Facebook made a big change last week, as they announced they will be overhauling its News Feed so users will see 'more meaningful' user created content, first and more often, and as a result, Facebook users will see fewer posts from businesses and brands.
Facebook Messages and photos share by 'people' will take priority instead. The move is an attempt to make users more engaged with the site by having “more meaningful social interactions”, and to reconnect with the people they care about, friends and family.
Mark Zuckerberg, announced the “major change” in a post on the website on Thursday January 11th, 2018.
Facebook said, people will spend less time on Facebook as a result of the changes, but predicted it would boost the company in the long term - citing research about how users feel more happy when viewing content from people they know to justify the changes.
“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people's well-being,” he wrote.
Companies Can Expect Organic Reach Challenges
However, the change fell short of a more radical move to split Facebook’s News Feed in two, which had been expected by some in the industry.
“Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease,” the Facebook statement reads, which is especially true for Pages with posts that don’t see a ton of engagement -- by way of shares, or discussion on the post itself, including when users share them with their networks.
This raises serious questions for companies that have invested heavily in using Facebook pages to drive traffic to their websites - will that program work anymore?
What Marketers Should Do Now
Marketers need to rethink their programs. Organic reach for business pages has been slipping for a while, but this latest shift is big and different, “Page posts will still appear in News Feed, though there may be fewer of them.”
Company content will now have to be even more shareable so it promotes conversation among users. Brands should review their content to generate more meaningful conversations that will generate more shares and more organic conversation — adding live videos, which Facebook says get 6X the engagement as non-live ones - is a clear way forward.
Update User Facebook Settings
One important addition to this report that is well worth noting, is that Facebook users will have the option to modify settings to see content from certain Pages in their News Feeds. This presents an opportunity for marketers to let their audiences know about it, by way of sharing something like "Want to be the first to know about our sales? Make sure you see us first
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