On Jan 11 Mark Zuckerberg announced his big focus for 2018 which involves changing the Facebook News Feed algorithm. At first, when I read about this on the news, I was in shock. I started to think “what does this mean for paid content? How are businesses supposed to expect ROI when people won’t even see their content?” After some time and thought, I began to realize that this could be a good thing.
You must look at it from a different perspective – not the perspective of a business owner, but of the audience. People seeing the same curated content for years will continue not engaging with it. Let’s not pretend that curated content alone will help a business grow; people want more original information with higher value. Mark wants to “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people” & “prioritize posts from friends and family over public content” so your Facebook strategy will need to adapt.
We will not know exactly how this will affect the Facebook news feed until these changes are rolled out. At least Mark is giving us some time to change the way we engage with the platform. Curated content has become old news. It is time for more original content.
Now is the time to take that big first step into more personalized posts. Think about this as a new competitive advantage. How quickly do you think your competitors will jump on board when it comes to putting a pause on curated content? You can take this as an opportunity to plan your 2018 around placing engagement first.
Before you panic, remember that this has not happened yet, you don’t have to pull your ads from Facebook or move to another platform. Below I have listed three things you can do to take advantage of this coming update.
The Facebook News Feed Survivor’s Guide
1. Encourage Conversation
What a lot of businesses do is schedule – post – leave. This is the easiest way to get content out there without the hassle but what people do not realize is that everyone else is doing it too. This is a way to finally ditch the automated postings and think about if what you are posting will generate a meaningful conversation. You must put interaction first and understand what part of your content is not working. If you never get engagement on your posts, maybe it is time to change the copy, or format, or even using different images. Try everything you can to encourage a conversation because this will help create a community of loyal followers.
2. Be More Human
I cannot stress this enough. If you want to stand out from the noise on Facebook, just be more human. This means engaging with your followers in a less robotic way. Posting about the top 5 trends of “insert here” won’t be enough to cut it. If you are sharing a “Top 5” list that you believe your followers will benefit from, instead of saying “check out these top 5 tips”, try this: “I strongly agree with #2, but I am not so sure about #4, what do you all think?” Not only does this approach encourage conversation but you sound more human, and people will be more inclined to comment on your posts.
3. Use Live Videos
It is very ironic saying “use live videos” as I type this out this blog but the fact is, they work. Facebook said Live videos get SIX times more interactions than non-live videos. That is huge! The first pushback I know will happen is that some people are shy about showing their faces on camera. A great way to get around that is to have a 2-way dialog! Interview a professional on a specific topic, having two of them talk about their views. Think visual podcast! A live interview video is an impactful way to drive connection without having to be the only one on camera.
The Bottom Line
While there will remain shared content worth curating on Facebook, it will need to be more valuable for your target audiences than ever. Plus, you will need to add commentary, insight, or opinions to make it more interesting and personal.
We must learn to view the Facebook news feed from an outside perspective. An audience-first mindset applies to all social media and marketing in general. Doing this will give you an understanding of what exactly works for your business. If you see no engagement on a particular post, think about why people did not like that post or comment. Was it the image, the copy, or the message? Should people even care about this post? Whatever it was, figure it out and change it immediately.
When you focus on putting the recipient first, you will slowly but surely build a community of loyal followers that will help get your posts to the top of the news feed!