Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and CEO of Facebook recently declared ‘I’m going to clean up Facebook’ and he wasn’t joking! Imminent changes to newsfeed content and the use of Facebook Pages were announced on Thursday 11th January 2018 and the impact for businesses, organisations and marketers will be significant.
Last year it came to light that Facebook were undertaking tests with it’s Explorer feed. They created a split in the newsfeed, with the content of Pages people aren’t following, but maybe are interested in, being separated out and only visible within the ‘Explorer Feed’. Usually, when Facebook announces they are ’testing’, changes are likely.
What is changing and why?
Facebook has in a nutshell, run out of room in its newsfeeds and are coming back to its original intention – bringing people together and building relationships. Basically, they want to ensure that your newsfeed is filled with personable, engaging content which you want to see.
If therefore you manage a Facebook Page (for a business, organisation etc), it’s going to become significantly harder for your Pages content (including video) to be seen within the Facebook newsfeeds. To ensure your content is seen, you will need to consider paying for Facebook ads. Pages and personal newsfeeds won’t be separated, but it will be a challenge to ensure your content is visible and gaining an effective level of organic reach.
What can you do to get ready for the changes?
Following news of the announcement, here are 7 tips from us on how you can prepare for the changes
1. Engagement is key
If you currently develop your social media content by thinking ‘what do I want to tell people’, this isn’t going to work. You need to flip this thought and think audience first. What does your audience want to see/hear and what will they engage with? If you have posts with no comments, likes, interactions, you will see a reduction in your Page content distribution. You need to ensure you are writing engaging content as this will help rank your posts and Page. Encourage discussions between people who comment on your posts and not just with the post. Engagement will be key to ensuring your content is seen.
2. Don’t bait your audience
Avoid using posts as a means to an end i.e. ‘Comment and share this post to…’, ‘Tag yourself in this photo to…’. If you’re having to ask your audience to engage with your content, this is a big no-no. Facebook wants to bring people back round to freely commenting and engaging with content.
3. Train your audience to ‘see first’ in newsfeed
Audiences will need educating as these changes come into effect, so help your audience to still see your content by asking them to select ‘See first in newsfeed’ within their settings. This means when they check their notifications, they are more likely to see your content.
4. Regularly review Insights
Facebook provides helpful Page data within it’s ‘Insights’. Take the time to review your engagement levels, when your audience is online, best and least performing posts. This will all assist in developing quality content for your Pages.
5. Use links with care
We have noticed over recent months that posts which include links to other websites have less reach than posts which don’t have links. We’re assuming Facebook doesn’t like you to leave their site, so our advice is to use links with care and only when necessary. This may have a major impact on linking your newsfeed to blogs on your website – this is something that’s going to take consideration.
6. Consider your use of words
There are some words which will extend the reach of your posts (i.e. congratulations), and some which damage organic reach (i.e. share this post). David Kilkelly from BlinkBack has produced an excellent video about this very subject. We encourage you to take a look if you can.
7. Develop an ads strategy
If you haven’t already, explore paid for Facebook advertising. You don’t need a big budget to target specific audiences and it’s not complex to do. Paid for ads go a long way to get your content seen by the right people.
From what we know, the changes announced by Facebook will start to take place in coming weeks. We still don’t know fully what the impact will be, but this is an opportunity for marketers and businesses to carefully consider their content and get creative (if they aren’t already!).
If you would like to discuss social media further, or any of our other digital marketing or website services, please do drop us a line to have a chat (and a cookie #ShareTheCookieLove)! We’d be more than happy to help.
#Facebook #DigitialMarketing #Marketing #SocialMedia #DigitalMarketingTips
Read more about the Facebook announcement: