On the 11th January 2018, the most dramatic Facebook newsfeed change was announced. Mark Zuckerberg took to the Facebook Newsroom to state that Facebook were changing the newsfeed algorithm. Check out his full announcement below:
Algorithm changes are not uncommon. However what makes this particular update so significant is the direction Mark is suggestion Facebook are about to (if not already have) started to take. Say goodbye to funny videos of cats tapping away at keyboards, or quote after quote after quote showing you the endless ways to be happy. The latest Facebook newsfeed change is going to see posts from friends and family prioritised over everything – “We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.” Mark has summed it up in just one line.
Surely this a bad move by Facebook?
On the surface of things, you could quite easily be duped into thinking this is an error of judgement by Facebook. In fact, shortly after Mark’s announcement shares in Facebook fell by 4%. What is scaring people is the move away from ‘relevant content’ to ‘meaningful social interactions’. The potential impact on businesses that have invested time and money on their Facebook business pages is surely going to be catastrophic. Think of all that hard work to build page likes, only to learn that your content will no longer reach even the smallest amount of users.
But is it? The Facebook newsfeed has long been clogging up. It is about time Facebook acted and changed the way things are seen. User experience is everything, and in my opinion Facebook have realised that unless they start to change the sort of content that is seen on the newsfeed, they could start to lose users to other social networks.
Facebook would much rather see a short term financial loss in order to retain its users, than a long term loss of losing its users to the likes of Twitter. Furthermore, with one of the only means of getting noticed on Facebook being Facebook Ads, spend will increase over time. Quite a clever move in my book.
What does the Facebook newsfeed change mean for you?
Well if you are a user; it means a better overall experience. You will see less content from business pages and groups, and more content from people close to you. You will however see content you maybe want to see, drop off. To prevent this from happening, you can go to the relevant Facebook page (obviously the onefoursix page…), locate the “Following” tab underneath the cover image. Hover over and click “See First”. This will ensure that you see the content you want to see. However bear in mind you can only do this for up to 30 business pages.
If you are a business owner of marketeer, the change will be more impactful. The Facebook algorithm has always limited what your followers will see in their newsfeed. However the recent change of algorithm takes that to the extreme. You can now guarantee that next to none of your Facebook posts will be seen organically.
A question we were asked on our 146Live event in January – “will this effect verified pages too? Yes it will. Verified or not, there is not escaping the changes.”
As a business page owner, what can are your options?
As a business page owner, your ultimate aim is to be seen. With the recent Facebook newsfeed change, your reach will be severely limited. However there are some things you can do to get noticed. Check them out below:
- Post less – yes I am telling you to post less. Focus on quality, well thought-through content, rather than the endless drivel some still produce. Generating conversation and engagement is key. So focus your efforts on producing that.
- Create better content – easier said than done. However the key metric that determines whether you are seen will be “Long Comments”. So you need to ensure your content encourages exactly that. If you can create content that gets long comments, and content that encourages conversation, Facebook will push your posts out to more people.
- Use Facebook Live – Facebook Live has been around for a while now; it’s about time you used it. But why? According to mediakix, Facebook Live videos are commented on 10 times more than regular videos. Facebook Live has proven to generate conversation, and should be encouraged if you want to be seen. Marketing Solved have published a worth while blog on getting more people to view your Facebook Live videos. Let is know what you think.
- Don’t ask for comments – Engagement bait is being ousted. If you currently ask for comments, likes or shares in a Facebook post, your content is less likely to be seen as Facebook attempts to stamp it out. At the risk of revisiting point 2, you need to focus on creating better content than this.
- Explore Facebook Ads – Facebook Ads will soon be the only guaranteed way to get your content seen. If you haven’t already experimented with Facebook Ads, their system is the most targeted available. With a variety of options available to you, do not think that you should just be boosting posts.
- Master Messenger Chatbots – a chatbot is a piece of software built to simulate human-like conversation. Last year they got introduced to Facebook messenger, and they could be a great way to help develop leads and sell. For help on setting up a chatbot, Social Media Examiner have put together a great post to get you started.
So there you have it. The Facebook newsfeed is changing, and it will impact us all. Let us know your thoughts on the change in the comments below. If you need any additional support, or have a question for our team, click here to visit our contact page.
Author: Dave Williams
Dave Williams is the founder and director of onefoursix; a digital marketing agency based in Northampton. After setting up onefoursix in 2011, Dave has gone on to grow it to one of Northampton’s finest agencies. His expertise include social media, user experience and SEO.
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