Before we get going, we thought we’d ask some key questions.
If you can answer yes to any of the above, it could be time to take a fresh look at your social strategy.
At Big Brand Ideas we’re BIG at helping our clients and agency friends navigate through tech and industry changes so we’ve created some helpful hints and tips about how to navigate your way into one of the top news feed spots.
In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its news feed algorithm to prioritise content from friends, family and groups. He said that they will now ‘prioritise the posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.’
Research conducted by Facebook suggest that strengthening relationships improves our wellbeing. They have claimed that when we use social to connect with people, it correlates with long term measure of wellbeing you’d expect, like happiness and health. But passively watching videos or reading articles may not have those same effects.
Feedback from Facebook users has suggested connections are something people expect from Facebook, but in the last few years, the sheer volume of public content from video, news and posts has crowded out personal connections. With the time people are spending passively consuming public content takes away from the time people spend connecting with each other.
“When you see a photo from a friend in News Feed, that's not just content that makes you smile or laugh, it's also an opportunity to connect with that friend, to reach out to them and remind them you care about each other. That connection is deeply important to us as people. But when you see a video or news article -- even if it's informative or entertaining -- unless you start a conversation around it, you're not building a relationship. (Zuckerberg 2018)
In a nutshell, Facebook is prioritising meaningful social interactions over passive consumption of content.
What does this mean for brands?
More posts from friends and family means less space for content from the public, businesses or publishers so naturally, pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease.
Whilst the impact will be driven by various factors and will differ from page to page, the core crux of success will be based on how people interact with the content businesses create. Page posts that generate conversations between people will show higher in the news feed, so if you think of Facebook as a conversation catalyst rather than a podium to project from, you are starting to head in the right direction.
Content that sits in your feed that doesn’t generate much of a reaction will be affected the most and you can expect to see a decrease in distribution. Posts that use ‘engagement-bait’ to goad people to commenting on posts will also be demoted.
For the time being anyway, if you can persuade your audience to set your page into their ‘See first preferences’, you stand a chance of still being seen.
Quality over time
Facebook has also highlighted that helping people to connect is more important than the time they spend on Facebook. The changes made have already reduced time spent on Facebook by an estimated 50 million hours per day, emphasising their commitment to ensuring people’s time is time well spent.
The drive for quality over quantity in theory makes commercial business sense. Time spent interacting with people is more profitable than time spent passively consuming video or news. So, when you care about something, you are more likely to be willing to see ads to then experience it.
Key growth areas
So whilst there’s lots to take in, it’s clear that the key out-take is, content must drive conversation.
Here’s our top five tips for making the changes work for you:
1/ “Video done well will bring people together” (Mark Zuckerberg)
Video will need to focus on encouraging meaningful interactions, not passive experiences so brands need to build video experiences that connect friends, family and like- minded people together.
2/ Go LIVE
3/ See First
4/ Allocate budgets accordingly
5/ Make sure your approach to content is intelligent, creative and considered. When you are creating content, ask yourself these five things:
Core take out, yes, it’s another blow to brands who’ve invested in their social strategy, but it’s nothing that with the right approach, can’t be overcome. Implementing an intelligent, creative and considered approach to all social content will ensure you remain relevant and improve the engagement with your audience by driving a meaningful and deeper relationships.
If you would like to chat through any part of your social media activity, give Abi Owers our Engagement Director a call on 0161 441 4740, email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop her a message via LinkedIn or Messenger, we’d love to hear from you.
26 Sep 2019 - Social Media, Engagement