It seems like Facebook changes their algorithm more often than we change our sheets. Every time a new update is announced, it sends marketers into a panic and triggers a deluge of articles about how the end of Facebook as a marketing tool is near. They’re at it again, but there’s hope!
In a blog post on June 29, the social media powerhouse announced it would increasingly prioritize posts shared by friends and family over those from marketers, small businesses, and other pages. In the decade since Facebook’s creation, it has grown to over 1 Billion MAUs (monthly active users), and those users share a flood of stories every day. That’s why stories in News Feed are ranked — so that people can see what they care about first. If the ranking is off, people don’t engage and leave Facebook dissatisfied. That is why Facebook is constantly tweaking, adjusting, and updating their algorithm.
The most recent update does have consequences for marketers, but the change is also positive. The more users enjoy interacting on Facebook, the more time they will spend there, and the more the audience will grow. As business owners, we want Facebook to succeed in attracting and retaining users so that we have that platform to reach them. With that said, it is important to adjust our strategy to adapt to the changing landscape on Facebook. Here are a few ways that the most recent update will affect your business and how you can adjust:
1. Reach will decline
As posts from users’ family and friends are pushed to the top of their News Feed, posts from businesses will be pushed to the bottom. As a result, we expect to see the “reach,” the number of users that are viewing your posts, to decline. The solution to this is to share better content and to pay to boost your reach with promoted posts and ads.
2. Quality content will be key
If the posts of “friends and family” will get top ranking in the News Feed, then one way to reach them is to get those folks to share your posts. Those users aren’t going to share content unless it’s informative, entertaining, or relevant to them. Facebook, which has spent countless hours researching what users engage with most, said it best:
“Your feed should inform. People expect the stories in their feed to be meaningful to them — and we have learned over time that people value stories that they consider informative. Something that one person finds informative or interesting may be different from what another person finds informative or interesting — this could be a post about a current event, a story about your favorite celebrity, a piece of local news, or a recipe. So those stories appear higher up in your feed.
Your feed should entertain. We’ve also found that people enjoy their feeds as a source of entertainment. For some people, that’s following a celebrity or athlete; for others, it’s watching Live videos and sharing funny photos with their friends.”
3. Boosted Posts and Ads will be more crucial than ever
Another way to make sure you are reaching users is to put money behind your posts. If you aren’t already making this a part of your marketing budget, now is the time! Boosted posts allow you to reach the people you want to most. With Facebook’s advanced targeting capabilities, you can target your past guests, your competitors’ guests, your past guests’ friends, and so much more. Facebook is a powerful advertising resource that shouldn’t go untapped.
4. Ad costs will increase
As more and more businesses are being forced to boost posts and create ads to reach users, demand will increase and supply will decrease. Why will supply increase? Because Facebook only allows a certain number slots for boosted posts and ads in each users’ News Feed every day, so your ads are all competing for those slots. As the competition heats up, so will the prices.
In sum, Facebook’s viability as a marketing platform will only improve as they improve the experience for their users. As the platform continues to change, the best we can do is adapt and continue to reap the rewards! If you aren’t active on Facebook currently, talk to one of our social media experts to learn how your business can be leveraging Facebook as a lead generation and lead nurturing tool.