As users will see less content from businesses, brands, and media, you need to adjust your strategy to appear on your followers’ Facebook News Feed.
Mark Zuckerberg once again rocked the world on Jan. 11 — at least for businesses — when he announced that the Facebook News Feed was evolving to include less public content, meaning content from Pages of businesses, brands, and media. The algorithm will now prioritize posts from friends and family (over public posts) and those that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.”
Not surprisingly, businesses balked at the thought of seeing their organic reach, video watch time, and referral traffic take a nose dive.
The fact is, this is not a huge surprise. Facebook has long been taking steps in this direction, including the testing of Explore Feed last year. Even though you may have anticipated that some changes to Facebook for businesses were coming, you may be tempted to suddenly stop maintaining your Facebook Page. Is it worth posting content to Facebook if it is not going to reach your followers after these new changes?
Our answer: Facebook is still worthwhile for your properties. But Facebook’s recent changes do merit your close attention to — and perhaps a revisiting of — your Facebook strategy. We’ve compiled a list of things you need to know/do in light of the new changes to Facebook News Feed. Take a look:
1. Focus on news-worthy Facebook News Feed content that drives engagement.
Zuckerberg says, “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.” That means that engagement will now mean more than ever before for content visibility.
In other words, posting your blog content to Facebook is no longer going to cut it. If your posts don’t garner comments or reactions, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. You’ll need to start thinking of Facebook as a place to post and discuss active news items, hot-button issues, and highly shareable content (content that is educational or entertaining, for example).
Scheduling multiple posts ahead of time, though convenient, will probably land your content further into the depths of oblivion. You’re going to have to pay attention, actively seek to generate conversation between users with your posts, and fight to win space on your followers’ feeds.
2. Tell your community to access the See First feature.
Users who still want to see posts from certain Pages they follow can choose “See First” in News Feed Preferences. So, quite simply, we suggest asking your followers to choose to see your content.
While some proactive followers may do this on their own, we encourage you to explicitly remind your community to do this. Remember that people are most likely to do what you want them to when you make it easy, exact, and clear. So, send them an email with directions. Or put it in your newsletter or a blog post. Just tell them to do it.
One thing you don’t want to do: goad people into commenting on your posts to increase your content visibility. Facebook has explicitly stated that it will demote “engagement bait,” or posts that ask for comments or reactions. You will actually hurt your content and properties by doing this.
3. Get your executives and agents on social media.
Your executives and agents can act as brand ambassadors for your business and properties on social media, and Facebook’s latest announcement underscores the importance of them doing so.
Your company’s executives and agents are the most visible people in your business. For many of your industry peers and buyers, they are the face of your brand and properties. Get them active on Facebook to add meaningful thoughts to your company’s posted content, to engage in discussions, and to share newsworthy content of their own.
It’s important to note they should not do this in a superficial way. Rather, they should actively seek to add value to your Facebook content. By engaging on Facebook, your people emerge as thought leaders, which boosts your brand’s visibility and reputation.
4. Consider your ad budget.
In the past, we have recommended adding some social media advertising to a traditional content marketing strategy as a way for clients to boost their efforts. It speeds things up. But those companies that are just starting out or that rely heavily on referral traffic might want to consider reallocating budget to sponsored ads.
Final thoughts on the new Facebook News Feed
This is a shift, yes. A challenge, for sure. But not one that’s insurmountable — or even contrary to the basic principles of good, data-driven content marketing.
Remember, Facebook is not eliminating Page content from News Feed altogether — just limiting it. The most relevant, engaging Page content will win that space. So, seek to understand your target audience and produce high-quality, original content that engages those people, and you’ll come out on top of the new Facebook News Feed.
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