In case you haven't heard, Facebook is changing it's algorithm (again) to promote a more meaningful experience for its users. This means your news feed will be changing, maybe it has already! The changes will be happening as we speak.
What does this mean? You'll be seeing less news and posts from businesses in your news feed, and more from your friends and family.
The change comes in an effort to combat things like fake news and other ethical dilemmas. Over the last few years, there has been many a controversy that Facebook is helping to spread propaganda, influence elections and promote fake news, merely through how easily it is shared and boosted through the current (previous) algorithms. Facebook, or Mark Zuckerberg has stated that the changes this year aim to make sure that time on Facebook is ‘well spent’, and aims to get back to it’s roots of social networking that connects people. You can read his full statement here.
For businesses, this change is kind of a big deal. It will certainly change the way that we currently strategise for social media marketing. However, as with anything in life, there are a few ways we can look at this.
1. This is our chance to create deeper connections with our audiences
The algorithm change that Facebook is making means that it's time to put in extra effort to really engage audiences. We've talked about it before - social media is a place to really let your personality shine. This rings true now more than ever. If you want to reach the same audience you were before, you need to be worth their time.
Facebook’s efforts to create a more meaningful online space could well mean that you start seeing a more meaningful relationship with your online audience as well. The posts that will be pushed to the top will be the ones that create conversations. We’re not talking about one-liner comments either, we’re talking about a paragraph, opinion, or evidence that people are absorbing what you’re saying and want to talk about it.
Having to think about these things means that we are constantly assessing why we are passionate about them, why we do what we do. These conversations help us stay focussed on our own goals as well as giving a more personal element to the work that we do.
2. It’s time to really get to know our target market
Having bigger conversations with our customers and online audiences means that we get to know them better all the time. If we want to continue having bigger conversations, we need to take on board what we know about our audiences and cater our content to this.
For our content to be seen, our audience has to want to see it, furthermore they have to want to engage with it. We need to know our target market better than ever.
When we understand what our audiences are looking for in our content, the Facebook changes can work in our favour. For content to have the same reach as it did previously, we need to put more effort into how we spend our money, boosting posts that target the right audiences. This will become clearer the more we create and post engaging content.
3. Influencer marketing is now more relevant than ever
We spoke about influencer marketing briefly last year. Well, now it’s time to think about it a bit more seriously. Influencers make it their job to engage with huge audiences - that’s what makes them influencers. This new Facebook algorithm is sure to see these influencers come into the spotlight.
If you hadn’t thought about it before, maybe it’s time to start considering how you can work with influencers relevant to your industry to start promoting your products in a more meaningful way.
4. This change will filter out the fakers
Zuckerberg himself said that this change would likely see an initial drop in the time people spend on Facebook, that the way we have been used to engaging for so long will likely change.
By promoting more conversations on Facebook, it will become pretty clear which businesses and brands didn’t really care too much about their audiences before. These changes will filter out users who don’t see the value in social media and who aren’t willing to spend the time getting to know their audiences.
A big part of what we can take from all this is that businesses need to be putting extra effort into their content. Quick posts about the weather or a cat video aren’t going to cut it anymore. Facebook is a great tool for businesses and up until now businesses have been able to get by with small investments of time and money to see results.
The changes to the algorithm means that more thought needs to be spent on each post. Investing time in stronger and more original content. Investing our money in properly targeted advertising, to reach an audience that will want to engage with our product.
These changes aren’t scary. They’re exciting! A more meaningful experience for Facebook users means a more meaningful experience for businesses too.