Last week Facebook announced a big shake up to News Feed. Posting on the social media platform, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would focus more on its original goal of bringing people together, with a new algorithm prioritising posts from friends ahead of “businesses, brands and media”.

So in a nutshell the new algorithm will prioritise posts from friends over pages, and favour “meaningful content” – the key being content that generates discussion.
Make no mistake, the change has serious implications for all sorts of businesses, but especially those that may not have the time or budget to invest in Facebook advertising, and those that have not yet built large communities of followers.

The Guardian cites that in Guatemala, one of the testing countries for the new feed, some journalists reported that readership halved overnight. Jonathan Vanian, writing for fortune.com, contends that “Online advertisers and businesses that distribute marketing through the news feed will face similar challenges as the news industry”.
So how can you weather the newest Facebook algorithm storm?

Some have claimed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement is akin to “blowing up Facebook from the inside”. Image: under30ceo.com

1. Pay for Advertising
It’s the obvious one, but your free reach will be more limited, so paying for advertising is going to be part of the equation if you want to reach your market through Facebook. This is especially true if you’re publishing links to content that will lead people away from Facebook. The message now is you’ll have to pay to do that.
But using Facebook Business Manager effectively takes training. Ensure you undertake training, or outsource to people who are experienced with Business Manager to best target your audience. Techniques such as ads that can utilise your database to target “lookalike” audiences with similar demographics and interests are extremely useful.

2. Go Live or Go Home
Zuckerberg has gone so far as to predict that one day everything on Facebook may be video, so the imperative to start filming is there. We know that videos generate the “meaningful interaction” that Facebook is referring to, so it makes sense to go live.

I’m a major live video resistor myself, so I feel your pain! However, we know live video generates six times more interactions than regular videos, so going live is a complete no brainer and an essential strategy for your business in 2018.

3. Be Meaningful
Across the board, your content needs to be more meaningful – and generating comments and discussion is key. As social media expert Steve Dillon explains, “everything that you do on Facebook … must be designed to evoke a meaningful interaction – ideally in the form of a considered comment – from your audience.” So ditch sales content in favour of content that helps and really adds value for your followers.

4. Diversify
Whether you have the money to invest in the above, or you don’t, diversifying your communications strategy is essential. If a Facebook page is the extent of your social media effort to date, it’s time to look at other platforms for your business.

Need support with your social media strategy in 2018? KIS can help. Contact [email protected] to find out more.