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How will Facebook’s Algorithm Changes Impact your Business

posted on: 21 May 2018

At the start of January 2018, Facebook announced a major change to its News Feed algorithm that will profoundly impact brands’ ability to reach people on Facebook through organic distribution. The change was employed to combat the overwhelming amount of fake news, engagement bait, and generally unpopular content. Now, Facebook prioritises interactions between friends and family as well as content with high levels of engagement. Ultimately, this means that content consumed directly from business pages on Facebook will shrink and content that is shared and talked about between friends will grow. With this in mind, how should these changes impact the way your business goes about social media? 

1. Produce content that engages

Under the new algorithm, you should aim to create posts that people share and react to, content that inspires “back-and-fourth discussion”. Fortunately for Facebook users, The days of creating funny memes to generate a bunch of likes are clearly behind us. Earlier in the year, Mark Zuckaberg posted, “We’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.” The principal here is that when building a business, or part of it on someone else’s platform, you have to incorporate their vision into your content strategy. As a result, your content strategy should also aspire to help people have more meaningful social interactions. One strategy we have found effective in generating engagement and meaningful interactions is to create posts that share customer stories. Celebrating your customers' achievements or partnership with your business is a great way to integrate your business into the networks and lives of your customers. The aim is to get your content to surface on the news feeds of your customers' friends and family, in hope that it will be widely circulated, shared, and reacted to. 

2. Focus on quality over quantity

Often, businesses measure performance based on the frequency and reach of their posts. However, the reality is that audiences don’t become more receptive to content the more times they see it, nor will Facebook prioritise reach anymore. Under the new algorithm, this strategy may be extremely detrimental to your brand’s visibility if the majority of your posts receive little interaction and engagement. Under the new algorithm, businesses will need to learn to better leverage Facebook's unparalleled segmentation capabilities and focus on creating posts that are relevant and highly personalised to the audience you’re targeting. In terms of frequency, aim for no more than 3-4 times a week, unless your posts are constantly receiving huge interactions and incredible reach. Facebooks algorithms are constantly changing, and it's up to your business to keep up to date with these changes. This process can be timely and prohibit you from concentrating on your businesses core operations. If you're spending too much time away from your core business, consider outsourcing some of your marketing activities. 

3. Stop video, pursue live video

Facebook allows any brand to go live with video anytime. Live video is an extremely powerful marketing tool, receiving up to 6 times the engagement of regular video and under the new algorithm, engagement levels could increase even more. As a result, your business should pursue a live video strategy. Some ideas for live video content include:

  • Host a live Q&A
  • Behind-the scenes/live tours
  • Breaking news
  • Contest or challenge
  • Demos/how-tos
  • Events/conferences
  • Interviews
  • Product launches
  • Explain a product
  • Reoccurring video show
  • Answer customer questions from your blog or Facebook page

No matter your business type, the industry you operate in, or whether you are B2B or B2C, live video presents a massive opportunity to enhance your presence, expand your brand, and more importantly to connect better with your audience. A good live video strategy can also elevate your status within an industry and change consumers perceptions about your products and services, placing your business in a stronger and more competitive position. 

Without depreciating the value that Facebook can add to your business, it is important to have a structured and diverse approach to your marketing. Having all your eggs in one basket can lead to problems down the track, as we are seeing now for some businesses that relied too heavily on Facebook for success. If you're interested in expanding your marketing initiatives, click here. Alternatively, get in contact with us.