Once again, Zuckerberg and company are making a Facebook algorithm change, and businesses are taking a direct hit as the social media giant aims to prioritize its News Feed content to focus more heavily on friends and family posts. Adam Mosseri, head of Facebook’s News Feed, specifically singled out the groups that would be most affected, stating that the algorithm change means “we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.” Zuckerberg has already conceded that the change will likely cause Facebook users to spend less time on the site, but he hopes that the time they do spend there will be “more valuable.”
How Will Facebook’s Algorithm Change Affect Businesses?
Large national brands that already enjoy a high profile and strong influencer marketing will probably be less impacted by the Facebook change, but medium-sized and local brands who use Facebook as part of their sales funnel will have their work cut out for them.
According to Zuckerberg, visibility will be based on “meaningful social interactions,” which means simply pushing content is no longer viable. Content needs to be interactive: it has to invite opinions, it has to elicit comments, and it has to prompt sharing just to show up on the radar.
Good News, Bad News
The good news is that it’s only Facebook that has changed. Customers have not. Health tips, crockpot recipes, family reunions, DIY advice—the things that mattered to your target audience before the change still matter now. Who your audience is and what they care about are completely unaffected by an algorithm.
The bad news is that getting your content in front of your Facebook audience just got a whole lot harder. To break through these new barriers, you have to be both creative and strategic in your approach. Your content has to be:
- Thoughtful. Know your audience and connect your content to their needs, wants, and pain points.
- Discerning. Fewer posts that are more meaningful and engaging.
- Strategically delivered. Where and when make all the difference.
The first two will require brands who value Facebook as a lead generator or brand builder to take a fresh look at their audience profiles and content mapping strategies. This step is incredibly time consuming, so get started now. Content has to be engaging enough to invite comments and sharing, but don’t even think about just adding “Comment here.” That type of overt request will not only be a turn-off for your audience, it will also get you demoted by Facebook.
Strategically delivering engaging content is where brands really need to focus their energy, particularly hyper-local brands. Unlike the good old days back in December of 2017, promoting content on your brand’s page alone won’t do the trick. You need to employ a variety of strategies and tactics to make sure your content is visible, and your level of visibility will live or die by comments and sharing. Here are a few strategies that can help:
- Create strategies that encourage your audience to include authentic reviews and brand mentions on their personal social media pages and within their personal networks. Remember to teach them to tag your brand.
- Seek advocacy from influencers (e.g. recognized bloggers and media personalities). This is much more difficult for local brands but doable.
- Encourage employee support and engagement.
- Get involved in your community to secure positive brand mentions and sharing of love (and content).
- Invest in producing live video.
- Always provide high-quality, audience-demanded content. Stop thinking about what you want to say and start delivering what your audience demands.
A solid mix of these strategies should help you weather this latest Facebook change, but we’ll all undoubtedly learn a few lessons along the way.
Need more help with your social media marketing? Download Facebook Algorithm Change: Tips for Businesses or call Gary at Wavelength at 717-823-6939.
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