Affected By Facebook’s News Feed Change? (4 Tips For The Shift)

Ch-ch-ch-changes are here in the fascinating world of Facebook. As you may already know, last week Mark Zuckerberg announced major changes to the news feed that will have the potential to dramatically affect how people use and interact on Facebook. View his post.

“I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.” – Mark Zuckerberg

What does this mean? There are lots of questions about how this will affect businesses advertising on Facebook, especially those that rely on the social network for leads and conversions.

As with any changes that the tech giants like Google or Facebook make, the first step is to understand why the change is being made. Then we must pivot our strategies to adapt in this ever-changing environment of the world wide web.

Let’s first break down the reasons behind the newsfeed update. Then we’ll share strategies on where to go from there.

Facebook states the news feed “is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other” so “you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”

There are two main reasons behind this change. 1) The increase of “fake news” circulating on Facebook – especially around the US election in 2016 – has lead Facebook to trace back to its roots and provide a social media network platform instead of a public news outlet. 2) With a basic supply and demand philosophy in mind, by decreasing the number of advertising space or other promoted content, the advertising rates will go up. Businesses will be enticed to spend more to fight for the premium spots. Funny how that works out eh?

Facebook wants newsfeed content that is more relevant and personal. This sounds familiar to Google’s view on SEO ranking: content needs to be relevant!

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4 Tips For Adapting To This Change Like a Digital Marketing Ninja:

  1. Create relevant and engaging content. (But no clickbait messaging please!)

It all comes back to juicy content. We need to create relevant and engaging content for our target persona(s). Stay away from general messaging; again, stay away from general messaging por favor. Focus on custom messaging that entices engagement – but not so much that it appears spammy and “clickbaity”. Recently at the end of 2017, Facebook announced their fight against “engagement bait” or clickbait content. Make your content worth clicking on. And, if it’s the right content for the right audience, it will be. Reddit is a perfect example of how thoughtful, calibrated content can generate excellent engagement.

And remember, “engaging” goes past the post or ad.

Facebook is vague around its engagement metric, but we know it includes reactions, comments, shares, links, video views, etc. on your posts. Is this all they measure? Nope, there’s more. With the Facebook pixel already installed on your website, Facebook can easily look into the landing page experience as well. (Again, similar to Google). In another post mid-2017, Facebook stated that they are “rolling out an update so people see fewer posts and ads in News Feed that link to these low-quality web page experiences”.

It’s not enough to create a relevant and engaging ad or post with fast responses; we need to provide a good landing page experience as well.

Also, please note: engagement is a two-way street. If someone asks a question or comments on your post, you need to respond back quickly. Typically, responses should be less than 30 minutes with an actual human response rather than one or two word replies.

  1. Apply hyper targeting to advertisements.

Inevitably, this change will dramatically decrease the reach of your posts, but have no fear! You want to show your content to the right people and not to the masses anyway.

Put more effort into researching niche audiences rather than just the general population, and serve content that is relevant to each audience. Yes, this also means more time and effort will need to go into customer research running a successful ad campaign – but that’s the only way you will be able to maximize FB ROAS with this new algorithm shift. So, buckle down and make the time for a thoroughly thought out targeting and tailored content creation strategy.

  1. Quality vs. Quantity

Following the same philosophy of relevant and engaging content, you want to create content that is high quality with just enough detail to elicit response. For example, you want to to have a post that has generated 50 reactions rather than 10 posts with 5 each. Slow down to really think about your targeted personas and create quality content rather than shooting out content for the sake of sending something out. Think of the difference between shooting from the hip and intentionally crafting content. Put more effort into one post, rather than creating 5 shallower posts.

If you don’t have personas for your business or clients, check out this awesome article from Column Five on how to create pain-free marketing personas in less than 60 min.

  1. Experiment with different types of assets

Like I always say, you never know until you try. Test different types of assets like single-image, carousel, canvas, video, facebook live and etc. with your audience to see which kind of content resonates. The smallest changes can affect performance in big ways, so test away!

I see a little A/B testing in your future…

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When will this change happen?

Like with the changes from other tech giants, they are vague about this. Nobody knows. Some agencies are saying they are already experiencing this change with their clients. One thing’s for sure, they will not announce it if it won’t happen. Oh, look out you rock ‘n rollers!

 

Peter Wong
[email protected]
Digital Hot Sauce – Vancouver