In a statement in January 2018, Facebook announced that its Newsfeed algorithm is in for a tectonic shift to favour more “meaningful interaction”. As brands and marketers discuss how this will affect brand visibility and advertising, here is our take on what the change means, and how to work around it:
- ‘People Who Like Your Page And Friends’:
This audience option will be important, especially for engagement-driving post boosts. Part of Facebook’s ‘meaningful interaction’ quest involves showing users what other people on their timeline are up to, and that includes ads. If your page’s existing audience already engages well with your posts, leverage that to pull in more engagement and visibility.
- Groups are more important than ever:
Create close-knit communities - groups are a perfect tool for it. Even the most loyal fans of your page need to see you constantly in their radar for good top-of-mind recall.
- Get creative with engagement:
Don’t be engagement bait-y; Facebook is sure to weed out very obvious ones like ‘comment below for so-and-so’ or ‘react if you feel so-and-so’. Get creative with how you capture engagement.
- Bad news for video:
If 2017 was the year of the rise of videos, this new algorithm is quite at the other end of the spectrum. While timeline video reach will come down, Facebook Live is expected to achieve a greater reach. But be careful, don’t livestream every inconsequential thing, or you will lose more followers than you reach!
- Be picky with advertising:
Are you boosting every single post? Don’t.
While the new algorithm largely leaves advertising intact, it’s a smart practice to apportion your advertising budget according to the kind of posts that tend to do well with your audience, instead of dividing it equally among all your posts.
According to Larry Kim, founder of WordStream, your content can be categorised as unicorns and donkeys - content that works well, and content that doesn’t. Find your unicorns, make more and promote them!
- Listen to your metrics:
Your metrics are your key to understanding, evaluating and leveraging your page’s strengths to your advantage. Find out where your posts and ads are working, and keep tweaking them to make sure your followers interact with you more. Finalise your goals and bucket your content to align with them. Accordingly track metrics to see how you are progressing with the goals.
(Side note - if you are unsure about your metrics, check out this handy tool to keep track and analyse them: The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Metrics)
More than before, the new algorithm responds to growing dissonance on social media - between users and how they have perceived growing brand presence on social media as a deviation from the platform’s original intent. The modified algorithm is all set to prioritise personal interactions, and brands must be on the constant lookout for creative, non-obvious ways to keep the engagement going. It is not time to bid goodbye to social media marketing, indeed, it is simply time to relook at creative ways in which brands could meaningfully interact with audiences.
If you are looking for some help on checking your current social media strategy with regards to this new change, we will be happy to help you with a free 30-minute assessment!