What’s going on with Facebook’s News Feed update?

Facebook 2018 News Feed Update

Are you worried about the impact of Facebook’s January 2018 announcement on changes to its News Feed? What’s the reasoning behind the change, what’s likely to change and what do these changes mean for your business?

Before we begin, it’s important to note that Facebook has confirmed this change in no way affects paid posts and advertisements. So if you’re already paying to play, your campaigns will be fine.

 

Why change the News Feed?

The Facebook News Feed change is largely a response to the quality of news on Facebook being called into question – following numerous spam and “fake news” reports spread during the 2016 US Election campaigns (cheers Putin!).

“The public content you see more will be held to the same standard – it should encourage meaningful interactions between people”

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Co-Founder

While these changes could be considered a public relations reaction, they also address several issues regarding the way audiences are consuming the platform’s content.

With the substantial growth of both video and brand content, we’re seeing audiences consume content in a more passive and uninterested manner. Facebook is basically trying to get you interested again.

This highlights the importance creating relevant, engaging content that audiences can connect with.

The update demonstrates a shift in the way Facebook wants audiences to use its platform. While the overall reach unpaid brand content receives will most likely decrease, it’s expected that when users are shown brand content, there’s the opportunity for much more meaningful (and valuable) engagement.

It is expected that this reduction in reach will be particularly noticeable from passive content-formats like video.

 

What’s changing in the News Feed?

Earlier this month, Facebook announced it would be making changes to the News Feed to emphasise “meaningful social interactions” with close friends and family (instead of brands and publishers).

Over the years, there’s been a considerable increase in brand and video content – while posts from your friends and family have remained relatively consistent.

The balance of what’s showing up in your News Feed has shifted away from what Facebook was originally intended to do — help us connect with each other. This new change is basically Facebook’s solution – focused on getting back to what we wanted the platform for.

“The public content you see more will be held to the same standard – it should encourage meaningful interactions between people”

Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s Head of News Feed

While there’s no concrete estimations, the majority of experts agree that these changes could see the amount of organic news on Facebook shrink to about four per cent of all content (from five per cent currently).

 

What do the News Feed changes mean for your business?

So, what’s the takeaway?

  • Ensure your content is both relevant and engaging for your brand’s audience
  • Create query-based content that encourages interactions and user-generated responses
  • Foster your brand’s Facebook community and consider leveraging Facebook Groups
  • Continue the conversation and respond to any user engagement in post comments

 

The biggest reduction in reach and performance is likely going to be seen from news publishers. While it’s too soon to say exactly how these proposed changes are going to play out, it’s critical that the organic content you create is both relevant and engaging for your followers.

If you create posts that draw-on and inspire user-generated feedback and interaction, you’re less likely to see a dramatic drop in your unpaid post reach.

Facebook is aiming to shift the focus from brand content that is directly consumed to any content that is shared, commented on and consumed in a more social manner. This means content that promotes engagement, discussion and interaction is likely to be prioritised in audiences’ News Feeds.

The posts that don’t inspire meaningful conversation or interaction are going to fall by the wayside.

With this focus on community engagement and social interaction, the posts from Facebook Groups are likely to see increased visibility. If your business is operating in a niche or has built a sufficient community, consider focusing your efforts on group conversations and engagement.

The change also highlights a strong case for brand-engagement. Once you’ve submitted your post to Facebook, the job isn’t over. There needs to be active follow-up and engagement within the post comments. As a brand, you can’t just start the conversation and walk away. You need timely responses that effectively address and engage your audience.

 

If you would like to discuss your brand’s social strategy with us, please feel free to get in touch at hello@nous.com.au.

 

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