We are just a few weeks into 2018 and already the social media landscape is changing.
Facebook has announced a huge algorithm change which will prioritise content for “family, friends and groups”, says its chief, Mark Zuckerberg.
This shifting of the goalposts will change the way users – almost two billion at the last count – see their news feed. Over the next few weeks and months you’ll start to see more posts from your mates on holiday than businesses you follow, who will see a decrease in their organic reach.
Before businesses decide to close their pages for good though, there are things they can do to stop the inevitable drop in reach and engagement.
In fact, it’s a chance for brands to up their game on the social media giant.
Announcing the change on his Facebook blog, Zuckerberg wrote: “You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. The public content you see more should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
It’s good to talk
“Meaningful interaction” means comments, and lots of them. This shouldn’t be alarming for businesses though as content on pages which prompt conversations should be OK. Brands that create quality content which gets talked about will still appear on news feeds.
So, what should your business do if you still want to be seen?
The answer: talk more, ask questions, write about timely topics which will spark debate. You can do this through posting polls, asking your followers to comment on issues. Listening to your followers more will help with this.
Decreasing organic reach isn’t the end of the world. Good social media starts with a follow so encouraging more followers to your page will help you be seen. Users can also choose to see your posts first if they wish, so not only will you be seen put you’ll appear at the top of their feeds.
Think about the boost
Facebook advertising has increased year-on-year for the past decade but with the algorithm change more emphasis will be placed on targeted advertising. “Boosting” posts are simple and very effective, making sure your content is seen by the people you want to see it.
Video content rules on Planet Facebook and investing in “live videos” will, on average, get you six times as many interactions as regular videos. Businesses which go out and tell their audience where they are and what they are doing will continue to appear.
Facebook groups operate on the basis of audience engagement so creating and contributing to these will serve you well once the new algorithm in in force. As a brand, you should be looking into new ways of engaging with your customers, alongside your page and advertising on the platform.
Brands shouldn’t fear the new changes but it’s important to be aware of how they can make it work for them.