Facebook announced this morning some MAJOR changes to the newsfeed when it comes to how businesses are able to reach their audiences. I am not going to lie, it’s kind of freaking everyone out (ok, it’s REALLY freaking people out). They are pretty drastic changes and will mean a huge shift in the way that all of us, whether you’re a blogger, small business owner or personality, use the platform. The changes were announced this morning and people are still reeling and digesting, myself included, but I wanted to give you guys some direction and thoughts to calm your nerves.
First and foremost, this is NOT the end of Facebook for business, not by any means. Facebook is still the most important social platform, you must continue to use it. But you will need to change your strategy, be flexible and figure out how to adapt. Keep reading for how!
What are the changes? Facebook is shifting the newsfeed to be more focused on posts from family, friends, and communities. This means that business pages and content creators will have less of a presence in the news feed and that their posts will be buried. You can see this announcement here.
What does this mean? Business Pages will still be in the newsfeed but will be shown even less than they already are. Posts from your friends will get priority and then only the best content from businesses will be shown at all. Sponsored content will still be included, but ad prices will likely increase.
Why?! Understanding why Facebook is doing this is really important. It’s complicated (and about as clear as mud) but many experts are saying that the three main reasons it’s happening is because firstly, they want to improve the user experience. People are sick of not seeing the content that interests them and leaving Facebook, so by making this change FB assumes it will help. Secondly, the newsfeed is saturated, especially on mobile, so they want to prioritize the content that is best and make room for advertisers. Thirdly, some say that this is in response the recent probe by the government and trying to appease them, clearing out some of the “fake news” and other questionable practices that go on.
What can we do?
1. Put all your focus on Community
“Community” is a seriously overused term, but it’s the only one that fits. Facebook has been saying it’s going to be their emphasis for months. Understanding what this means for your business is the key to making this all work. How can you create real relationship around your brand? What is going to keep your fans coming back? What will make them want to follow your business? Maybe this means you need to start a group or make your page more personal like a group. It could mean that you put out more personal content or meaningful behind-the-scenes content.
2. Post Less, Post Better
Focus on quality over quantity. No more filler content, be intentional and if it’s not great, then skip it and focus on creating something great. You still want to be consistent, but aim for creating content that will encourage that community atmosphere and get people to comment and share. The one thing that will never change on Facebook or any social media platform for that matter, is that good content will always reign supreme. If you’re putting out posts people want to see and engage with, they will continue to see what you put it out. It’s as simple as that!
3. Create Dialogue
Facebooks whole goal with this is to create “meaningful interactions between people” and your page needs to be a conduit for that. Post things where people want to tag their friends and share on their personal feeds. You also want to really build those relationships between you and your audience. Respond to comments, ask questions and engage on a personal level.
4. Educate your fans to “Follow” and “See first”
People can choose to see your page first in the newsfeed, so encourage your fans to do this for your page. You don’t want to be annoying, but try and tell your audience to share, comment and follow your page and tell them why! If you’re providing value to your fans, they should want to keep seeing your posts.
5. Sponsor Your Content
I think there is actually a pretty good opportunity here. If newsfeeds are getting cleared out, then it could be a great opportunity to get some good exposure by boosting. Regardless, we all need to be setting aside more budget for advertising. This is where we always knew things were headed, and it’s time to for us all to accept the truth that we have to spend money to make money on FB.
What do you think about these changes? How will you be changing up your marketing?