On January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its news feed algorithm to prioritise content from friends and family and show less public content like posts from businesses, brands and media. The change is meant to “encourage meaningful interactions between people” and “making sure time spent on Facebook is time well spent.”
As the changes roll out over the next few months, businesses will most likely see a significant decrease in organic reach and will have to work harder than ever to gain their customers’ attention on the platform.
The obvious take out is ‘The Zuck’ is forcing companies to pay, but if you look a little deeper the changes are more about losing relevance to emerging platforms. Facebook’s economy is based on the volume of its audience and how it monetises the data it collects and processes.
If you are a social media marketer, this decision will have a direct impact on your campaigns. Our advice is to take some time to reconsider your strategy to make sure it meets the algorithm’s criteria.
Check out Crab’s 5 tips to engage your audience and deal with Facebook’s new algorithm:
1. Create content that triggers conversation
By conversation we mean comments, comments and more comments. Publish content that triggers conversations between users, ask questions, write about relevant topics and answer to each comment a user makes. The point is, users will be most likely to see a post where a friend commented.
2. Soften your messaging
Don’t just post sales adverts, promo codes and definitely avoid clickbait tactics. Facebook says that using ‘engagement-bait’ to make people comment is not meaningful interaction, and they will continue to dismiss these posts on their feed.
To qualify as content fit for the feed, share information that is educational, funny or content that triggers curiosity. Hide your advertising behind something useful. Your brand will be rewarded by consumers with trust which ads to your credibility.
3. Vary between formats and include Live Video
Use all kinds of formats as long as they are high-quality. Share images, videos, links and gifs and avoid text-only posts.One feature that is specially favoured by the new algorithm is Live Video. According to Facebook, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers. “In fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos”, Zuckerberg wrote.
4. Encourage customers to include you in their preferences
Users are still able to customise their news feed by setting up their preferences. Don’t be shy to ask your customers to follow your page or, if your content is good enough, they might even consider the “See first” option. In that way, they will always find your posts on the top of their news feed.
5. Follow Facebook’s advice
One of the best ways to ensure your efforts meet the algorithm’s criteria is to follow the best practices Facebook offers. Their media hub offers a set of on-going best practices that are designed to help your marketing plan.
As the weeks unfold marketeers and brands alike will find the algorithm a challenge. Use valuable content, diverse formats and of course push it with budget and accurate targeting to be a part of the “meaningful interaction” Zuckerberg is promoting, not just on Facebook but on all social media platforms.