"What the Heck is...?" is our series about the most important updates and changes in social media and how it will affect YOUR goals, presence and ranking.
Making Social Relevant Again
Facebook just announced their latest change to the News Feed, and this time it is a return to its roots as a social network for friends and family to communicate with each other.
When it first appeared, the Facebook News Feed was filled with status updates from people you knew. This generated conversations that brought people closer together, and based on recent social research, made people more content in their lives.
Eventually Facebook allowed Facebook Pages to publish their own updates to the News Feed, and has released countless News Feed changes (focus on photos, slow loading pages, content filters, high quality content) that have tweaked the ratio of Page content to user content and the signals that help prioritize it.
Unfortunately, News Feed allowed any popular content to bubble to the top regardless of its veracity, pushing down posts from friends and generally making users feel less connected.
This change reverses that allocating the highest priority spots to friends' content and reducing the number of page posts that will appear. The more conversation - comments - a post gets, the higher it will rank. Facebook will still favor video and Live Video over other types of content, as they get the best engagement.
This has BIG implications for all brands using Facebook as a communication platform for their users and will definitely reduce organic views for the majority of Pages.
What Should You Do About it
Here are some steps you can do right now to make the best of this change:
- Focus on conversation. Make sure that the posts that get published are ones that people will want to respond to.
- Directly engage users. Respond in the comments to people that actually do engage and help continue to build the conversation and add reach.
- Use video. This has been the most powerful post type for a long time now and there are so many tools that can help make this fast and high quality. Short form video is still the best way to go.
- Go live. Experiment with Live Video. This can feel awkward at first, but the reach is great and fans will enjoy the opportunity to connect on a more authentic basis.
- Measure and adjust. Experiment with different tones, content types, formats, and topics. Measure what works and look at who is responding. Then do more of what works.
- Learn from the audience. Spend the time to see what people are actually talking about when they respond to posts and drive that back into your process.
Expect to see this decline in organic reach as Facebook rolls this out over the next few months. Be sure you are ready to combat this with new tactics and audience understanding.
Have you already started to see the organic decline for your Facebook Page or the re-prioritization in your personal News Feed? Have you seen which Page posts are still making it through the new filters? Share your experiences with us.