The Lowdown on Facebook’s Algorithm Change
Part of social media’s attraction is that it’s a constantly evolving landscape. As society changes, so does the way we communicate on the internet. Usually, those changes are decidedly positive (anyone find themselves longing for the days of Myspace? We didn’t think so…), especially when it comes to advertising your business, but the new algorithm tweaks announce by Facebook are poised to have a serious—and perhaps seriously negative—impact on the way brands connect, convert, and communicate.
Zuckerberg’s Formula for Happiness
On January 11, 2018, the brain behind Facebook made a post of his own discussing how the site had gotten feedback from users that “…public content — posts from businesses, brands, and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” As a result, Facebook is shifting its algorithm to show fewer posts from brands, media, and businesses and instead filling news feeds with status updates and shares from users’ friends, family members, and groups.
It’s a welcome development for anyone tired of seeing the same ad for sheets twenty-seven times, but how are brands going to cope?
Research Your User Base
You’re going to have to step up if you want to continue building a rapport with your Facebook audience and that starts with increasing your familiarity. Do you have a brand persona? Do you know what makes your audience tick? Where do they eat? What are their pain points? Gather data now so you can use it later while formulating more purposeful content.
Make Sure Your Posts Matter
Facebook wants more “meaningful interactions” so it will continue to reward posts with lots of likes and comments with more exposure. On the other hand, pages with a slew of posts receiving little to no engagement will see their numbers dwindle.
- Share blog posts, pictures, and memes that inspire emotion
- Be (somewhat) controversial
- Ask questions
- Use current news to discuss topics related to your business
Don’t, however, resort to engagement bait. That’s the practice of posting a pic and then asking for followers to vote or respond using reactions – a “like” for Coke and a smiley face for Pepsi, for instance. Facebook is cracking down on these spam-like interactions, so stop begging for attention and post content that speaks for itself.
Push to Be Head of the Pack
Make a post referencing the brave new Facebook world and let your followers know that they can use Facebook’s “see first” feature to keep your brand at the top of their feed. It prevents you from getting lost in the shuffle and you’re empowering people to make their own choices as to who they get to see interact with first when they pick up their smartphone and start scrolling.
Chatbots, Messaging, Live Videos, and Ads
The ghosts of Facebook future are rattling their chains mighty loud, and if you listen closely you can hear them chant “chatbots, messaging, live videos, and ads”. This is where digital marketing is going, at least as far as social media goes, and brands must start incorporating these approaches if they want to gain traction and traffic.
Feel like the increasingly tricky terrain is just too much for you to tackle on your own? There’s a reason social media experts are in high demand. Invest in your brand and you might just find that playing along with Zuckerberg’s master plan isn’t as hard as you expected.