There’s been a lot of speculation in recent months about whether Facebook was looking to make people’s News Feeds more personal once more and reduce the number of brand/page posts being displayed.
Well, it’s finally happened and this is what we know:
On January 12, none other than Mr Facebook himself, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that the social network was going to make a major change designed to help us all “have more meaningful social interactions”.
The bottom line is that Facebook wants people’s News Feeds to be filled with more posts from their friends and family, and fewer posts from brands/pages.
Basically, going forward, people are going to “see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media”.
Perhaps the most important part of this change is highlighted on the official Facebook for Business blog. While brand/page posts, on the whole, are going to see their reach decline, “page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed”. In other words, posts that attract a lot of comments and create discussions. Facebook has even gone as far as to highlight how live videos are a great example of this (hint hint).
Here’s a short video from Facebook explaining these changes:
So what do I think?
Personally, I think it’s a good move! Facebook has got noisier and busier in recent times and there has been less and less relevant content. In fact, I’ve actually noticed how much low-quality, repetitive content there is nowadays.
If nothing else, this update should force companies to evolve, put more thought and effort into their posts and inspire genuine conversations. We’ll see how it will turn out in reality, but, right now, I like the drivers behind it.
A few points stand out for me at first glance:
1. Driving traffic from Facebook is dead. Links will be highly disadvantaged and only the best out of the best will get any reach. To drive traffic you’re going to need to use Facebook Ads.
2. Facebook Pages aren’t dead, but they’ll need to evolve! Aim for the 3 Es – engagement, education, entertainment.
3. Quality over quantity – even more than ever! Only meaningful, relevant, timely posts, which people will want to engage with will have a chance – and only Pages doing this consistently will succeed.
4. Facebook Groups will be even more powerful for businesses!
I don’t think you should see it as ‘constant changes’ – this has been coming for a long time and has always been the ‘golden rule’ of social media. Only now they’ve decided to enforce it, making sure that only businesses who put enough thought into their content and Pages that offer genuine information – are helpful, relevant, timely and engaging – will stand a chance.
And I fully support their decision! Yes, it means more work, but it also means a better Facebook and higher quality relationships for businesses.
What to do next?
- Stop the presses (meaning stop scheduling and pushing tons of content out there).
- Analyse your results to identify what content your audience engages with the most.
- Create a new strategy (specifically for Facebook) that will reflect these new rules.
- Focus on quality over quantity – post less, but more in-depth, more thought through content.
- What content will work? Live video, conversation inspiring images, videos or thought-provoking texts.
- 3 Es – engagement, education and entertainment are your new best friends.
How about you? Will you create a new Facebook plan for your business or will you rather focus on other platforms? I’d love to know what you think about these changes!