Ah, social media. Like death and taxes, social media’s constantly changing nature is perhaps the only other absolute in this life. Though unsurprising, the new Facebook algorithm update is absolutely worth digging into, especially if you promote your brand on the social platform.
To help guide the way through this substantial update to the top-secret Facebook algorithm, I’ve enlisted two of our digital marketing maestros to help wrap our heads around what this change means for how we market and interact on the platform. Did Zucks (yeah, we’re close like that) and co. hit a home run or strike out? Along with Heather and Robyn, I’ve set out to see if it’s a change worth “liking.”
Three Ways Your Business Should Embrace the Facebook Algorithm Change
Quality (Content) Over Quantity
Anthony Charmforoush, Digital Marketing Manager
The newsfeed algorithm change comes down to something we have always preached: quality over quantity. Facebook has started prioritizing content that creates “meaningful interactions” between its users. So what does this mean? Long gone are the days of posting in order to fill a feed, and say goodbye to those vanity-likes. Welcome to the age of meaningful engagement.
If you want to get noticed you’ll have to devote time to creating content that is highly shareable and starts conversations with your audience. Focus on content that is actionable but be careful not be perceived as comment or share baiting. You will want to double down on your audience insights to ensure that your content subject matter resonates with and is relevant to your readers. When crafting content, it is no longer about whether or not a page fan is likely to “like” it but rather, are they likely to comment on it or share it with a friend.
Facebook has stated that live content is one of the main drivers of engagement on the newsfeed. With this algorithm update, that is even truer. If you’re a brand that can leverage live events then you’re already a step ahead of the rest. If not, you might need to become more creative. Things like hosting a weekly live blog or influencer takeover are just some of the ways that brands like Adobe have taken advantage of the Facebook Live feature.
With this emphasis on user-to-user interaction, now more than ever, you are driving your own reach on Facebook. This will initially reduce the amount of your brand’s content that is consumed directly on the newsfeed. However, by focusing on creating content that gets your audience talking, you can ensure that your brand is better positioned to overcome the latest Facebook hurdle.
Influencing the Algorithm in Your Favor
Heather Britt, Digital Marketing Manager
As defined by Sprout Social, influencers are “power users who can help your potential customers make a buying decision through social networking”. Influencers can come in a variety of formats, from celebrities to experts to hyperlocal bloggers. Regardless of why, influencers have a wide reach to an audience who is important to you and your brand.
Traditionally, we know influencers to be pivotal in marketing on Instagram, Snapchat and maybe even through their own blog. However, the Facebook algorithm change has created a new need for influencers on Facebook. Facebook users with a large number of friends or followers can help garner attention for your brand now that brand posts are essentially receiving less exposure in overall Facebook newsfeed reach.
Here are a few reasons why an influencer’s post could see more reach than a post from a brand page:
- Real people’s posts are automatically going to reach a higher percentage of their followers than a brand page’s post would.
- More people trust the opinion of a person, even if it’s a brand evangelist, rather than a branded account.
- Oftentimes, posts by real people and celebrities create genuine interactions–comments and conversations, likes, and shares. These types of interactions are what Facebook is currently optimizing towards, which will dramatically increase reach.
If an influencer campaign seems like a lot to take on as a smaller brand, that’s because it is. Finding the appropriate influencers for your target audience is no small task. An easier method for a brand looking to dip its toe into the influencer strategy pool, is to start with a brand evangelist program. Brand evangelism can be as simple as setting up an in-store selfie station (see Riley Rose) or creating a hashtag for your customers to share their experience with. Even brand evangelism will help defeat the Facebook algorithm change blues. While unpaid consumers may not link directly to your brand, you can be assured that there will be additional brand impressions outside of your page.
Double Down on Ads
Robyn Guokas, Digital Marketing Manager
The jury is still out on the effect that the Facebook algorithm change will have on social advertising in the near future, but with brands fresh into 2018, the main questions are: “How will this change affect my business and bottom-line?” and “How can we ensure that our fans and followers still see our content?”
There is no doubt that Facebook’s main wealth generator will continue to plug along unscathed and could (now) be more important than ever. We are well aware that Facebook has pushed down organic reach to almost zero, and is funneling brands into pay-to-play x 1,000 to achieve meaningful growth and (hopefully) engagement. If you wish to continue to achieve on Facebook, it would be wise to master the art of ads to reach and engage with your community and new audiences–testing, optimizing, and investing in what you know works. With demand high and inventory low, the right fit could take a few tries to get on track.
Along with website click and conversions, brands would be wise to adapt “brand awareness” as a new and vital addition to their social media marketing vernacular. Diversifying your ad spend and traffic sources to locate your audience through different avenues won’t hurt either.
What does the new Facebook algorithm change mean for your business? According to the educated opinions of my colleagues and myself, quite a lot. Whether pivoting to social media influencers, putting a new emphasis on quality content or renewing your efforts in Facebook ads, actions must be taken in order to keep your brand up to speed on this rapidly updating platform. Though change is inevitable, the most important thing you can learn from this blog is that you don’t have to fear the change–that is, as long as you’re willing to be flexible with your social media strategy.