2018 was brought more expectation from Social Media marketing among the pro and amateur marketers. The highs of organic and paid activities on Facebook achieved its climax when on 11 January 2018 Facebook announced a shocking Facebook news feed update. The algorithm of Facebook is changing very frequently in the last couple of years but 2017 was the year when marketers felt difficult to reach organically with their content. And now 2018 is looking more difficult to get the organic results with this new algorithm change. To summarize the update:
1. Personal communication becomes more important: Facebook believes that it was built for personal engagement and social connection so even if you are using Facebook page, you must post to engage individuals with your content.
2. Engagement-bait is strict NO!: You can not entice your audience to comment on your posts. This kind of posts will be demoted in the news feed.
Should I start thinking differently?
You shouldn’t as of now. At least until the time these updates are not rolled out – you should not worry. But at least you have to start thinking about the plan B. My first reaction after going through this algorithm update was why should I worry? If you are a marketer and you are posting genuine marketing content which till date has engaged many people then you should not at all worry about any such updates. This update is an alarm for those marketers who have never thought strategically and have never generated real-life content. You can not depend on a graphic designer to use Facebook for marketing! Absolutely NO!
In 2016, Facebook rolled out news feed update for pages. It was scary that time too! What Facebook said was:
Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook. That’s why today, we’re announcing an upcoming change to News Feed ranking to help make sure you don’t miss stories from your friends.
The real marketers must not have been affected by this change then. Why? Because they knew that if they are continuing with the content which will engage more and more people then they would never be worried about news feed placement for their page posts. So this new update in the beginning of 2018 is repeating the similar story of 2016, isn’t it?
What is the latest Facebook News Feed Update?
The excerpt of the update suggests some clear things.: (Source: Facebook)
Today we use signals like how many people react to, comment on or share posts to determine how high they appear in News Feed.
So Facebook has given a clear signal – engage your audience in your page posts. That is the bottom line of the whole discussion if you want your page posts to be coming on the news feed. Facebook is basically not able to find the space in news feed because of so many page post activities and I personally think this is a good move by Facebook. The very next point Facebook has mentioned is,
Can people still see posts from the Pages they follow at the top of News Feed?
Yes. People who want to see more posts from Pages they follow can choose See First in News Feed Preferences to make sure they always see posts from their favorite Pages.
So if you are already generating some good content on your page, let people choose the “See First” option for your page. It will make sure whenever you are posting anything on your page, your people will not miss that post and at least they will get the notification on their Facebook home page.
When it comes to the different posts for the purpose of engagement, people used to do many different things like tag baiting and comment baiting –
Or people used to do vote baiting, share baiting and react baiting –
Basically, Facebook wants engagement with your people by putting genuine and real content. You can not push someone to engage with your posts if the post is meaningless. You can still use good and meaningful content on your Facebook page to engage the people. I personally think that putting the blog links as link-bait is still OK. You should continue doing that and check if you are not getting any engagement for those kinds of posts or not.
What Should I start doing?
Live videos: Start doing it more and regularly. It will surely engage more people with your posts.
use of groups: People normally have started engaging with more groups posts. Connect your group to your page and smartly distribute your posts in page and groups.
Start paid ads: If you were not spending money on Facebook ads, you have to start doing that. Remember, at the end of the day you are doing everything to get some business and to earn from your business through marketing, you must invest some budget for paid advertisement as well.
You should not worry if you are a marketer who is not using Facebook just for the sake of posting some designer images. If you are following a very strong strategy in content designing, this news update is a very good news for you. Your overall Digital Marketing strategy is going to work best if your focus is on strategic engagement.
Watch my LIVE Facebook show published a few hours later when Facebook announced this news update. Probably the first reaction of a marketer in India!