Facebook's updated news feed: Time to get creative

Posted by Maricelle Gouws

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, announced another algorithm change to the social media platform last week and, this time, he means business.

The announcement of Facebook's algorithm update is a big shock for marketers and advertisers alike.

Essentially, public posts from brands, company pages and publications will take a turn for the worst. You'll now be able to see more baby and wedding photos while reading the latest gossip from an annoying aunt and less memes and videos that encourage shares and likes on your news feed - aren't you happy about that? It's all about building relationships, right?

But, how will brands build relationships with the public?

According to Facebook, the update is designed to encourage Facebook users to interact with the content they're actually able to see.

Says Zuckerberg, “Recently 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.”

However, Contently, a New-York based technology company, feels it was, to put it mildly, an unintelligent move. "Until this point, Facebook has largely done whatever it took to increase engagement on its platform. But this is an incredibly foolish move by the social giant, a knee-jerk reaction to the fake news controversies of the last year."

We decided, with the help of Contently, to point out the challenges the change has on brands, agencies and publishers, whilst giving actionable advice on how to make your brand stand out from the crowd.

Read Contently's full article here: 7 Ways Facebook's Big Algorithm Change Will Affect Marketers and Publishers.

1. Re-evaluate your Facebook strategy

Although the announcement is bad news for brands who solely rely on Facebook traffic and organic reach, the platform will become less important in the eyes of marketers as content creators will spend less time creating resourceful and engaging content. Our advice is to re-evaluate your Facebook strategy - pay more attention to owned media and create ways for users on other social media platforms to convert.

2. Beat the algorithm blues

There are a lot of brands which rely on the traffic generated by Google and Facebook, the second biggest referrer of traffic after Google. Contently believes: "If they can’t get it for free, they’ll pay for it, at least in the short term. When it comes to paid content distribution, Facebook is still the most cost-effective platform on earth."

One of the most obvious ways to stay relevant is to create Facebook Ads. Brands can create interesting content but never reach their target audience. Facebook posts and pages will need to be actively boosted in order to gain traction and deliver the results required. The golden rule is: improve engagement and strategise promoted content.

3. Avoid close-mindedness

Content should be engaging and shareable and developed in such a way that it encourages comments and shares. Digiday, a digital content and advertising platform, argues: “Facebook is forcing people to create quality and relevant content,” said Buors. “Social was a means to one-on-one communications, but over time, people were becoming lazy. Those changes won’t impact brands that purchase quality content, but will hit those who chase viral, meme-like posts.”

4. 9 Tips to stay on top of your Facebook game:

  • Reap the benefits of owning a Facebook Page and adapt or die!
  • Put more time and money into building an active community by engaging in comments from users.
  • Include the Facebook "Like" and "Follow" buttons on your website.
  • Encourage people to use their personal profiles to share your brand's content.
  • Create a Facebook group to actively reach your audience and engage in conversation.
  • Experiment with Facebook's new features like creating "Instant and Automatic Replies" in Facebook Messenger and responding to conversations in record time.
  • Don't neglect other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
  • Try out email marketing - it's extremely powerful and encourages sign ups and content sharing.
  • And lastly (this is probably my favourite), help your followers and clients adjust their News Feed preferences to display your most recent posts and see your posts first on their news feed.

The below tutorial shows you how to change your news feed preferences:

Our advice is to completely think out of the box when creating your content plans. Will a viral meme really be important to your target audience? If not, go back to the drawing board. Use gifs, Facebook Live videos and a lot of emojis to interact with your audience and don't forget to strategically promote your content. It's time to get your creative juices flowing while having some fun...I know we are!

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Feature image by RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist on Unsplash



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