Facebook in 2018 is doing what Facebook does best. Changing.
Zuckerberg announced in early January that Facebook is changing its news feed to prioritize posts shared by friends over posts by brands or publishers. This is a step for Facebook away from fake news or illegitimate advertisers and towards more meaningful content. As users, we’d all probably appreciate this, as marketers…maybe not as much.
So what does this update mean for marketers?
For one, say goodbye to organic reach. The days of capitalizing on Facebook audiences without paying for advertisements are likely over. This doesn’t take away from Facebook’s power as a marketing machine, it just means Facebook ads might take a larger portion of your next marketing budget. Facebook will make place in the news feed for paid advertisements.
This also means that good content matters. Facebook’s update is about delivering meaningful content to its users and eliminate content that is not valuable to them. This good content should allow for engagement with users. Facebook places more weight on posts with more engagement, and this is likely to stay the same with the new update. The aim of this update is to shift the focus from content that the user consumers through pages to content that is discussed and shared among a user’s Facebook friends. Interaction among users is key. So the more engagement your post allows, the more higher it will show on users’ feeds.
No matter how many times Facebook tweaks its algorithm, marketers cannot abandon it. Facebook has the biggest consumer data. With the update, this large amount of data is useful as marketers will have to be more specific with who they target on Facebook.
How can marketers respond?
The first thing to do is learn to navigate the new Facebook’s news feed; and learn how to market and advertise with the new update. This is also the time to look at marketing through other features on Facebook like live streaming and Facebook Messenger. And above all, make sure you have quality content that prompts engagement and interaction. For brands and companies that depend only on Facebook as their distribution channel, this might be the time to explore and expand to other platforms to allow for a wider reach.
The new Facebook news feed overall will reduce reach and referral traffic for brands and publishers’ pages. These businesses will now need to prioritize meaningful content and invest into Facebook’s other features. Marketing strategies will shift in response to this change, but Facebook remains an important marketing channel.