Facebook Changes Functionality to Better Serve Person to Person Engagement and Interaction, Announced in 2018

Could this be harmful for Publishers and Marketers? 

 

By Donna Werking 

Announced Jan 11, 2018 - Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook announced MAJOR changes to Facebook pages that will impact all of us.


Facebook gives marketers and publishers an advanced notice that the social media platform will change its functionality to better serve person-to-person engagement and interactions. This algorithm change will certainly change the organic reach for Business Pages and will force business to increase paid marketing.   

Have we approached end of days for organic activity and engagement for Business Pages? 

Facebook's newsroom posted, "Facebook was built to bring people closer together and build relationships. One of the ways we do this is by connecting people to meaningful posts from their friends and family in News Feed. Over the next few months, we’ll be making updates to ranking so people have more opportunities to interact with the people they care about."

 

So how did this come about? 

 

In 2016, Facebook recognized new social platforms gaining attention, like Snapchat and the growing popularity of stories.  People were dropping the use of their Facebook platforms to try new social media outlets. In response, Facebook changed its algorithm to place people and their content above business content forcing many Business Pages to establish paid advertising strategies. With this projected algorithm change, businesses will find it necessary to implement paid advertising to continue a healthy reach. Organic engagement may drop to 80%  for most pages as the algorithm will identify with particular activity. Facebook claims this has come about due to limited space in the news-feeds. Our prediction is that Facebook is forcing businesses to advertise to fight for increased engagement. 

What is the new algorithm looking for? 

  • How people react and comment on posts

  • Posts that spark conversations between people (not pages).

  • Posts that encourage back and forth discussions.

  • Active news items

  • Posts from friends and family will rank higher

  • Business page reach dropped a few months ago because Business page content is now categorized in an "explore feed". It's content users will have to seek out rather than appear organically

  • For business pages, there will be a drop in video views, watch time, referral traffic and reach 

  • The use of Engagement Bait or similar strategies

  • Pages that post multiple times per day. 

What should you do as a Business Page manager? 

  • Facebook pages that have newsworthy content will still maintain a healthy reach

  • STOP using third-party schedulers and posting many times per day

  • Quality content is a priority. Quantity is not good for the algorithm.

  • If your page normally does not provide likes, comments and reactions, your page will drop in engagement 

  • If you have less engagement, post less and post more engaging content

  • If you have Facebook fans, train them to choose to see your content first by marking your page as a "SEE FIRST"

  • 'Live' Facebook videos will garner more exposure for your page

  • Create a new strategy for your Facebook marketing plan

  • Do not use Engagement Bait! The algorithm will identify with this and drop your page reach

The conclusion is to be prepared for this change and talk to your social media strategist so they have a plan for the future of your Facebook Business page. 

In the News: Facebook Makes 2018 Changes

BREAKING NEWS: Facebook Zero?

Is this the end of the Facebook News Feed for pages?

Facebook loses billions after announcement.