In a major move to put the “social” back into its social network, Facebook is changing the ground rules for content that hits its users’ news feeds. The changes, currently underway, are widely expected to reduce the organic (unpaid) reach of “public content” — marketing posts produced by businesses, brands, and media publishers.
Facebook post tracking and analysis has been showing a downward trend in organic reach for quite some time. The changes announced by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in early January will only hasten that decline.
The reality for businesses and marketers has become more clear: On Facebook now, it really is “pay to play.”
Facebook’s changes involve updates to its ranking system for news feed posts. The new system will greatly favor:
• Posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.
• Posts from family and friends over public content.
• In the more traditional fashion, posts that produce the highest number of reactions, comments, and shares.
Public content from business pages still will appear in news feeds, but they will be demoted and seen much less frequently. Facebook also will demote what it calls “engagement bait” — posts that request Likes, comments, and shares.
What does all of this mean for businesses with a presence on Facebook? It means opportunity — an opportunity to retool your marketing strategy for greater social media impact, reach, and results. Three things are key:
• Messaging — the product or service, the text, the image or video — is critical.
• Having a post “boosting” budget, even if it’s small, is necessary.
• Boost microtargeting, for campaign efficiency, is essential.
Action steps for businesses and brands on Facebook:
1. Invest in paid social media, if you’re not already doing this. The new Facebook post-ranking system will reduce the amount of organic page content in users’ news feeds. This further opens the door to paid content that can better reach your target audience.
2. Create relevant, interesting, and compelling content worth engagement and sharing — especially if it’s not boosted with advertising dollars. If you can hit “the sweet spot” and generate person-to-person interaction, your content still can be spread organically through the news feeds.
3. Discover your “social currency” — your online resources, networks, and influential connections — and use it to help share and extend the reach of your marketing content — organic content especially but paid posts as well.
If you need help or assistance with your social media management strategy contact us at (863) 248-7537 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org