Facebook has always been about connecting with people and building relationships. We share what we like as a way to interact with the friends and family we follow. But, in the past couple of years, public content from businesses and media has taken over the News Feed, overshadowing the personal posts we actually want to see.attis id.
Until last Thursday, a post’s relevance was determined according to its popularity: the more likes, comments, or shares in a post, the higher it appears in the News Feed. Because there is an ever-growing volume of public content being released, the News Feed has been thrown off-balance and is showing less of the posts that actually matter to each user.
However, on January 11th, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced an algorithm change to the platform. With the update, Facebook’s goal will shift from helping users find relevant content to giving them more meaningful interactions. In other words, Facebook will now prioritize posts that engage users and spark a reaction, such as a back-and-forth discussion.
This is bad news for businesses, who will now have to adjust their marketing strategies to fit the update. The challenge has shifted from creating posts that raise awareness to create content that is engaging.
For example, live videos. According to Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s Head of News Feed:
“Live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers, as do posts from celebrities.”
It’s worth noting that tactics such as “engagement-bait”, which prompt people to share and comment on posts, will not be favored by Facebook since they do not inspire meaningful interactions.
Although most business Pages and public content will experience a decrease in their reach, the impact will vary according to the content that each Page releases. Marketers and brands need to start drafting content that is more relevant to the end user, the type that creates an individualized experience and is easily shareable. Driving more community-building content rather than promotional messages, for instance, allows your brand to develop a relationship with the audience – who will, in turn, look forward to reading what you share. It’s quality over quantity.
The best way to boost the engagement on your Page’s content is by building a community around your brand: an audience who finds value and relates to what you have to say. With the right conversations, your followers will feel more involved and your social presence will grow. As a result, your chances of engagement increase.
What Does the New Algorithm Mean for the Ad Community?
While publishers are panicked by the loss of Facebook’s referral traffic, media buyers and ad experts have remained relatively positive about the opportunity to sharpen up their content marketing strategies and build audience loyalty. As Fernando Galvez, Partner and Strategic Director at Benamor Advertising put it:
“This change might seem like a huge setback for advertisers, but it actually makes sense: by favoring quality content that generates meaningful interactions, Facebook becomes a source for relevant communication and increases in value. In reality, the platform is preserving its existence while continuing to provide advertisers with an excellent tool for building an audience, monitoring performance, and driving business outcomes.”
At the same time, the new algorithm will push brands to focus on creating content that is more meaningful to their audience, which in turn creates opportunities for advertisers. According to Facebook, the change will not affect paid posts, suggesting a decline in the effectiveness of organic posts and, as a consequence, an increase in CPM and cost-per-click rates. Even so, most agency executives say it’s still too early to determine the overall effects of the algorithm change on paid media.
In the end, Mark Zuckerberg wants to stay true to Facebook’s original aim of bringing people closer together. Research has shown that social media can help people feel more connected and less lonely – measures that correlate with happiness and health in the long term – and the new algorithm will emphasize just that: although people will probably spend less time online, the time they do spend will be much more valuable.
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