Facebook is going back its roots by changing its news feed. In order to stop the spread of fake content, Facebook has decided to show you less business and media content, and more people content. Facebook’s new algorithm favors user content that’s shared by users or actively engaged with and effectively de-prioritize publishers’ content.
Will the newsfeed go away? No but it will change. In 2018, Facebook will prioritize:
- News from publications that the community rates as trustworthy
- News that people find informative
- News that is relevant to people’s local community
Publications deemed trustworthy by people using Facebook may see an increase in their distribution. Publications that do not score highly as trusted by the community may see a decreasing reach. For influencers, this is a major win. For brands and B2B marketing, it means plummeting organic reach numbers, higher advertising costs and a new strategy.
For now, this new algorithm is actually a boon for influencers. Influencers have grown their following with their unique content and style and this is exactly what Facebook is looking for. Brands that want to stay in front of the consumer will accelerate influencer marketing programs as the algorithm is deployed.
The big question is, as more and more influencers represent brands and take away from Facebook advertising, will Facebook regulate influencers as they are with brand published content?
If you want to maintain your reach, you will need to spend more money on advertising to get in front of your consumer audience. Facebook's ad rates have climbed 35% recently. Hmmm... funny how that works.
Content still rules. This new algorithm minimizes the “click bait” or “engagement bait.” These are spammy posts on Facebook that goad users into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions. For example, “LIKE this if you’re an Aries!” This tactic, known as “engagement bait,” seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach. So, starting last week, Facebook began demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait.
What can Brands Do?
If you don’t have a social media employee advocacy program in place, now is the time to start one. At its core, social media employee advocacy is the promotion of an organization by its staff members on social media. An employee advocate is someone who generates positive exposure and raises awareness for a brand through social media. Getting your employees to share articles from your blog, pictures around the office or other types of content can significantly improve your reach with the new Facebook changes.
Marketers are at the mercy of search engines as well as social media. Strategies that connect your brand to your audience will need to be reviewed quarterly to ensure that you are making the biggest impact possible.