Facebook is changing algorithms again and has a message for publishers and that’s best summed up as, “Adjust your expectations.” For Facebook users, it means a change in the news feed to reflect friends and family over content provided by mainstream news outlets from the Washington Post to new media such as Buzzfeed, and to thousands of smaller content providers. The change affects all types of content – videos, links, posts, and even photos. Kiss that marquee goodbye, and with that fond farewell get ready for a corresponding drop in traffic and conversions.
In the communication from the newsroom, VP of News Feed Product Management Adam Mosseri notes that authentic stories are the ones that have the greatest impact. These are the stories that get shared and commented by Facebook users more than any others. With scrutiny of racial and sexual harassment on social media on the rise, he also notes that users should be able to exercise more control over their experience, and that the aim of Facebook is to allow their users to feel safe, but also find meaningful and engaging content. In the appeal to users, there are no doubt some content providers who are very worried.
Facebook has grown from something that was initially dismissed as a Web 2.0 trend when it opened to the public in 2006. Remember names like MySpace, Friendster, and even the long ago YahooGroups? It was social media before social media was even a term. Now as of the first quarter of 2016 the company has around 1.6 billion users per month, with $10.73 average revenue per user. It has always tweaked its processes to deliver an experience to the user. All the new changes mean to many businesses is that they are going to have to quit using social media as an ad platform, and enter into a social relationship. By this I do not mean Snapchatting your vacation pictures, playing Farmville together, or going out for drinks after work. I mean your content is going to have to be more authentic, real, and relatable than ever.
You’re also going to have to do more than liking your own posts; you’re going to have to share them. Your employees can share them, too. The more shares a post has, the more people are seeing it, the more people see it, the more inclined they are to share, too. Social media is a conversation, not a billboard; it takes a lot more effort than slapping an ad up there and walking away. The site is littered with businesses that started a Facebook page, made a dozen posts, and then walked away – with their last entry from sometime in 2011. It’s time to up the content game, and engage with your customers and clients or sink off that marquee. Get in touch with us, and we’ll help you with strategies to buff up that page, polish that content, and keep your name at the top.