Big changes are coming, and they’re coming to Facebook, the world’s largest social media network with 1.15 billion global monthly active users. For any business owner -- whether your business is fully online, or you’re running a more traditional brick-and-mortar store -- these changes means a re-haul of some of the most basic ways you’ve been conducting marketing on this platform.
What will these changes mean for you?
That’s why we’re going to go over what these changes are, what they mean for growing organizations, and how you can adapt to these changes. It may seem like a challenging moment, but just remember that it’s precisely challenges like these that make it possible for brands to get more creative and find new ways to attract more customers.
Basically, Facebook is going through some algorithm changes that are going to make it more difficult for brands and publishers to get their word out on the users’ News Feeds. Instead, what’s going to pop up the next time you scroll through your screen are going to be posts that have been shared by your friends. Part of the idea of this, of course, is to make Facebook a bit more like what it used to be like when the company was smaller.
According to Adam Mosseri, a Facebook vice president, as interviewed by Wired Magazine, “what we’re talking about is a ranking change where we're trying to focus or trying to look at how we might help -- or use ranking to help people become closer together and connect people more. Newsfeed was founded -- or Facebook was founded in a lot of ways -- to connect people. So we want to see if we can do that better.”
Additionally, some of the changes that are coming include that articles will be ranked not by their popularity, but by their number of likes. [how convenient]. There’ll be less video. Basically, Facebook wants there to be more interaction with the content itself, between users, not just blind sharing (which, as we know just from mere Facebook usage, happens all the time).
These changes are going to make quite the impact, considering that news feeds are the single most interactive feature on Facebook, according to salesforce.com.
How the algorithm impacts brands.
So for you, as a company, the biggest takeaway is that Facebook users will see less advertisements -- but also less branded content (for example, from company Facebook pages). In detail, according to Ogilvy.com, this means that:
Supposedly this change will have an impact on organic reach.
“While paid ads will continue to be shown to users as they always have, this will have a major impact on the organic reach of branded content. There is already some speculation that this will inevitably drive up the price of ads on Facebook. [big surprise]. Content that users engage with will still appear, but the emphasis on “meaningful” interactions may signal the end of content designed solely to get likes and comments, such as competitions and giveaways.”
What does this mean for the average business as far as content goes?
This puts a whole new spin, on the way brands are going to have to think about their content, doesn’t it? For example, Azazie, an ecommerce bridal gown shop, recognizes that these latest algorithm changes will force their marketing team to constantly test and reassess social content.
According to Azazie’s Marketing Coordinator, Alexzandrea Lopez “Living in a world of bots and paid followers, it is hard to appeal to the customer in a genuine way but our team has a firm understanding of our customer base.
Although we are a young team, we use that to our advantage, we are all very eager to learn and adjust to the many dodgeballs Facebook and Instagram continue to throw at us.”
As indicated by Azazie, the key to maneuvering through these social media changes begins with understanding your audience's’ interests, behaviors, and needs. The more you can create content that actually benefits them, as opposed to content that simply promotes your product, the better chance you’ll have of creating social posts that spark shares and engagement across News Feeds.
High quality content.
There’s a reason why leaders in content marketing get 7.8 times more site traffic than non-leaders--because high quality, individualized content can make a real difference, and it’s worth investing time into (and money, if you’re hiring writers).
So what does this mean for brands?
In conclusion: now, more than ever, brands have to really emphasize creating quality, personalized content that has the potential to make a lasting impression with audiences. Especially considering the fact that videos are going to be less important than before.
Videos used to be one of the biggest ways to get shares on Facebook, with 87 percent of online marketers using video content because of its effectiveness -- brands are going to have to create the kind of content that gets shared purely because it’s high quality.
Simplifying the process.
Take Currency Capital’s blog, for example. This company, which simplifies the process of small businesses getting loans for equipment, provides high quality blog content, which is not only informative, but necessary for these businesses to know about. For example, what these businesses should be expensing when tax season comes around, or how to improve their business credit. Anyone who’s checking out these articles--and benefitting from them--is sure to share it themselves on their own page with friends and family.
At the end of the day, these changes are going to make it necessary for companies and brands to step it up when it comes to the quality of their content. If you don’t already have an amazing blog with excellent writing and resources for clients, make sure you start now. It will make all the difference when it comes to your success.
What do you think of Facebook’s algorithm changes?