Death and taxes are two of life’s certainties. In considering that reference for modern times, I would add Facebook algorithm changes to that trusty saying.
Earlier this month, Facebook announced it was making updates again to the way posts are ranked in users’ News Feeds. CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that the changes shift from “focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”
The news is a mixed bag for businesses and organizations that rely on the platform for organic and paid audience reach. Many tech experts have predicted the changes will increase ad rates and decrease engagement.
“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,” Zuckerberg noted in his post.
The argument could be made that people willingly like and follow various businesses pages, so that means they find the pages’ content relevant. And hasn’t Facebook’s own pay-to-play shift in recent years intentionally clouded News Feeds with sponsored posts?
Facebook has already started rolling out some of these changes, but we’re sure to start understanding the full picture of the effects in a few months (just in time for more updates, I’m sure).
What the news does is underscore the importance of messaging and good content, which are the core of our business here at Chartwell Agency. Here are some general guidelines that you can still apply to your social media strategy, even during uncertain times.
Know your message. Take time to understand, hone and update your message. Creating a clear message makes your everyday communication more effective. Having that foundation creates consistency across multiple channels, from your general website content to your social media presence.
Create engaging content. “Facebook was built to connect you to the stories and people that matter most.” That’s directly from Mark Hull, Facebook’s director of product management, in the video included with this post. Again, I would argue that Facebook has allowed us to connect with businesses and organizations that matter to us. With these most recent changes, “Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed.” That sounds like a challenge to share more engaging content, which includes personal stories of how your products and services have helped people. Highlight your staff, your community service and your partnerships with other organizations to humanize your brand.
Embrace video. Facebook has been leading us down this path for a while and is outright saying now with these new updates that live videos “get six times as many interactions as regular videos.” You can livestream a question-and-answer session about a product or service line, or do live video from an event such as a news conference or even a community event where your staff is volunteering.
With these new updates, you can also let your followers know they can switch their preferences to “See First” for your Page in their News Feeds. That’s likely to be most successful for your most faithful and devoted followers. If you want to strategize about your messaging and content, give us a call.
-Melissa Westphal, Communications Strategist