Haven’t you heard? Facebook algorithm updates happened and it affected your newfeed… Again…. The social network giant is favoring more people than brand pages, so what does this mean for brands? First, let’s break down what we know.
Mark Zuckerberg announced late last week that Facebook would be placing more importance on friends and family’s posts than content created by businesses, media, and brands. Any public content (posts from brands, media, and businesses) that contributes to a passive experience, such as page updates, videos, articles, click-bait or engagement-bait posts, will receive less exposure. However, it appears that any public content that generates conversations, such as social buzz around sports, news events, or television shows, will remain unaffected. Zuckerberg also points out that live videos receive more interactions that regular ones, so that type of content may also be unaffected. Straight away, Zuckerberg writes that engagement will go down, but hopefully, time spent on Facebook will be more valuable.
Read the entire announcement here, but mostly the critical phrase is “meaningful social interactions.” Facebook conducted research that proves when users interact with other people; it benefits their overall well-being. Interactions, in this case, could mean writing a thoughtful comment on an update from a friend, engaging in a conversation with another about politics, or perhaps sharing an idea with others.
What can brands do to make sure they’re part of the conversation, and their messages get heard?
1. Don’t freak out. Facebook tweaked the algorithm multiple times, and it challenged marketers to rethink content. Perhaps now it’s time to think of it as interactions, rather than just content? Before we throw money at the situation, take the time to reevaluate your goals and review your messaging in the past year.
2. Listen to your fans. Think about your fans and the people you engage with the most. If necessary, do more research. Get a better idea of who you’re talking to.
3. Rethink your strategy. Use your business goals as a jumping point to reevaluate your social media goals. Redefine benchmarks if necessary and creatively attack the problem. Using knowledge of your fans and seeing your goals laid out in front of you, find content themes and campaigns that will ENGAGE with your audience. Give yourself some wiggle room and experiment with new ad formats, ad objectives, and always be testing.
4. Try other avenues. Though Facebook is the big OG of social media, it’s not the be-all and end-all. Invest some time and money in experimenting with another social network. Rediscover old favorites like Pinterest! Just remember that specific brands are more fitting in social networks than others.
5. Experiment with live video. New products, makeup tutorials, sneak peeks, or just a simple update from the brand are all great examples of live content. The best thing about the live material is that it doesn’t need to as polished. It can be a little messy and of the moment. There are more interactions because the best live content is usually more personable. Think of it this way: Facebook posts are to meeting people in an office as Facebook/Instagram videos are to hanging out with friends in a coffee shop. It’s more fun and more relaxed.
6. Community management is more critical than ever, mainly if you’re thinking about doing live content. Brands need a person(s) to respond, whether good or bad, to their fans. Interactions have always been valued by all social networks, but Facebook is driving the nail on this point, so if that’s not a goal, you may as well consider that the last nail in your coffin.
7. Don’t expect to find a formula. Maybe you saw a type of post that works with your fans, or perhaps you found a topic that resonates. Share with your fans and then move on; don’t rely on a one-trick pony. It’s not merely about getting the likes or engagement; it’s about building a community. When brands try to churn out content and try to be “relevant” it often misses the mark. It shouldn’t always be how much traffic I can get (though, I understand it, ROI and everything), but what message can we create?
Now’s a perfect time to reassess your social media and we’re ready to help! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll help your brand grow.