Facebook is always keeping its user experience front of mind, which is great from a users perspective, but for us social media marketers it means constantly needing to adjust our strategies to suit their new algorithms.
It seems Facebooks latest update has caused the most excitement and also concern, they have announced that they would be prioritising posts that create meaningful conversations, especially those from family and friends. They believe a 'person to person' interaction is much more valuable than that of a 'person to page' interaction.
This latest update has brands and marketers worried that their hard earned organic community will see less of their posts, ultimately resulting in the need for 'paid ads' if they want any sort of reach. Don't stress, this is an amazing opportunity to push out content that resonates with your audience on a much more emotional level and get rewarded for it.
What Does Facebook Deem Valuable?
Friends and family come first: The main objective of the News Feed is to connect people with their friends and family. So posts from friends and family are prioritized. After those posts, Facebook found that people want their feed to inform and entertain them.
A platform for all ideas: Facebook welcomes all ideas while making sure that everyone feels and is safe. They aim to deliver stories that each individual wants to see the most, based on their actions and feedback.
Authentic communications: Facebook prioritizes genuine stories over misleading, sensational, and spammy ones.
You control your experience: Individuals know themselves best. So Facebook creates features (such as unfollow and see first) to let people customize their Facebook experience.
Constant iteration: Facebook strives to constantly collect feedback and improve the platform.
Active vs Passive
When planning your next strategy, it is important to consider how Facebook distinguishes between what are Active and Passive Interactions.
Active - Commenting, Sharing and reacting
Passive - Clicking, Viewing, Hovering
Lets further explore each passive interaction to get a better idea of how you can incorporate these into your strategy.
As Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed, wrote in a January press release:
“Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook–in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos”
This means brands need to push out content that not only encourages comments, but conversations between people, and 'engagement baiting' content will be demoted by Facebook. See below
Aim to create meaningful stories which naturally encourage engagement rather then asking for it!
Facebook is now putting a large emphasis on posts that are shared both publicly and privately (via messenger) and remember, if these posts are shared and still no conversations occur underneath them, this will cause them to be demoted by Facebook (Meaningful stories!!)
For example, if I share a post from The Social Pie's Facebook Page and my friends start to comment on my shared post within the feed, then that post will continue to be shown to other people, increasing the post’s reach.
But if I share a post from The Social Pie's Page and it receives no comments (or reactions) from my friends, then the post will begin to be demoted in the News Feed.
Facebook understands that not everyone has the time and desire to comment and share certain posts, so although the weakest form of engagement out of the three, reactions will still play an important role in driving your content further up the feed.
Now that we know all this, we need to begin strategising clever ways we can create content that tells meaningful stories and also encourages your brands audiences to engage with each other below it.
A simple rewiring of how we traditionally approach our content creation could mean all the difference, rather then creating content for your brand, create content for your audience. Something that will pull on their emotional strings and create a desire to express themselves and with one another.
Certain questions you may ask yourself are:
What does my audience care about?
What are they passionate about?
What and who do they love to interact with and more importantly why?
Although it may take time getting used to, we believe in the long run that this is the best outcome for users of Facebook and also enabling brands to tell more meaningful stories that they may not have felt comfortable enough to tell previously.