for businesses.
However, though it does seem like the end of days for your Facebook Page, there are still ways to have your content seen on Facebook. Here are a few strategies to help minimize the impact of the F-bomb.
#1. See First
With this update, people will still be able to see posts from the Pages they follow, but they’ll need to do more than like your page, they’ll need to follow your page as well and opt-in to seeing your content by choosing “see first” in the News Feed Preferences. However, this is only a temporary fix. As people start having too many pages show up first in their news feeds, they will start reducing the amount of pages they follow using see first. To make sure yours isn’t one of the Pages they unfollow, provide valuable, entertaining, and educational content. For more on this, see #2.
#2. Post quality content
Stop posting for the sake of posting and start creating content that your ideal customer wants to see. Put time and thought into each post that you create and post on your Facebook page. If your Facebook strategy until now has been to scour the web looking for memes and inspirational quotes to post, STOP! If you post inferior content on your page just for the sake of posting, the new algorithm will crush you. They will demote you and your followers will no longer see your content in their feed.
Instead, before you post anything ask yourself “how does this benefit my audience? Why would they care about this?” If there is no benefit to your audience or is not something they would find valuable, don’t post it.
#3. Post less
Yes, you read that right. While in the past we’ve told you to post at least one time per day, with this new algorithm you’ll want to post less and post only the best content that your followers want to see. Posting a few times a week is going to be more effective than posting multiple times per day. Remember, quality over quantity.
#4. Facebook Groups
In their announcement, Facebook specifically mentions Groups.
“In Groups, people often interact around public content. Local businesses connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events.”
People tend to interact more in Groups than they do with public Pages. And, over the past few months, they’ve added new features and improvements such as Insights in Groups and have given businesses the ability to link a Facebook Group to their Page.
I’ve talked to many of my clients about Facebook Groups within the past few years. The feedback that I’ve received from you is that you don’t want your customers/clients/patients to be able to interact with each other because you’re afraid of what they’ll say. Yes, you will have some people who have something negative to say in these group forums, but you’ll also have your loyal customers there to hold you up and champion around you. Facebook Groups provide more personal engagement and help you build stronger relationships with your customers. And, most importantly, will allow you to stay in news feeds!
Start thinking about Facebook Groups because you haven’t heard the last from me on this.
#5. Pay to Play
If you want your content to be seen, you’ll have to pay to play. Facebook ads are a very powerful way to feed your content to your ideal customer. And, one of the great things is, that unlike other forms of advertising, you don’t have to have a large budget. You will, however, want to make sure that you run quality ads and only boost only your best content.
#6. Create an Integrated Marketing Strategy
Instead of focusing all of your marketing efforts on one channel such as Facebook, create an integrated marketing strategy. Find out where your ideal audience gets their info and start utilizing all marketing channels available to you. Start building your email list and texting programs. Plan your communications and push it out to these other channels to create exposure.
So while Facebook did hit us with a major F-bomb, it’s not the end of the world you’ll just need to put more time and more care into what type of content you post and how you go about reaching your audience. But in the end, you should have been doing some of this from the beginning.
If you need help with your social media marketing or want to talk further about how this algorithm update will affect your Page, give us a call!