Facebook news feed update – Jan 2018
Hey, I’m Kath, Head of Social at Webprofits and today, I’ll be talking about the recent update made to Facebook’s News Feed.
I’ll be outlining what the update is and why it’s happened as well as the impact we predict it will have and how to keep your business ahead.
Over the last couple of weeks, you would have read articles from news and media outlets sharing their thoughts and predictions on Facebook’s News Feed shift and how it will impact brands and businesses.
Some talk to the positives while others reflect on the seemingly negative effect this might have on publishers and their Facebook content strategies.
So, what is the update and why has it happened?
Facebook announced there will now be a heavier prioritisation towards serving users news and highlights shared by friends and family, as opposed to content from third party publishers – i.e. person to person interactions.
In a statement shared by Mark Zuckerberg, he writes:
“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being. So we’ve studied this trend carefully by looking at the academic research and doing our own research with leading experts.
Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”
With recent coverage on the impact fake news and engagement-bait content is having across the user experience within the network Facebook’s now looking to get back to its original roots, enabling social connectivity – which is why it was created in the first place.
In addition to this, there will be an even higher prioritisation of content that generates what Facebook is considering ‘genuine engagement’ in the form of comments, likes, shares and tags, as opposed to video views which sit within the minimal 3 second window allocated for this to be classified an ‘active engagement’.
So how will this change impact businesses?
From what’s been discussed, written and speculated upon, we can infer that the following tactics could be key to ensuring your business stays ahead.
Tactic 1: Quality over quantity
With publishers now vying for News Feed space amongst the ‘meaningful interactions’ Facebook is aiming to facilitate, businesses will really need to revisit their Facebook content strategies and perhaps embrace a ‘less is more’ approach.
Quality over quantity has been something we’ve been talking to for years, however the type of quality we’re now really seeking to zero in on needs to comply with the revised engagement weightings Facebook’s reps have been referring to.
Tactic 2: Have purpose
Content which initiates commentary, emotively provokes engagement or perhaps inspires users to share with their respective communities, appears to be how publishers should be aiming to position their posts, along with the support of a well thought out promotion strategy, which leads me to –
Tactic 3: Promote your content
Content promotion isn’t anything new.
Whether you choose to do this through direct Facebook ads, competitions or Influencer Marketing strategies, now more than ever, you’ll need to review the best amplification avenue available to your business, as well as the place your content marketing strategy has within your marketing funnel.
If you’ve already employed an ads strategy for your content, keep doing what you’re doing.
If not, I highly recommend you delve into this, as soon as you can.
There are endless opportunities for your brand to be not only reaching, but engaging key audiences through Facebook ads, and the platform only gets more advanced ads time goes on.
Which leads me to –
Tactic 4: Influencer marketing
Keep in mind, with the seemingly organic approach Facebook appears to be embracing, Influencers who typically generate significant levels of organic engagement could also receive newfound priority, so if you’ve not explored them as an amplification channel, it might be time you did.
And finally –
Tactic 5: Chatbots + Messenger
Upon researching what to talk to in this edition of Digital Insights, I also came across a clever tactic BuzzFeed had rolled out.
They were sponsoring a Facebook post asking their Fans to download their app in order to receive their content direct.
Now whilst not all of us have the resources on hand to develop our own branded apps, there’s something in this concept: Leveraging Facebook Chatbots.
Creating and asking your audience to sign up to your Chatbot is a great way to ensure your Followers are actively engaging with what you have to share,
as well as receiving it at your discretion, direct.
Well, I hope this update has shed a little light and clarity on the questions you had relating to the Facebook News Feed update.
I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on what I’ve shared in the comments section below.