Changes to Facebook and How Your Audience Will Engage with YOU

This information is important for anyone that uses Facebook to help build their business or groups.  Facebook is changing the way we engage on their platform, and this is a BIG difference from what we have been used to doing.

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This content is reposted from Social Media Examiner: Michael Stelzner michael@socialmediaexaminer.com:

On January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook’s CEO) said that Facebook’s mission is to bring people closer together.  He went on to say, “but recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content–posts from businesses, brands, and media–is crowding out the personal moments.”

Mark then dropped the bombshell, “Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook.”

Fact 1: Adam said, “space in News Feed is limited.”

Fact 2: “We’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses,” he said.

Fact 3: “Pages may see their reach, video watch time, and referral traffic decrease,” said Adam.

My opinion: It’s been my experience that historically they have said, “may or may not.” I interpret this may as a “will.” 

Fact 4: “Over the next few months, we’ll be making updates to ranking,” said Adam.  Mark clarified, “We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed.”

#1: Video will get less watch time. Inference: you’ll see less video in the News Feed.

#2: Links to external pages will get less visibility. Thus, they won’t be showing as many links to blog posts, news, and so on.  Now at this point, you might be wondering, “are you kidding me?”  You might be thinking, “how could it get any worse?”

I have more data to share. Here we go.

#3: ALL posts from people and pages will be impacted. In Facebook’s News, Media, & Publishing group (which I belong to), Adam said the following, “The update applies to all post types, from pages and people.”

So if you’ve been thinking, “I use my personal profile. This doesn’t apply to me,” think again.

If you’re thinking of starting a group and hoping that will allow your posts to be seen, that’s not the solution. Those are still posts from people and the content itself is still subject to the News Feed algorithm.

So what are the important ranking factors?

Facebook will “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people,” said Adam.

In a recent Wired Magazine exclusive interview, Adam said, “we’re going to be (weighing) long comments more than short comments,” and that “comments are more valuable than likes.”

So, actual “meaty” dialog between people (not pages and people, see the language distinction) is critical for News Feed exposure.

Now to video. Adam said, “video is, primarily, a passive experience. You tend to just sit back and watch it. And while you’re watching it, you’re not usually liking, or commenting, or speaking with friends.”

I believe this means a lot fewer shorter videos, a lot fewer Tasty-style how-to videos, and a lot fewer video animations.

At this point it should be very clear that your strategy has got to change.

I’m working my keynote slides for Social Media Marketing World 2018 and have given a LOT of thought to what the next steps are for us marketers.

I’m going to lay out some of my first ideas below:

Step 1: Scale back your frequency of posts. Less is more here.

Step 2: Figure out how to create content that will get people talking to EACH OTHER, not just you.

Step 3: Up your live video game plan.

Adam said, “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.”

Step 4: Avoid engagement bait. These are posts that encourage people to comment. Adam said Facebook will “demote these posts in News Feed.”

Step 5: Master Facebook ads: This will be one of the only reliable ways you’ll be able to drive traffic off of Facebook.

Step 6: Learn Messenger Chatbots: Moving conversations into Messenger and using bots will be a huge trend that will allow you to nurture leads and sell.

For more information on how to understand these changes and how you can respond to continue to use Facebook to build your brand, go to https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/smmworld/

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From Jennie Norris:  “What does this mean for YOU:  As someone that uses Facebook for a variety of goals, this is a HUGE change, but you can still be successful in how you get exposure on FB using the following parameters:

This means any time you purposely post something that asks a question only, these will be demoted in News Feeds.  Instead Facebook wants to honor ENGAGEMENT posts – where people comment, and the longer the comments the better.

Find ways to use LIVE VIDEO – this type of media will be honored as a priority for your feed.

COMMENT on other people’s posts and ASK FOR ENGAGEMENT on yours.  The LONGER the comment the BETTER!  Encourage your followers and members not to just simply LIKE a post – but to actually comment and share.”

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