As many of us are making changes in the New Year to improve our qualities of life, so is Facebook. The social media giant recently announced that it would be tweaking its algorithm to promote “meaningful, social interactions” for its users. What does that mean exactly? Facebook’s algorithm change will prioritize content on users’ news feeds from friends, family and groups and in turn, prioritize less public content from businesses, brands and media. From a business and marketing standpoint, it doesn’t sound like the greatest turn of events.
But the outlook is not all bleak. Social media and Facebook in particular are still powerful marketing tools that your brand can use to interact with and appeal to potential customers. As Facebook made a change to its algorithm, businesses must adapt along with it in terms of their marketing strategies. If meaningful interactions is what Facebook is prioritizing, then businesses will have to make sure their content is just that.
Here are a few ways that businesses can keep up with Facebook’s algorithm change and continue reaching customers on the social media platform.
- Post engaging, quality content. If Facebook wants “meaningful interaction,” then as a business, that’s what you need to give them. According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “meaningful interaction” equals comments—and lots of them. You want your posts to be such that they ignite conversations among users. Try asking questions and writing about timely topics that are relevant to your industry. People are more likely to see your posts at the top of their news feeds if their Facebook friends are also interacting with it.
- Avoid posts that Facebook doesn’t like. Have you ever seen those posts that ask users to “comment below and tell us why you love spring” or something to that effect? You might think this is a viable way to engage your followers, but this actually falls into the category of posts that Facebook doesn’t like. It’s called “engagement bait,” and exists to push people into commenting on posts that do not actually consist of meaningful interaction. Facebook actively demotes these posts in its news feeds.
- Tell loyal followers to prioritize your page. You can further combat Facebook’s algorithm change by asking your loyal followers to actively prioritize your page in their news feeds. They can do this by selecting the “See First” option for your page in their news feed preferences. This is one factor that is not changing. Users will still have the ability to rank their favorite pages to appear highly in their news feeds.
- Use video to your advantage. With video becoming increasingly popular to social media consumers, Facebook actively gives more visibility to video posts. In fact, by the year 2020, it is estimated that video will make up 80 percent of consumer Internet traffic. If you don’t want to fall behind, it’s important to jump on the video bandwagon by using both recorded video and Facebook Live among your social media content. Live videos specifically average six times as many interactions as recorded videos, according to Zuckerberg. You heard it straight from the CEO—if you want to be relevant in Facebook users’ news feeds, you need to start implementing video—and preferably, live video—as soon as possible.
- Increase your paid advertising budget. Organic reach on all social media has been declining over the past few years, so paying for sponsored posts was already an effective strategy to reach a wider audience of users. Now with Facebook’s algorithm change, it becomes even more important. The algorithm change will not affect paid advertising; paid ads will still operate the same way they did before. Facebook relies on a variety of data points to determine what paid ads appear in a person’s news feed, including the objectives a business selects for its campaign.
- Join in on thoughtful conversations. Not only should you promote meaningful conversations among Facebook users, but you should also join them. People want to see brands engaging in conversations on social media. It proves that the business actually cares enough to take time to interact, and shows that there is an actual human behind the company name.
For marketers, addressing Facebook’s algorithm change poses a challenge, but it’s not one that is unsurmountable by any means. Become part of the content that the algorithm is now prioritizing by making it meaningful and engaging—and boosting it with your advertising budget never hurts.
If you need help creating and disseminating quality content for your social media accounts, contact the McNutt & Partners team today at 334-521-1010 or visit our contact page.