Facebook Gets Personal: How the latest update could affect your business.


Last week, Mark Zuckerberg announced a change to the Facebook algorithm that runs their news feed. Whilst these changes may get you falling back in love with Facebook on a personal level, it could mean trouble for your business content. So, what does it actually mean? And what can you do to ensure your social strategy remains strong?

### What’s happening?

Over the next year, Facebook is introducing changes to its news feed to enable ‘deeper, more meaningful interactions’ with people that users care about.

Facebook’s ‘ranking’ process determines which posts show up in a news feed and in what order, based on what Facebook thinks is valuable to you. Currently, Facebook uses engagement such as the number of reactions, comments and shares on a post to determine how high a post should appear. However, this has led to a decline in people sharing personal updates and you may find that where once your news feed was the place to go for updates from family and friends, it’s now dominated by businesses, brands and news broadcasters. And this is turning people off.

The idea is that the changes will promote personal and organic content and demote ‘like and share’ posts and the spread of ‘fake news’. Person-to-person interactions will be more valuable than people-to-page interactions and that engagement with people close to you and within your network will be treated as more meaningful and be pushed higher on news feeds.

‘The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our wellbeing. 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.’ Mark Zuckerberg – (link: https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/01/news-feed-fyi-bringing-people-closer-together/ text: https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/01/news-feed-fyi-bringing-people-closer-together/)

### Does this affect paid content?

This change does not directly affect paid content at this time but is likely to have an indirect effect on the amount of reach and impressions to be expected, due to the reduction of overall content in news feeds. So, it’s still worth taking notice.

### What does this mean for my business?

It’s not the end of the world, and with the right social strategy this should improve your business content. Here’s a few tips:
* Now, more than ever, it’s important to create content that resonates with your audience. You’ll need to be smarter with the content you distribute to your pages and focus more than ever on the end user and THEIR perception of valuable content rather than what you believe to be valuable to them.
* Content must be carefully planned and creative. Words, videos, images and headlines must all be audience-centric and created with engagement in mind.
* You should aim to inspire conversions and back-and-forth discussions in comments in order to show higher in users’ news feeds. A great example is ‘live video’ content as this tends to spark discussion and the ability to be interactive on a more personal level.
* Interactions that take ‘more time and care’ will also be highlighted. Typing out a longer reply to a friend or commenter’s post will be viewed as more valuable moving forward, putting a much larger emphasis on community management than ever before.
* ‘Like and share’ competitions and linking through to your OWN news and blogs will be hit hard. You can still run competitions but they must be worded and structured correctly so they are not seen as engagement bait.
* Community pages and groups have a chance to shine this year as Facebook pushes to get people talking and engaging around topics they are interested in.
* Encourage people that follow you to choose ‘See First’ in News Feed Preferences to make sure they always see posts from your page.
* Most importantly, don’t post for the sake of it. If it isn’t going to add value to your audience, it’s not worth the time!

If you need more information or want to know what Superdream can do to help your social strategy please get in touch with Mark McDonagh on 01527 573770 or email (email: mark.mcdonagh@superdream.co.uk text: mark.mcdonagh@superdream.co.uk).