In early January, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s new objectives for 2018 and gave everyone some information concerning updates arriving on the platform soon. It actually got everyone so agitated that in the days following the announcement FB’s stock price took a hit. As you can imagine from the reactions it received, these new changes will have quite a significant impact for businesses on the platform.
How Will the New Newsfeed Look?
The updates come after a tough year for Facebook. It received many accusations of not properly monitoring its platform and consequently has acted to fix its problems. One of the primary objectives of the changes is to reduce the reach of pages whose information has not been proven to come from authoritative sources. This means less fact pages, Top 10 rankings and “Best thing Ever” articles that don’t actually show their sources. Many of those articles are ads, Facebook knows it and it’s finding ways to reduce their presence.
Another objective of these dramatic changes on Facebook is to decrease the time users spend passively watching videos and scrolling down their newsfeed without engaging. In Facebook’s own words, they would like to help “you have more meaningful social interactions” online. In the new newsfeed, long thoughtful comments and repeated engagements with a same friend will be given more weight than likes and short comments. In addition, posts by friends that are more closely connected to you on your social network will be prioritized over friends with whom you have less in common.
Examples of Clickbait that FB would like to remove
So How Will This Update Actually Affect Your Business Page?
Many, many pages will see their reach, views and engagement decrease, but not all. The pages that use bait tactics such as asking their followers to tag friends or comment an answer will be penalized for it. According to Facebook this type of engagement is superficial and has become too spammy on their platform. It has led to many pages with low quality content and low engagement rates. These large pages with no genuine engagement will also see their reach decrease after the new updates. So how are you supposed to continue to succeed on Facebook as a business?
How to Succeed on Facebook in 2018?
Without making it obvious, Facebook has once again reduced the organic reach of business pages. This now makes it necessary for businesses to promote more of their content in order to retain the same reach. The news is generally regarded as pretty bad for businesses, but the change does offer the opportunity to stand out, for those who will know how to change their strategy. So here are a few ideas that will help you in 2018:
Produce content that inspires followers to post more meaningful replies. Asking for short replies and likes can be good once in a while, but it doesn’t really help your community get more involved. Facebook would love it if your content led followers to engage emotionally and led them to care about what you posted. It’s a hard thing to do, but if your target market appreciates your content more than your competitors’, your page’s engagement and reach should remain at its same levels.
Use Facebook Updates
Use as many of the new Facebook features as possible. Facebook has released new features that is believes will improve its community and which it is eager for its user to try out. Make use of Facebook Live and Facebook Stories for example and continue to use any new feature that appears in the coming year.
Although the Newsfeed is changing, Facebook groups still work in the same way as they always have. Posts in a group still appear in chronological order. For this reason, posting in group and forming groups around interests related to your business is still a great way to get your brand out there.
Invest in Communities
Some marketers (including ourselves) that have written about the update think that although Facebook pages will be affected negatively, it will have a positive impact for Facebook influencers. Why is that? More personal content means more content from micro-influencers that initially grew their following from close friends and family. Their pages, that generally have less than 15k followers, could continue to grow even faster, as new algorithms increasingly favor their content. For this reason, the new changes to facebook might just be another reason for your business to start working with social media influencers.
It might not always be easy to navigate social media, especially given all the rapid changes taking place on all the platforms. Like for any change, it will affect most negatively the pages that don’t evolve their strategy. However, for those who intend on keeping their Facebook game up-to-date in the coming year, the opportunity to keep growing is always there.
For any more questions concerning the topic and how we continue to grow our client pages in 2018, don’t hesitate to give us a call!