How to Survive the Facebook News Feed Update in 2018
The recent news regarding Facebook's news feed overhaul has put brands into a tailspin since the announcement. Many publishers (such as Elite Daily and LAD Bible) who rely heavily on Facebook to drive site traffic, will likely see a huge decrease in audience reach. Zuckerberg himself even acknowledged the fact that Facebook itself will see a significant decrease in traffic.
If you’re unsure about how to adapt your Facebook News Feed practices, we’ve put together a little summary straight from Facebook, along with some actionable strategies to help you adapt and survive through the most recent changes to the Facebook News Feed.
What Exactly Happened?
The prioritization of friend and family over page posts has slowly been implemented since late 2017, however, the latest announcement has made it official. The overhaul is now full steam ahead. “Today we use signals like how many people react to, comment on or share posts to determine how high they appear in News Feed” as announced on the Facebook Blog. With these announcements, the recent changes will be focusing on prioritizing “posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to”. This is what many businesses and pages are calling bad news, having been presented with many challenges with organic reach drastically declining since 2012.
"Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. "
The purpose for the roll-out of changes to the Facebook News Feed is in an effort to improve the value of content that users engage with on Facebook. "Value", being the keyword here. In which the goal of said "value" focuses on the development and interaction with each users’ community. User engagement (i.e. comments) will be the primary driver for growing post reach and exposure on the Facebook News Feed. Taking advice straight from Facebook, “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. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers, as do posts from celebrities. In Groups, people often interact around public content. Local businesses connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events. And news can help start conversations on important issues.”
Simply put, those managing Facebook Pages can no longer rely on social marketing growth methods that were once considered successful. Small businesses and entrepreneurs will be impacted in the same manner and ought to be prepared for the changes that have already been set in place.
Diversify Your Channels
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn are all still great resources for business pages and profiles. Utilize these platforms to distribute content on a more frequent basis and analyze the top performing posts from a user engagement perspective. If you notice that your content on one platform has a lot of conversation surrounding it, chances are likely that your audience will have a similar response on other platforms. In this manner, you can "pilot" your content and then distribute the higher-performing (i.e. higher-value) content to Facebook. Other online social communities that are driven by interest groups are also valuable resources for connecting with relevant audiences. Reddit is a popular avenue for online communities, as well as forums and blogs such as Medium. Youtube is another great platform for connecting with your audience and establishing your brand within an online community, however, Youtube also relies on having followers to reach large audiences within the platform.
There are two new rising types of channels that businesses should focus on developing as part of their portfolio when it comes to social media outreach. Those being "voice" and direct messaging. What we mean by "voice", is audio based communications; i.e. podcasts. The statistics supporting audio as a being a vital method of brand communications is staggering. With technological advancements in software automation, direct messaging applications (i.e. Facebook Messenger) being coupled with chatbot applications are now another candidate for connecting brands with audiences.
Change Your Strategy
Although there are a number of new strategies that you can utilize to adapt to the Facebook News Feed updates, there are also a few existing tactics that will continue to be successful in 2018 and beyond. The goal, at the end of the day, should be to provide more value to your audience. In reality, what you want to do is post less often using content that is actually worth talking about.
Optimize Posts For Comments
One thing that will remain the same is the fact that video posts are your best friend on Facebook. Video posts have a tendency to create conversation amongst an audience, and Facebook recognizes this as a positive thing with the News Feed changes that were implemented.
Trending issues and hot-button topics that are relevant to the values of your brand and your audience will be the successful discussion points to be distributed as content on your Facebook News Feed. Realistically, it is exactly what your followers want to talk about and why they engage in conversation with you.
Avoid Comment Baiting
This is a rule that has been in place for a while, however, a reminder never hurts. Comment baiting is when you ask your audience to "like this post!" or "comment on this post" or "like our page!" Comment baiting is penalized and pretty much goes absolutely no-where. Don't do it!
This will be the primary location where businesses can interact and easily reach audiences on Facebook. The benefit here is that businesses can reach a user's notification and News Feed when utilizing Facebook Groups. However, organizations should be care to not open the door to business page saturation within Facebook Groups, simply moving the News Feed issue from one location to another.
Of course, you can always "pay-to-play." Sponsored or "boosted" posts will always reach the audience that you target and pay to reach. You're always guaranteed to reach a specific number of users if utilizing paid advertising on Facebook, however, the performance depends upon factors such as targeting, content quality, etc. It is important to target your audience appropriately and utilize pixels to track your conversions to get the best return on your advertising investment.
BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
The fact that posts of friends and family are prioritized over businesses and pages puts even greater importance on growing your personal brand and networking. The amount of people you are able to interact with on your personal page will help give your business page even greater exposure.
Keeping all these facts in mind, quality over quantity seems to be lesson businesses and pages will need to learn with the Facebook News Feed Update. Do you have concerns regarding the changes occurring in the social media landscape? We can help guide you through the nuances and challenges that are presented to your business. Contact us today!