How To Adapt To The New Facebook Newsfeed
Critics are heralding Facebook’s latest announcement regarding its reorganisation of the newsfeed as the biggest change to Facebook’s user experience in years – and they’re probably right. In short, Facebook has taken the decision to start delivering more content from friends and family in the newsfeed, which sometimes may come at the expense of branded and media content.
This will certainly have an impact on organic reach (which has already seen a significant drop over the last few years) but the change doesn’t mean that brands won’t be able to reach their preferred audiences on Facebook anymore. In fact, Facebook thinks it will result in more meaningful engagements for its community of businesses, since Facebook users will be enjoying a better platform experience.
A major part of social media consultancy is to respond to technological and algorithmic shifts in the platforms we operate on – and since social media platforms change every day, we spend a lot of time at bigdog analysing the data and consulting with social media platforms to ensure we’re providing the best guidance to our clients. The following pointers will help you navigate this new shift…
Invest in quality content
Content is Facebook’s lifeblood- if the posts it serves aren’t relevant, interesting or useful then users will stop being users and start spending their time elsewhere. So if we want Facebook to put significant reach behind our content, then we need to make sure that it’s relevant, interesting and useful. And with the latest shift to the newsfeed, Facebook is going to become even more selective about the business content it serves. A less but better approach should be adopted- invest more resource into less content to ensure that your most important pieces are providing the best user experience.
Concentrate on targeting
Investing in the production of quality content is vital, but it’s just as important to invest in the distribution of that content to ensure its reaching the right people. For example, your Slow Roast Baby Back Ribs recipe video might look incredible, but if it’s served up to a community of vegans then you’re probably going to get some negative feedback, rather than the thousands of “let’s have this for tea tonight” comments you were expecting! Facebook provides us with some of the finest behavioural targeting out there – and it’s more important than ever that all of our content is guided by it to reach the right newsfeeds in the future.
Social media platforms reward innovation with increased reach. When Facebook introduces new functionality (like it did with Facebook LIVE in 2016) it gives posts that utilise that functionality more reach in the newsfeed, because it wants more users to get inspired by it and increase general engagement on the platform. This presents a massive opportunity for the brands who are first to achieve greater ROI, simply by virtue of being the first to the party. We’re still seeing incredible results from Facebook LIVE and the brands who are innovating in this space are earning significant rewards; this won’t be changing anytime soon.
Engagement Bait is Dead
Engagement bait is how Facebook has termed those posts that ask users to take a certain action to help that post reach even more people in the newsfeed. For example, “hit like if you love dogs and share if you love cats.” These posts cleverly invited users to hit the reactions that would then send a signal to the Facebook algorithm that users are enjoying the content so it must be good – but Facebook then surveyed users to found that these posts actually had a negative impact on user experience… so now they’re being penalised.
The key is to think about how your brand can contribute to a positive user experience on Facebook and your content will be rewarded with greater reach and engagement. The suggestion that quality content should be accompanied with fine targeting is nothing new, but it will become even more vital that you get it right in the future.
If you want to talk about how we can help you navigate the social content landscape, get in touch here.