Facebook just got more personal. Literally! – A newsroom page posted an article explaining the new update in its algorithm titled, ‘Bringing People Closer Together’.
Only personal connections, personal communications, and posts of personal relevance, like what your family and friends are saying, have been prioritized by the latest changes to the news feed. The change in Facebook algorithm came into effect last year, but its impact is expected to intensify this year.
The popular social networking site that draws nearly 1.5 billion people to its site every day had long become a treasure trove for advertisers and digital marketers the world over. Now, with the latest update in its algorithm, Facebook advertising agencies fear their scope of doing business on this platform may soon diminish.
What’s This Algorithm Change?
Mark Zuckerberg on 11 January 2018 said, “The first changes you’ll see will be in the news feed where you can expect to see more from your friends, family, and groups.”
He went on to add, “As we roll this out, you’ll see lesser 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.”
It is clear what the focus points of the update are:
- Less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.
- More meaningful interactions between people.
- See more from your friends, family, and groups.
Does this mean it brings people closer to each other and takes pages farther from them? Not really. Users can opt to view their favorite pages when they log in by selecting the “See First” option. But you need to make yourself relevant to them to be their favorite.
What Must an Advertiser Do?
Facebook advertising agencies don’t get worked up. Here’s what you need to keep in mind.
- Focus on interactions: Post content that is personally relevant to your target audience. People want content that’s relevant to them, which is what Facebook is aiming for now. Create a genuine connection with your viewers. Post content that helps solve their problems, a post on which they would want to tag someone, answer their queries, and engage them in interactions.
- Post more “Live” videos: This ensures more discussions among Facebook users on the platform. The idea is to get more people talking about your content. This increases your chances of showing up on their news feed.
- Stop creating senseless content: Stop posting click or engagement-bait content and step up your game. Create quality content that is engaging, meaningful, and authentic, so that people can interact with it and with other people.
- Stop disguising ads as content: Simple call-to-action strategies won’t work if you don’t have anything useful to offer. Grab their attention with content that they can talk about.
- Facebook ads: Your organic reach may decrease to an extent, but you still have Facebook ads. With a dip in organic reach, ad prices will spike (some believe, the Facebook algorithm has been deliberately tweaked to drive up ad prices.) So, if you are a Facebook advertising agency in Boston or anywhere in the world, spend a few hours creating Facebook advertisements, instead of simply creating engaging copies and images.
- Make optimum use of the Audience Optimization tool: Audience optimization lets you set the same kind of targeting rules for your organic posts as you would for your ads. As Facebook explains, you can “target your posts in news feeds to audiences most likely to engage with your content (eg, based on interest). Also, it allows you to restrict who can see your post in the news feed based on audience age or location.”
- Launch a fundraiser: Reshape your image along with Facebook. You can launch a fundraising campaign for your favorite charity. This is the kind of non-paid, PR-friendly change that Facebook promotes, something that you can leverage to get visibility for your brand. Pages including those run by brands, public figures, and non-profit organizations themselves can now create and donate to fundraisers.
The biggest takeaway is the more you engage Facebook users in meaningful conversation with your content creator, your company, or with others about you, the more likely are you to appear in their news feeds.
Zuckerberg wrote, “We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience.” So, as an advertiser, you must improvise your marketing strategy to ensure more engaging content to your viewers and promote more organic shares if you want to survive the changing times.