As you’ve probably already heard, Facebook has officially announced several changes to their News Feed in an effort to promote “meaningful interactions” between users in a way that brings people together. While this sounds wonderful, on one level, it could also pose some challenges for your brand, since the new algorithm will prioritize posts from family and friends over content generated by businesses and other publishers, such as news organizations.
This announcement is not a surprise. As the New York Times notes, Facebook has been scaling back on the visibility of posts from third-party organizations for a couple of years now and encouraging more interactive forms of content. Still, this newest overhaul is concerning for those who have invested significant resources in their social media audience.
4 Ways to Build Engagement with Facebook News Feed Prioritized Posts
We don’t believe that this latest update has to be the nail in the coffin of your social campaigns. Smart brands can continue to use Facebook as a platform to engage with customers in a meaningful, impactful way. Here’s how:
1.) Emphasize Quality and Value over Quantity
In older News Feed algorithms, consistency and quantity factored into your post visibility, but this is no longer the case. Now, the algorithm relies almost entirely upon relationships and engagement. Posts that get more comments, likes, and shares will show up in more feeds. Rather than carpet-bombing Facebook by posting 5 times a day on your Page, focus on high-quality digital content that users will want to interact with. Photos and video should take priority in your social efforts, and content should be created to spark discussion among your followers and your brand.
2.) Treat Your Customers and Fans like Family
Many businesses that claim to treat their customers like family forget to interact naturally on social media. The best way to survive Facebook’s latest news feed update is to engage with your followers the same way you would engage with friends and family. Talk to them, respond when they comment, tag them in your posts, put up relevant content that you know they’ll like, focus on local stories, joke around and be light-hearted. Above all, remember to interact with them in a personal way. There’s nothing that shuts down engagement faster than a canned response.
3.) Ask Your Followers to Choose the ‘See First’ Setting
If you’ve carefully created a dedicated group of fans and followers, don’t worry. You won’t have to start from scratch with the updated Facebook news feed. Under the News Feed tab, users will have the option to customize their settings to prioritize which Friends, and Pages, they want to see first. Now may be the time to come up with a clever campaign to encourage your followers to prioritize your Page. Or, simply ask your loyal fans to put your Page on their list.
4.) Encourage Interaction and Social Sharing
Posts that look like advertisements, with lots of text and company logos, will definitely hurt your organic reach. So, instead of spending your time and money creating ads, focus on interactive content. According to Adam Mosseri, the Head of News Feed at Facebook, other post types that followers find engaging will still rise to the top of the news feed. Live video, embedded video, celebrity posts, striking photos or galleries, polls, quizzes, and other types of highly interactive posts will be highlighted in the overhauled feed. Spend time crafting quality content with catchy headlines—and give your followers a reason to want to share. Content shared by friends and family members will also get into more news feeds and have a greater reach.
As we mentioned, this update should not come as a surprise—but it will require some adjustment to the way companies think about social. Despite mounting competition, Facebook still accounts for the majority of social traffic at 2.13 billion active users, so it pays to figure out how to thrive within the Facebook community.
The Brand Leader will continue to monitor the performance of our clients’ posts, stay up-to-date with changes in social media, and develop creative ways for the brands we work with to win in an ever-changing environment.