How Marketers Can Adapt to Facebook’s Newsfeed Overhaul
Mark Zuckerburg just announced a change of direction for Facebook’s newsfeed in 2018.
Previously, the algorithm was calibrated to drive engagement. The posts it determined most likely to be clicked were the ones seen first. In his address, Zuckerberg says Facebook has “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.” As a result, the Facebook founder announced the platform is moving “from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions”.
What does this mean? A drastic decrease in organic reach for businesses. Facebook’s continual evolution is a double-edged sword for business pages. On one hand, in order for Facebook to maintain its status as social media juggernaut and fantastic marketing medium, boasting over 2 billion active monthly users, it needs to provide a platform that people (both their consumers and yours) want to interact on. Their latest change to appease the masses is an attempt to increase social interaction between friends and family which, conversely, means a dip in the organic reach for business pages.
Year over year, Facebook page admins have seen a decrease in organic reach. The primary forces driving this are the algorithmic changes to Facebook’s News Feed and the dramatic increase in content being shared on the platform.
Is this the beginning of the end for social media marketing on Facebook? Of course not! Just as Facebook evolves as a platform, so will we as marketers. There are several options social media managers can take to embrace the change.
2.) If you have yet to experiment with live video, now is the time to try. Traditional video has been the king of the social media content world for a while now, but live video is set to dethrone its older counterpart. Zuckerberg even commented on this in his announcement saying, “We’ve seen people interact way more around live videos than regular ones”. These types of social interactions are the kind Facebook’s algorithm will be optimized for moving forward, meaning live video is becoming an even more valuable marketing tool.
3.) One of the most effective ways to combat the organic reach decline is to create Facebook ad campaigns. Facebook knows this, and implicitly encouraging businesses to allocate more of their marketing budget to Facebook campaigns is surely one of their motives of this news feed change. Facebook ads are an effective way to reach new prospects and increase likes and/or engagement as well as drive traffic to your website. Facebook has some of the most advanced social media ads available, which includes seamless integration with Instagram. They offer options for geographic, demographic, and psychographic targeting of potential consumers, increasing the value of the people reached by your messages.
Zuckerberg conceded he expects “the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down”. A dip in organic reach and engagement will likely be a pain point for businesses in the coming months. Utilizing these practices can help maintain the reach/engagement your business is currently seeing on the platform. Moving forward, this change may help refine your social media marketing practices and deliver more qualified leads than previous iterations of Facebook’s news feed.