Shaking up the social media stratosphere, Mark Zuckerberg has announced that once again, Facebook’s algorithm will change. The reason? He wants to get back to the platform’s roots, that more content from friends, family and groups. So as this change sets to roll out the question all marketers and businesses are asking is “does this effect me?” The simple answer: yes.
Facebook’s changes will reduce publishers’ and businesses’ ability to reach audiences in the news feed. Content that doesn’t generate engagement will appear lower, making it more important than ever for businesses and media to create organic posts that encourage conversation. Spam and click-bait content will also be deprioritised as authenticity becomes Facebook’s big goal for 2018.
“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
As a result of this change many businesses and media are questioning the value of Facebook, admitting the changes are a timely reminder to not put all your eggs in one basket. Yet, the move could be seen as a positive change that will forcing businesses to re-think the real world impact of their content.
Smart businesses are already adapting by using Facebook’s natural tools to help build connections. From Facebook groups, the “see first” function on pages to paid advertising and video content, there are many functions businesses can gravitate to as a result of the changes.
We will see an increase in paid advertising as businesses get ready to boost their posts to mass audiences. The real importance for businesses is to know their market and how to target them to get the most bang for their buck.
Videos will see a spike under the new algorithm. Especially live videos, which Facebook acknowledges generate higher engagement.
“Live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Most of all, businesses should concentrate their efforts on creating great content that sparks conversation. Be reactive to trending and newsworthy happenings in the world and ask yourself, is this relevant to my brand and how can this spark conversation?
We can also expect to see a rise in influencer marketing partnerships, as brands gravitate toward mega, micro and nano influencers to leverage off their followers and their organic content. Yet this begs the question, will in time Facebook begin to regulate influencers and treat their organic content the same as businesses?
But some of Facebook’s strongest publishers are expressing their frustration at the changes and are beginning to diversify. Looking for traffic in other platforms; Snapchat, YouTube, Apple News, Twitter and Google have all seen a spike since Facebook’s announcement, emphasising there are a lot of different options outside the realm of Facebook.