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Preparing for Facebook’s News Feed Changes

Our take on what these changes might mean and how we as marketers can address them:

For the everyday Facebook user, the upcoming News Feed changes set to roll out in the near feature probably sound like the greatest announcement the social media giant has made in months, especially after falling under tough government scrutiny last fall.

Facebook is adjusting their News Feed algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family first. For those of us who are sick of the cluttered, irrelevant content on our timelines, this appears to be a step in the right direction.

But from a marketer’s perspective, it’s viewed as yet another obstacle to reaching consumers organically. That’s because in his recent Facebook post addressing the changes, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg states that, “…you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”

Ouch, right? You might even be worried that you’ll have to overhaul your social media strategy in its entirety.

Well, not quite yet. Let’s take a step back first.

While there’s a lot of speculation swirling around out there regarding the specific changes Zuckerberg alludes to in his post, we don’t know the exact details. Plus, it’s still going to take time for noticeable changes to surface.

And this doesn’t mean that Facebook is ridding itself of all public content; they’re simply trying to straighten out their approach to the individual user-experience while simultaneously hauling in the dough from advertisers, per the usual.

Not to mention that this news isn’t all that new; in fact, in June of 2016, Adam Mosseri, the VP of Facebook’s News Feed, recapped Facebook’s News Feed Values and touched on the topic of friends and family coming first in our timelines.

So, it has been addressed by Facebook before. And we still haven’t seen any earth-shattering changes or impact. That means that the best ways to prepare for Facebook’s News Feed changes aren’t quite as drastic as you might think.

Here’s our take on staying prepared as Facebook moves forward with these changes:

  1. When it comes to major Facebook updates, watch and see, but don’t wait too long to adjust your approach. Avoid scrapping your strategy before you know the full picture, but stay ahead of the curve.
     
  2. Set aside a decent budget in advance. Organic reach is predicted to have an almost nonexistent impact for brands, so get ready to spend some ad dollars if you want to see any sizable reach or engagement.
     
  3. Educate yourself and your team. Facebook Blueprint certifications are the only ad qualifiers that Facebook officially recognizes, and it’s helpful to know the ins and outs of the platform before you go in and advertise on a whim.
     
  4. Start meaningful dialogue with your users now and determine what gets them to engage. Think of ideas that will encourage active engagement among your followers, like comments, rather than passive ones, such as ‘likes’.
     
  5. Make the shift toward more valuable and authentic social interactions. Give your followers a reason to keep up with your content!

So for now, we wait patiently for these changes to take place. And instead of adopting the mentality that the sky is falling, we’ll simply be proactive.

 

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