And What we Can Control

Last month, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s 2018 resolution was to “make sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.” With that, Zuckerberg stated Facebook would be making changes to its News Feed ranking so users can have more meaningful interactions with friends and family, rather than brands.

Here’s what we learned from Facebook’s Head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri:

  • Facebook will prioritize posts from friends and family over public posts from publishers or businesses.
  • Facebook will prioritize posts that spark conversation between people.
  • Facebook will prioritize posts that generate long comments over short comments.
  • Facebook will prioritize live video over regular video, because live video generates six times as many interactions.

A new phrase was born – “Facebook Zero” – and panic set in for marketers that rely on Facebook for organic reach and referral traffic.

In an interview with Wired, Mosseri said, “There will be less content directly from (professional) Pages. Page content will still be an important part of the ecosystem, but it will shift a little bit. Content that is shared and talked about between friends will grow, and content that's directly consumed from Pages directly will shrink slightly.”

At this point, we should be prepared to see decreases in video watch time, link clicks and reach over the coming months.

But, let’s set the Facebook Zero panic aside and focus on what we can optimize with Facebook’s new algorithm.

  1. Focus even more on your audience.

    Take time to understand your audience. What is important to them? How do they want to interact with brands on social media? How can your brand message and brand purpose fit into their lives without being disruptive?

  2. Focus on quality over quantity.

    If your hope is to spark a meaningful conversation between people, your post will need to be meaningful. Invest more in a few pieces of content that will result in a higher ranking than many pieces of content that result in a lower ranking.

    (A word of warning: Don’t ask your audience to “comment below.” That is engagement-bait and will result in an even lower ranking and even fewer comments.)

  3. Focus on community management.

    Establish a richer connection with your current audience by responding to comments – thank them for sharing, address their concerns, and ask them a question to keep the conversation going.

  4. Focus on live video.

    Develop a live video strategy and start executing. No more excuses.

  5. Focus on influencers.

    Develop an influencer marketing program. Your Page’s organic reach may decline, but you can still maintain your brand’s total reach by connecting with your audiences through other Pages and people, such as influencers. Just be sure to work closely with your influencers to create content that still sparks a conversation because the ranking changes affect all public content.  

  6. Focus on your ad strategy.

In the same interview, Mosseri told Wired “Ads is a separate system. So in terms of this ranking change, it doesn’t apply.” That said, we can only assume the demand for Facebook ads is going to increase, which could result in an increase in cost (something we’re watching very closely).

Now is the time to make sure your ad strategy is sound. Build targeting groups that focus on reaching the right consumers and/or clients. Test your creative against your audiences. Be prepared to shift budget toward what’s working and away from what’s not.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to update your Facebook strategy. Need help? I know someone.