Published on March 14, 2018

To keep Facebook alive for our brands, in the next few months we’ll be focusing on content that closely reflects what consumers need and what they’re thinking about.

In early January, Facebook made a big announcement regarding the News Feed. Citing efforts to help bring people together, the company announced that they would be de-prioritizing content from business pages to focus on interactions between people. The change has caused some fear among businesses who rely on Facebook to spread their message.

Is this fear justified, or like so many changes before this, is it an overreaction? To figure this out, we’ve broken down the announcement and what it could mean.

What is Facebook Changing?

The algorithm change means that Facebook will be prioritizing any content that delivers “meaningful interactions between people,” over brand, business and media content. This seems in many ways to be a “back to basics” approach, returning to the days when Facebook was a network for people to talk to each other and catch up before the brands and businesses joined in. To quote Zuckerberg, “At its best, Facebook has always been about personal connections.”

For brands, this might seem like a very scary concept, but in reality, Facebook has been a pay-to-play environment for a long time now. Changes over the years have made it difficult for brands to get significant organic reach, encouraging them to use paid ads to reach their audience. Those ads will not be affected by this change.

Driving Conversations

Although the changes generally mean pages won’t show as much, highly engaging page posts will still be featured prominently in the News Feed. At the moment, “engaging” means content that generates conversations (comments), instead of likes or shares. Pages that don’t generate many of these conversations, will see the highest decrease in reach.

To highlight the “meaningful” aspect of the interactions they’re seeking to create, Facebook is also highlighting that any content asking for likes, shares or comments will be demoted. That leaves page owners only one option for organic reach — generate high quality content that prompts a conversation.

The focus on conversations could also mean that:

  • We’ll see less video, since this is generally a more passive form of entertainment.
  • We’ll see more content from groups where interactions and conversations are ongoing.
  • Local businesses might benefit from engaging with the community around them.

POV Brands1

The Age of Meaningful Interactions

At the end of his announcement post, Zuckerberg said: “I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.” What we’ve seen is inline with our thinking at M8, where brands will shift away from interruption marketing, welcoming an age that prioritizes meaningful relationships between brands and consumers.

To keep Facebook alive for our brands, in the next few months we’ll be focusing on content that closely reflects what consumers need and what they’re thinking about. Our organic and paid content will work closely together, pushing messages where the brand has a stronger presence to the paid side and keeping the more conversational content organic.

There’s no need to panic over this change. We’ll continue monitoring the changes as we have in the past and make alterations as needed.

Originally Published on Medium on January 30, 2018.

Juanita Galindo

Juanita GalindoContent & SEO Planner - M8

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