Mark Zuckerberg just announced a big change impacting the Facebook newsfeed.
You can read an extract of the original post below, however, here is a summary of what is happening:
Facebook has realized that we, as users, are increasingly annoyed by the amount of content we see that comes from brands and publishers and not from friends.
(Thumbs up if you agree)
Clearly, Facebook can’t afford to frustrate its users – that’s how they can monetize their platform. So they need to improve the user’s experience. So, they’ve decided that they are going to make sure we, as users, see more updates from our friends, and less content from brands.
We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being. So we’ve studied this trend carefully by looking at the academic research and doing our own research with leading experts at universities.
The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good. ……
We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.
As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.
~~ Mark Zuckerberg
So, Friends, what does that mean for your Facebook business page?
Well, some folks say that page views might get a bit worse, but, honestly – they probably were already not so great for a lot of brands. It’s difficult to say what exactly the impact of this news will be, but if your organic reach is already 1%, there isn’t any margin for a huge change.
You probably already figured out that Facebook users really don’t care much about our business thoughts. However, we have all gotten used to looking up businesses on Facebook when we are looking for information. The network has become almost as much of a window to businesses as websites. So do we want them to find stale, irrelevant content when they visit our Page? Or worse, what if they find that our Page has gone and think that maybe our business has, too?
Ok, Susan, what do we do, now?
So, maybe you are wondering if you should simply leave Facebook altogether or stop posting your content. But hold up a minute and consider this: Facebook is the most used social network – in the world! Can we really afford to leave all of this behind? I’m thinking not.
CREATE HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT
Oh my goodness…. DO NOT use the dreaded click-bait content (“like this if” or “tag a friend who”) – Facebook will absolutely penalize those. Concentrate on offering entertaining or informative content that your followers really do want to see, comment on, and engage with.
Content that will “encourage meaningful interactions between people”, in Mark Zuckerberg’s words.
Groups will not be impacted by this change. This is the future of your online engagement. For some time now, groups have been generating more organic reach and engagement than Pages. They are a powerful new tool that you may have underestimated so far.
PROMOTE YOUR CONTENT
Sorry, folks – you’ll have to pay to play. Sure, we would all prefer being able to reach our audience massively and for free. But let us be real here: no media is free. And Facebook advertising is extremely targeted and very cheap compared to traditional media. While $20 can’t even buy you an ad in a local newspaper (that nobody is reading), even that small amount can bring measurable results on Facebook. We can probably expect Facebook ad prices to go up due to increased demand and limited inventory, but they will probably always be cheaper, more targeted and more measurable than any other kinds of ads.
Standard business practice would warn you away from keeping all your eggs in the same basket. Sure, we all know how powerful Facebook is, and I am of the opinion that you and your brand should still use it, but please consider investing in one or two other social platforms. Sure, these won’t be free either, and sure, they will also be competitive. But you will increase and diversify touchpoints in order to find your audience where they are spending their time and dollars.
Seriously, there is no reason to panic and drop Facebook. This change coming was initiated quite some time ago and is really not so drastic.
With the right strategy, Facebook is still a very powerful tool to market your brand, one that you don’t want to miss on.