You've probably heard about Facebook's recent announcement on changes to its news feed algorithm.
If not, the social media giant hit the headlines this month after it announced that content from businesses, brands and media would be shown less than that from family and friends. (link)
In a commitment to the health of its 2 billion users, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the platform has "a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being”.
He said: "The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos -- even if they're entertaining or informative -- may not be as good."
Business users and owners of pages may see their content drop in newsfeeds as Facebook prioritises posts from friends and family, and specifically posts which have attracted lively discussion.
At first glance, this probably seems worrying. However, Facebook has said they will be prioritising content and posts that "encourage meaningful interactions between people", so as long as your content does this, it's no problem! So how do you do this?
How this affects you
As a business, the content you post should have always had a take away: something useful, or informative, or perhaps funny, that your customers will enjoy and engage with and ultimately lead to them becoming fans of your work. But it's not always easy to ensure this is the case, and it's all too easy to feel that to be seen and heard, you Must. Post. Content. Any content.
As a result, the internet has become a very noisy place!
It's not that beneficial to add to this noise for the sake of it. And especially so when taking the new newsfeed rules into account.
Instead, businesses should be focusing on content that serves your clients – that encourages discussion and works to build a relationship with your potential customers and clients.
Facebook’s Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri said: "Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect."
So how do you encourage people to react? While "click bait" tactics can work - headlines that grab a readers attention but link to an article with tenuous relevance or accuracy, for example - this is not the type of content that Facebook means when it says "react", and actually, pages using these tactics will be demoted.
Facebook is looking to encourage authentic engagement. Specifically, content that encourages comments rather than likes alone, and those that encourage conversations.
Content that is high quality, and has merit. It might be something that's useful to your clients and customer, or something that entertains and makes them feel something.
Thinking about who your content is for is the first step you should take: what are their problems, how do they feel – what would help them, right now?
Facebook users will still be able to prioritise seeing your page by altering settings in their news feed, should they wish to. So if you continue to post brilliant content, it'll still get in front of the right people.
If you need any help with your conent, or anything else relating to using Facebook for business, please get in touch. We'll be happy to help.