If you run social media accounts for your business, you’ve probably heard about Facebook’s plans to roll back the prominence of businesses on the Facebook newsfeed. Apparently, it’s going to be affecting about ~2 billion users’ feeds – so how much of a concern is this to businesses who primarily advertise on Facebook? Here’s our breakdown of what to pay attention to and how to cope with the upcoming changes.
Why Facebook, Why?
So first of all, why is this all happening? It’s not like Facebook doesn’t make a killing from businesses through advertising, so why? Last year, social media was under fire from researchers for having ‘negative affects’ on our minds and social lives (not the desired outcome from social media). Whilst this could be for a numerous amount of reasons, Zuckerberg is adamant that social media can actually be good for people’s well being… Just maybe not at the moment. Additional supporting reasons for this change are accusations of promotion of fake news on Facebook and the invasion of ‘clickbait’ articles. Alongside this there is a wish to increase post and user engagement on Facebook, making it a bit more ‘social’ again.
How is the change going to look?
Well we don’t exactly know yet, and chances are, neither does Facebook. All we know is that it has already begun. The plan is to pull back visibility of ‘click bait’ style posts that lack authenticity, credibility, or purpose. Instead, Facebook will promote posts that encourage conversation and discussion among friends – apparently something Facebook would like to grow, too – taking back the social roots of social media. In Zuckerberg’s own words, you can expect to see ‘less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media… It should encourage meaningful interactions between people.’ Therefore the changes will probably be algorithms determining what constitutes as a ‘meaningful interaction’. This could be something as simple as friends tagging friends in comments; comment chains of longer than 5 comments; positive emojis or something entirely different – probably a combination of multiple things that are still being worked out.
What can I do?
What you can do to continue maximising your social marketing spends is relatively unknown at this point. What we can say is that it appears Facebook is shunning ‘Fake News’ inspired posts and click-bait articles, therefore we’d recommend avoiding them. There are theories that businesses such as these will rank lower in terms of visibility. It could be that Facebook is accumulating a permanent hidden ‘authenticity rank’ on your business, the more status updates you write involving click bait and/or fake news, for example, could give you a low rank, so that when Facebook has finished implementing these changes, you have a low rank as opposed to more reputable businesses. Equally, Facebook may take it on a per-post basis and may store no information or rank regarding previous posts. It’s a tough one, but posting traffic generating click bait may do more harm than good in the long term, at least on Facebook – we just don’t know yet and we have to wait for Facebook to give us a little bit more information.
Aim to make your posts catalysts for ‘meaningful interactions between people’ and that’s probably the best place to start for now.