What are the Changes to the Facebook News Feed?
Facebook has overhauled how it ranks the posts, videos and photos that appear in its users’ News Feeds, introducing major changes on Thursday designed to put what friends and family have to say first.
Why are the Changes Being Made?
The Facebook Mission
The primary reason Zuckerberg gives for making these changes to the News Feed is to get back to what the platform was designed to do, which is to “help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.”
What This Means for Businesses Marketing
When the news broke, Facebook stocks took a hit and social marketers across the globe declared the “death of the newsfeed” for publishers.
But Don’t PANIC…
In reality, these changes should not surprise anyone who has been paying attention, and are likely to have a positive long-term impact on your social media marketing strategy.
Smart marketers will view this as an opportunity to shift their strategy away from heavy content generation and toward a people-first approach. This doesn’t mean halting all creation of content but it does mean crafting fewer, more thoughtful pieces that encourage meaningful interactions between people.
Use Live Videos
The use of live video: “It’s organic, it’s free and it has a proven record to be much more engaging than any other type of content. It often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.
There is a great opportunity for businesses to pivot to a meaningful customer service experience on Facebook. It’s no longer about the number of followers a page has but how quickly you respond to comments, questions, and inquiries. If you aren’t engaging with and responding to your customers on Facebook, and doing so in a timely fashion, your business will pay the price.
No Engagement Bait
Mosseri (Facebook’s head of newsfeed) warns that organisations that use ‘engagement-bait’ to goad people into commenting on posts will have their posts demoted, as these will not be viewed as “meaningful interactions”.
Engagement bait” is defined by Facebook as spammy posts on Facebook that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions – for instance, posts that say “LIKE this if you’re think Charles is handsome!”
So, no vote baiting, reaction baiting, hare baiting,no tag baiting or comment baiting
A Final Note
While there has been an outcry at the changes from some in the marketing world, the reality is that social networks are just that – social. The presence of brands on social has grown dramatically, and for many users this has been to the detriment of the networks.
Facebook’s change should be welcomed if it can genuinely improve the service for users. And brands will have to raise their game to be more relevant and more vital with their messaging, rather than trying to beat users into submission by sheer volume.