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Facebook News Feed Changes: Why you Need a New Strategy

20/02/2018

Facebook has since long been a key platform for marketers to promote their products through various means like organic posts, videos or pictures so as to reach out to more and more people.

It was common to see the news feed flooded with all sorts of promotional articles from publishers or businesses.

In January 2018, however, Facebook broke the internet with a proposed change in the information that flows through the news feed of millions of people around the world.

Facebook CEO and co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, in his post declaring about the proposed changes in the news feed categorically mentioned about the change in his policy towards what is being shared on Facebook.

“I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

In the same post, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned about the changes that the social media giant will be bringing in the News Feed to make more relevant and “meaningful interactions between people.”

This was a clear indication as to how the modifications in Facebook will change how marketers strategize their policies regarding Facebook promotions.

In simple words, your news feed on Facebook will now have those posts trending that are probably shared by your friends and family and not just brand posts by publishers.

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It is a giant step towards encouraging more personal and meaningful conversations through Facebook.

#1 Understand the content required

It is time for the social media marketers to strategize their content all over again.

With the changes in the News Feed of Facebook, random blog posts or videos, that used to be an easy way out for publicizing the particular product, will have to be reconsidered to give the desired results.

Just because Facebook has barred from prioritizing posts and content from businesses and social media marketing publishers, it does not mean that the platform must be quitted altogether.

With the new changes, Facebook intends “to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us”.

Adam Mosseri, the Head for News Feed, clearly stated that Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.

By this statement, Mosseri means that it is time the marketers need to figure out methods to make more engaging content for social media users instead of just posting organic content to do the needful.

In the attempt of changing the News Feed, Facebook is not intending to wipe out all publisher content, but in that attempt, it only wants to engage the users in spending quality time on Facebook.

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Marketers need to understand and find out answers to the questions like-
  • Which posts will create more interactions without directly asking for it?
  • What kind of posts must be put up online so that the engagements can be increased?

Instead of just putting up organic posts and hoping for them to gain engagement, with this change in the News Feed, the content developers must now bring up with content ideas, videos or pictures which will promote interactions and increase the possibility of them getting shared.

#2 Better Use of paid promotions and Ads

Facebook ads are a very important method of generating revenue. In fact, in the last quarter, Facebook made somewhere close to $10.3 billion through the ads promotion.

With the change in the News Feed now, it is even more important to understand the better utilization of the paid ads on Facebook pages.

Marketers now have a more important task of handling the ads on Facebook.

Instead of ideally sitting and waiting for the audiences to see the published post in their News Feed, now the task in hand is to reach out to the exact audience and this can be easily done by paid promotions.

image3-paid promotions and Ads

With the news feed changing drastically, it is these ads spaces on the Facebook pages that will be the most targeted column for social media promotions.

Not only this, by managing your ads properly, it will be easier to extract correct data explaining what sort of posts are performing better and enhancing public interactions and also, what are the loopholes behind the published article not performing well.

#3 Creating content that involves interaction

Previously, the news feed used to be flooded with irrelevant listicles and plain articles or a picture with a simple caption.

Now the news feed demands more! Facebook is now aiming to improve the quality of the content shared on its platform to encourage meaningful conversations.

With the new news feed algorithm, Facebook is trying to eradicate baseless and spammy posts and also avoid the use of ‘engagement bait’ that was prevalent before.

The content that is to be published on the platform should be more authentic and not just any other article trying to deliberately force the user to the product.

image4-engagement bait

Pages using the tactics of ‘engagement baits’ will now see a decreased presence in the news feed.

Marketers and content developers will have to understand what kind of posts will attract interaction so that it remains popular in the news feed of the targeted audience. We can see some of the examples here-

1.  Groups and discussions in them

image5-Groups and discussions

Facebook groups are a gold mine of conversations as they are generally concerned with a particular topic.

Mark Zuckerberg clearly stated, “For example, there are many tight-knit communities around TV shows and sports teams. We’ve seen people interact way more around live videos than regular ones.”

Content inspired from the discussions on such groups will be placed higher in the news feed instead of other regular posts.

2. Posts getting longer and generating more comments

In his interview, Adam Mosseri states that “…long comments more than short comments, because we find regularly that if you take the time to actually write a more thoughtful perspective on something that correlates positively with a comment that someone actually would respond to or Like.”

He also said that it is easier to get likes than getting comments as it means that the user invested time in typing the comment and presenting his perspective.

This shows that content generating comments encourage people to have interactions and meaningful conversations. Such posts will be given priority in the news feed.

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#4 Importance of influencers and live videos

Influencers can be a good way to create better promotions as content promoted by influencers always ranks higher than that created by businesses or social media publishers.

Since Facebook is bringing in the new algorithm for news feed, it is the most suitable time to get in touch with influencers.

Roping in influencers for the promotion of your product might shoot up the expenditure but it is definitely fruitful.

You may also try to convince perspective influencers to promote the brand by particular hashtags or links or mentions in their page.

Users generally do not overlook any product shared by their personal favorites and this may lead to the subsequent sharing of the article which will obviously make its presence on the news feed stronger.

Another good method of doing the same is live videos. Mosseri says that “live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook — in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.”

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You must be aware as to what is to be presented during the video. It is necessary to make sure that the content must embark upon some relevant conversation and engage the viewers.

It is crucial to know the target audience so that the content can be framed accordingly.

Social media, especially Facebook is a platform that is filled with various vlogs, online videos and podcasts; therefore it is imperative to be careful about the objective of the live video.

#5 Understand what the user is saying

“Now, I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down”. By this statement, the Facebook CEO clearly portrays his intentions of giving the users a quality experience and more valuable time.

Marketers must pay extra attention on this statement if they intend to see their posts on the news feeds after the changes.

It is not just enough to create interactive content, but also understand what the people are speaking about it.

Analyzing the comments on the posts and having a dedicated team for deducing the likes and interest of the audience is the need of the hour.

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Marketers need their teams to respond to the comments to keep the engaged. This will help a great deal in comprehending the trends and later on implementing them in constructing future content activities.

Conclusion

The change that Facebook has brought in its New Feed algorithm is a big contribution towards making itself a better interactive platform for the users and not just let the businesses use it as a place to flood with their organic promotional articles.

Marketers will have to create content that will keep the audience engaged if they intend to obstruct their overall reach and promotions from decreasing.

This attempt of Facebook must be looked upon as an effort to make it a more viable marketing platform. Change is inevitable and to adjust according to it is the only solution for publishers and businesses.

Sahil is the CEO and Founder of RankWatch – a platform that helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever growing internet landscape. Sahil likes making creative products that help in the automation of mundane tasks and he can spend endless nights implementing new technologies and ideas. You can connect with him and the Rankwatch team on Facebook or Twitter.

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