So, have you heard the rumours as well? There are some important changes to Facebook marketing afoot. A few people had mentioned to me at the beginning of the year that Facebook marketing was changing and it was going to be harder for businesses to market their product or service through the social media platform. With this in mind and the fact that I use Facebook marketing for a lot of my client marketing work, I had to investigate.
What did I find…
So, creator of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook profile at the beginning of January that things were changing.
“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.
[…] As we roll this out, you’ll see less 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.[…] If we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”
Personally, I did a little fist pump as I sometimes get sick of loads of adverts, things that people share and random videos. I just want to see what my friends are up to without all the ‘noise’. I’ve started moving away from Facebook and using Instagram personally as it doesn’t have all the crap!
However, as a Marketer, I’m holding my head in my hands. What is this going to mean for businesses? Will they all leave Facebook and start using other platforms? Is it going to mean that all businesses need to start paying for advertising?
What changes for Marketers?
Basically, the way information in the news feed is shown is changing – known as the algorithm. Facebook signals how much engagement posts get i.e how many people comment, like and share. A post that gets a lot of engagement is quality content, therefore this determines how Facebook shows posts in the news feed – the more engagement, the more priority a post is given.
Facebook will monitor if this engagement is between a person to person or a person to a page. Person to person will again be given priority.
Facebook is also going to prioritise content that is given more time and care. Facebook is basically giving the user a more ‘meaningful’ experience on Facebook, rather than users being bombarded with information they don’t really want to see.
However, this will have a significant impact on the way pages, businesses and marketers are able to reach their audience through facebook marketing. This doesn’t necessarily mean businesses won’t be able to use Facebook for marketing, it just means we will need to work harder in what we post. It highlights the importance to businesses of creating relevant and effective campaigns and how well planned out and interesting content can make a big difference when addressed to the right audience.
Getting seen on people’s News Feed is going to become more competitive!
The second update is ‘Engagement bait’. We’ve all seen the types of posts that say ‘Like and share’ to win’ or ‘comment if you agree’. This tactic is known as “engagement bait,” and seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach. However, after years of analysing posts, Facebook has created a new model which will detect different types of engagement bait. Posts that use this tactic will be shown less in news feeds. Be warned!
It’s not all bad news though if you have a local business/page with which your users have a connection or interest and engages regularly with, you are likely to be largely unaffected by the changes. Facebook has suggested that its new content prioritisation model will put more local news into users’ feeds. Thumbs up!
What to do next in my facebook marketing?
Really think about what you post on your Facebook business pages. Is your content quality and interesting to your users? Do you spark conversations with users and generate good engagement? If you do, then carry on doing what you do.
You should also encourage users to click the “see first” tab in their news feed preferences – this way they will always see the content you post.
Try not to fall into the ‘Engagement Bait’ trap and avoid leading users to ‘like/share or comment’ – it needs to be a natural engagement. You will only get penalised!
Remember that photos and videos in your Facebook marketing are great at engaging with your audience, so try to utilise these as much as possible. Even try ‘live’ videos which can lead to discussions with your users on average get six times as many interactions than regular videos.
Now, if my ramblings about the new changes to Facebook marketing don’t make much sense, watch this video from Facebook trying to explain why they are changing things…