Facebook News Feed Changes. Stay Calm. Don’t Panic.




  • — February 9, 2018

    Facebook News Feed Changes. Stay Calm. Don’t Panic.

    Now that it’s been over three weeks since the announcements from Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s News Feed algorithm changes, I hope everyone has calmed down a little.

    My clients, friends and colleagues have been asking me what this all means as Zuck’s message is always slightly cryptic and one has to read between the lines. Plus you never know how this is actually going to shake out.

    I have read nearly every blog and article out there, and attended Facebook discussions and webinars by so many experts in the industry from John Loomer, Josh Constine (Techrunch), Fortune, Mari Smith, to Mike Stelzner from Social Media Examiner, and many more.

    You can read the full post from Zuck here. Here’s the gist:

    “Facebook is making significant changes to its News Feed algorithm in an effort to prioritize “meaningful” person-to-person interactions among friends and family over posts from Facebook pages. These updates will result in fewer public posts from pages and fewer videos in the News Feed”

    “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard – it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

    {SHORT VERSION}

    Here’s the SHORT version and my quick take away to make it easy for you to understand how this will impact your Facebook business page and what you can do.

    More details are in the {LONG VERSION} below this. Recommended.

    It’s really pretty simple. To stay in the game you must play by the Facebook rules:

    ? Get more creative with your content. Invest in creating fabulous, exciting, sincere, authentic copy with images and video that will cause people to interact, comment and share.

    ? You MUST continue to boost and advertise your Facebook content to reach your followers and new targeted audiences.

    ? Yes, it’s now a money game more than ever. Publishers will be turning to ads and increasing Facebook’s ad business.

    Who is still relying on organic reach? If you didn’t notice:

    • Facebook organic reach remains dismal. (2% at best).
    • When you boost or promote a post, organic reach increases exponentially.

    I say again: To reach your fans and new audiences, you MUST continue to boost and advertise your Facebook content. And if you haven’t invested in Facebook advertising, START NOW!

    Facebook advertising is now the only way for businesses to reliably connect with specific people on Facebook.

    Here are 7 tips you can do to improve your chances of your followers organically seeing your posts in the News Feed:

    #1 Create content that stimulates conversation – meaning comments between fans. Figure out how to create content that will get people talking to EACH OTHER, not just you.

    #2 Post less frequently. Less is more. Focus on more meaningful content, per #1 above. Instead of blasting out mediocre content every day, invest your time in creating one or two pieces a week of really valuable content that will engage and resonate with your audience.

    #3 Get into live video. It leads to 6x the interactions, according to Facebook. Although it seems like everyone is doing live video these days, and sometimes it’s actually a little annoying because most don’t do it well – make sure YOU do it well. Be sincere. Be yourself. It’s all about your content ! [see links below on how to do great live video]

    #4 Don’t ask for comments in your posts. Engagement bait will be demoted in the News Feed. So they say…

    #5 Don’t use clickbait headlines and false news. [more below…]

    #6 Share events of Facebook. This goes into the News Feed.

    #7 Respond QUICKLY to comments. This encourages engagement, which in turn pushes your post into the News Feed.

    BONUS TIPS

    Master Facebook ads. This will be the only sure-fire way to reach your target audience.

    Focus your Facebook advertising on these areas in particular:

    Boosting Posts: sponsored posts with high post engagement are still cheap (1-4 cents per click). The more people see the post, the more engagement, the more the price drops! You can boost to People Who Like Your Page, People Who Like Your Page and Their Friends. Contrary to popular believe that this is just throwing money away, I have had tremendous results from my clients with boosting posts.

    Advertising Posts: create an ad with your post to a NEW audience that you define and target as your best audience.

    Remarketing: to people who visited your site recently are most likely those that will buy your stuff in the future.

    Custom Audience: Upload your emails and phone numbers of people in your customer database and they will see your ads.

    Learn how to use Messenger & it’s Chatbot. It’s important to integrate Messenger into your Facebook page, which will enable you to have ONE-ON-ONE conversations. Bots will allow you to nurture leads and sell.

    Facebook Messenger presents a fantastic opportunity for businesses to message directly to their customers, without ever showing up on anyone’s News Feed

    Like email marketing, you can get people to opt-in to receive updates from your company Page via Facebook Messenger. From there, you can use an automated system to send updates to subscribers and respond to inquiries. This is an exciting new space.

    That’s it.
    To quote one of my favorite top Facebook experts, John Loomer
    “…let’s chill and wait a while to see what happens”

    {LONG VERSION}

    Here is the long version.

    So what “prompted” these changes to the News Feed? Facebook acknowledged that with so many people spending more and more time on social media, we rightly wonder whether that time is good for us. Do people connect in meaningful ways online? Or are they simply consuming trivial updates and scrolling endlessly and aimlessly at the expense of time with loved ones, and making them “brain dead”?

    Is social media good or bad for our well-being?

    The bad: When people spend a lot of time passively consuming information — reading but not interacting with people — they report feeling worse afterward.

    The good: On the other hand, actively interacting with people — especially sharing messages, posts and comments with close friends and reminiscing about past interactions — is linked to improvements in well-being.

    So Zuck wants to make Facebook more about social interaction, quality time posting comments, making a difference and less about spending and wasting time just scrolling and liking.

    I actually happen to agree, and have personally experienced this.

    I like this change.

    When I scroll aimlessly, getting my fix (yes, it’s addictive, I admit to it), I feel empty. My mind has gone into a state of stupor, and I don’t feel particularly uplifted. I feel dull.

    On the other hand, when I stop and read posts that attract my attention because of content from a friend or page that really peaks my interest, stirs my emotions and is really sincere and authentic. I think…I comment…I read what others have said, I contribute. I feel good. I then get notifications to see who else has commented and read…and comment further. I feel even more engaged.

    Has this happened to you?

    And it will actually make brands and publishers THINK about their content in more meaningful ways and not just publish “trash” fast content.

    So here’s how the ORGANIC News Feed will be affected, if all goes according to Zuck’s intentions:

    • Less public content (posts and videos) will be shown from business pages.
    • Reach, video watch time, and referral traffic from business pages will decrease.
    • Posts will be ranked differently, giving priority to “posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people”.
    • Facebook will demote clickbait headlines and false news.
    • Headlines that withhold information intentionally leave out crucial details or mislead people, forcing them to click to find out the answer. For example, “When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushions And Saw THIS…” Headlines that exaggerate the details of a story with sensational language tend to make the story seem like a bigger deal than it really is. For example, “WOW! Ginger tea is the secret to everlasting youth. You’ve GOT to see this!”
    • Facebook will demote false news and hoaxes.

    “We believe in giving people a voice and that we cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we’re approaching this problem carefully. We’ve focused our efforts on the worst of the worst, on the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain, and on engaging both our community and third party organizations.”

    • Facebook will demote engagement baiting. When people attempt to bait the Facebook algorithms by baiting their friends,fans, or followers into responding by posting “Vote”, “React”, “Share”, “Tag”, “Comment”.

    Facebook News Feed Changes. Stay Calm. Don’t Panic.

    More of what you can do to be visible:

    • You can ask your follows to use the “See First in News Feed” option that will still apply, even for brands to ensure they see your content. Send them an email. Post it on Facebook, Instagram and your other social media channels.

    Facebook News Feed Changes. Stay Calm. Don’t Panic.

    • Facebook Groups

    As Facebook said, the News Feed algorithm will prioritize posts based on how much ‘meaningful discussion’ they inspire. Because Facebook Groups already operate on the basis of audience engagement, this can often happen in Groups, meaning Facebook will push these discussions into the News Feed. If you feel you can start an active Facebook Group – go for it!

    In fact, lively Facebook group discussions can end up getting featured in the user notification tab, which, in turn, can drive an enormous amount of “free” post visibility.

    • Facebook Live

    It seem that live videos will be even more important. As Zuck wrote “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.”

    If you haven’t already invested time and energy into posting live videos, you should try this.

    Because Facebook Live is considered a distinct content type, it has its own notification system. By default, users’ Live video notifications are set to ‘on’.

    When someone goes Live: “People who frequently engage with or have recently interacted with a person or Page going Live may receive a notification.”

    If a user is particularly interested in Live video from a particular broadcaster, they can choose to subscribe, which means they’ll be notified any time that broadcaster goes Live.

    Here’s a great post from Hootsuite on posting live videos on Facebook.

    Here’s a tutorial from Facebook: Go Live on Facebook. Broadcast to the largest audience in the world with the camera in your pocket.

    Here’s another great post from Social Media Examiner: How to Use Live Video to Generate Leads and Sell.

    • Facebook Video:

    They say users will also start seeing less video content in the News Feed because it typically sparks less conversation. This is an interesting course correction from Facebook on video. Zuckerberg has stated in the past, “When done well, video brings us closer together.”

    So who knows….? I think it’s very important to create quality video for Facebook and BOOST AND PROMOTE to your target audience.

    No longer than 60 seconds!

    Here is a brilliant blog on 17 Ways to Get More Views, Engagement, and Shares for Your Facebook Videos

    Here are tips from Facebook on How To Make A Video for Facebook

    Conclusion…

    With Facebook’s News Feed announcements, pages and brands can expect to have less of their content ORGANICALLY distributed in the News Feed. Overall reach, video watch time, and referral traffic for all pages will probably decrease.

    As these changes go into effect, businesses will want to…

    …Take steps to encourage meaningful interactions on the platform. Publish quality content that will spark conversations among users.

    …Engage in Facebook Groups.

    …Invest time in live video.

    …Show followers how to ensure they see your page’s content first.

    …Learn how to advertise on the network.

    [Here’s the video explanation from Marc Hull, director of Product Management at Facebook.]

    As always, please leave your comments or questions below.

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    Author: Yasmin Bendror

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