For a while now, brands have been noticing declining reach on their Facebook pages. Last week Facebook released that it will be making big changes to the platform in 2018. Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook put out a statement regarding these changes. Here’s a highlight regarding newsfeed changes:
“The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.” – Mark Zuckerberg
This change has huge implications for Facebook pages. The Facebook algorithm will now be heavily favouring content from people as opposed to pages. Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed for Facebook, also put out a statement on how Facebook will be bringing people closer together:
“Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content.”
This is Facebook’s way to filter through the noise and get serious about showing you what they expect you’ll like/will keep you engaged on the platform longer. They want time on the platform to be more meaningful for the user through meaningful conversations and interactions with friends and preferred pages.
What does this mean for my brand page?
Here are some key takeaways from Adam Mosseri’s statement that will be relevant to your brand’s Facebook page:
- Real conversations between people will be favoured in the newsfeed. Therefore as a user, people will see more posts from their friends or pages they’re most likely to interact with. Posts that spark meaningful conversation will be given preference in the newsfeed.
- The impacts of the changes will vary for pages based on engagement. If your page is already seeing a lot of engagement on Facebook, you’ll be affected the least. If your page doesn’t see much engagement (reactions, comments) then it will see the biggest decrease of exposure in the newsfeed. This can include reach, video watch time, and referral traffic decreases. It’s important to note that if your brand isn’t seeing much engagement on Facebook already then it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy regardless of Facebook’s changes.
- If you use engagement bait,” then your page will be heavily demoted in the newsfeed. This means asking people to interact with your post (tag, comment, like, share, etc.) . If you continue to use engagement bait you will be penalized in the newsfeed.
You can expect these changes to begin rolling out in the next few months. Now is a crucial time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy if Facebook has been an integral part of it. Here are a few of our predictions and solutions moving forward:
1) Pay-per-click will be more important than ever
Many brands have already turned to boosted posts and pay per click because organic reach was already declining. Brands that see little to no interaction on Facebook will need to invest in PPC to see any reach/interaction with their page. Brands that are already doing well on Facebook should still consider PPC because they’ll be competing with personal posts of friends and family. However, keep in mind that you also need to ensure that you’re pushing out top-quality content so that people want to engage with your posts.
2) Implement high-quality content or none at all
Organic reach has been declining for a while now but there have been some ways around it. Video and live video have seen success even though organic reach has been declining for some time. In his statement, Mark Zuckerberg said:
“We’ve seen people interact way more around live videos than regular ones. Some news helps start conversations on important issues. But too often today, watching video, reading news or getting a page update is just a passive experience.”
He wants content to be engaging and spark interest in users. If you’re producing high-quality, unique content then users will be more likely to interact with it, which in turn will boost it higher in the feed. Our prediction is that as long as your video is engaging and people are reacting to it, that it will still be given preference in the newsfeed. If the content you’re posting on Facebook is unsuccessful, then moving forward, you won’t get exposure in the newsfeed. This means, its better to post less often and focus onbetter quality content.
Adam Mosseri said “live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.” If live video isn’t already a part of your strategy, now is a great time to start. Live video can help put more personality behind your brand, take viewers behind the scenes, engagement through special announcements or Q&A, and more.
3) SEO will continue to be an important search avenue
Search engine optimization (SEO) has always been an important factor in how people find your brand but for those who have been relying on Facebook to find your brand, it’s time to diversify your search methods. SEO is a great way to make sure that people find your website in search engines. SEO helps to optimize your website and ensure you rank on the first page of Google.
4) Explore other platforms
Has Facebook been your only platform or your main platform? It’s time to start putting effort into other social platforms. We’re not saying to completely get rid of your Facebook strategy but diversifying your platforms allows you to reach new audiences and is a hopeful way to get more organic reach on other channels. Alternatively, if pages start to abandon Facebook, it may be the best time to go hard with PPC with less competition on the board. However, it’s too earlier to tell how brands will react to these changes.
In general, it’s a good idea to be across platforms to give variety in the ways people can find you. Keep in mind this doesn’t work for all brands and isn’t suggested if you’ll be stretching your marketing efforts too thin.
5) Create a group for your brand
Create a community around your brand by starting a Facebook Group. Niche Facebook groups generally see lots of engagement and conversations within, which pushes them to the tops of feeds. The benefit of creating a group is that you can link it to your Facebook page. We suggest creating post threads to encourage conversations and content. Make sure to create group rules so that those in the group know what to expect.
Feel free to connect with us regarding the above! We’ll be posting more information as it becomes available and trialing out some social experiments of our own.