Facebook has recently made some drastic changes to the News Feed as the world knows it. Mark Zuckerberg writes, "We've gotten feedback from our community that public content -- posts from businesses, brands, and media -- is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other." What does this mean from the marketing perspective?
What’s Going On?
The changes to the algorithms in the Facebook news feed are now designed not only to make the content more meaningful but to facilitate personal interactions among friends and family. These algorithm changes will affect the rankings on the news feed to determine what posts are more visible, based on the users’ interactions, such as “likes” and comments. Posts from friends and family will now take precedence over those from brands and publishers.
Though the likelihood that these changes will directly impact Facebook Ads is slim, it will still have an indirect impact. Less organic post reach will likely increase demand for Facebook advertising, and this will raise advertising prices. The time has now come for publishers and brands who used to connect with people via Facebook news feed to find new ways to engage with people on the platform going forward.
What Can Be Done On Facebook?
Utilize Facebook Groups. Since the news feed will prioritize posts based on meaningful discussions, Facebook Groups can be used to generate those discussions. In fact, the most animated Facebook group discussions end up featured in the user notification tab, and this can drive a large amount of free post visibility. Unlike some of the other loopholes on Facebook, the Groups are pretty much here to stay since they fit into the updated mission statement of the news feed.
Try Facebook Ads. This isn’t really a marketing loophole per se, but ads are the only way for your business to reliably connect with a specific audience on Facebook. The ad costs have risen significantly in the past few years, and you should expect this to continue. Focus your Facebook advertising on these ideas in particular:
Sponsored posts with unusually high post engagement rates (+10%). These are still quite inexpensive (1-4 cents per click).
People who visited your site recently are the most likely folks to buy your stuff in the future, so work on remarketing.
Create a custom audience by uploading the emails and phone numbers of people in your customer database and they'll see your ads.
Facebook Messenger. This can give you a great opportunity to message your customers directly without ever showing up in the news feed. It’s a lot like email marketing; people can opt into getting updates from your company page via messenger and you can then use an automated chatbot to send updates and respond to questions.
Consider Other Platforms
Make Use Of Instagram. Brands have not gone overboard on Instagram nearly as much as they have on Facebook. In fact, the business pages on Instagram are relatively new, so this is a good time to jump on the bandwagon. If your business relates to travel, fitness, entertainment, food, or any of the venues that can really benefit from Instagram features, you’ll get plenty of free organic engagement.
Build Your Own Brand
Brand recognition and the kinship that brands can create with the world is a marketing force to be reckoned with. It’s unstoppable once it gets rolling, so take advantage of all that your brand can offer. Find ways to be memorable and inspirational and your brand