Facebook’s recent algorithm change was designed to restore the social network’s emphasis on personal connection, effectively deprioritizing branded content in favor of more baby pictures and the details of what your friends are eating for lunch. What does this mean for your marketing content?
"Meaningful Social Interactions" Are Paramount
Content that has higher engagement - meaning comments, likes, and shares - will have a higher likelihood of appearing in the News Feed. This is particularly relevant for posts that include a link to a non-Facebook content source, like a website, blog post, or news article. The level of engagement is also relevant, meaning that comments are more important than likes, and longer comments are more heavily weighted than shorter comments.
But wasn’t this always the point? Remember, social media is about sparking conversations, not just a means to advertise your brand. It is another point of connection with your clients and prospects, so make sure to keep this in mind as you build out your content and social posts. Strive to drive engagement, not just get your message in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
Videos Will Take a Hit – Unless They're the Right Kind
Users will also start seeing fewer videos in their news feed because this type of content doesn’t typically drive a lot of interaction - it’s a passive viewing experience. Overall, the type of content matters. Shorter videos may continue to do well, as their duration tends to keep users more engaged than longer-form content. Facebook Live videos have more potential to generate engagement because of their in-the-moment quality, so your brand might want to consider using this feature to communicate with your Facebook followers.
The Social Media Manager's Role Will Change
Because conversations will be more important as Facebook adjusts its algorithm, it will be more important to have social media specialists or community managers focus on engagement. In order for your brand to build its reputation through the platform, it will be important for your social media team to engage publically in conversations and respond directly within the comment threads rather than directing users to contact your reps off-feed.
Personal Pages Are Equally Affected
While it may seem like shifting publication of your marketing content to your employees’ personal pages instead of the business page could be a workaround, the type of post still matter and the algorithm will be applied regardless of source. The goal of this algorithm shift is to drive more meaningful interactions across the board. This means that your focus as a marketer should be creating content that drives conversations between people - not just between your brand and its audience.
Facebook Ads Are Increasingly Important
According to Social Media Examiner, ads will be critical to driving traffic from Facebook. If your company has determined that your target user persona is a heavy Facebook user and the social network has been a strong source of leads in the past, you’ll need to revisit your Facebook ad strategy (and likely fine-tune your budget) if you want to be seen on the site. It remains to be seen what impact this change will have on the cost of Facebook advertising.
Now is the time to revisit not only your social media content strategy but your overall content plan so that you can ensure that your blog posts, articles, and other online messaging is a catalyst for conversation.