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How Facebook’s major changes to the News Feed will impact your business

Once again, our good old friend Mark Zuckerberg shook up the world on January 11 when he announced that the Facebook News Feed will undergo a fundamental make-over. Facebook will adapt its algorithm in order to promote more personal content rather than news, allowing more meaningful social interactions for the user. Great for humans, bad for brands, as it will have a major impact for businesses who use the platform to interact with customers.  In this post, I'll explain what's going on, and how you can adapt your strategy as a brand to survive on Facebook.

What’s going on?

Facebook is going to shift the focus of what people see in their News Feed back to posts from friends and family. This actually was Facebook’s original goal: helping users to stay connected and have meaningful social interactions. As such, the posts from the brands you love (or love to hate) and passively consume, will be usurped by updates from your Facebook friends and groups. The changes will take several months to roll out.

Mark Zuckerberg admitted that public content has exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years. Today, you see more public content than posts from friends and family. Let’s face it, he does have a point, right? Facebook became riddled with poor quality content that was ruining all of our experiences. So I agree that he needed to do something to tidy things up.

Survival of the “fittest”: the ones who are prepared to adapt

The space in the News Feed will be limited. Instead of prioritizing posts based on engagement, Facebook will now - based on its algorithm - push the content that is most likely to lead to meaningful discussions.

What about organic reach?

No need to fear, this doesn’t mean branded content and ads will disappear. They are simply taking a back seat. The businesses who are creating content that will generate meaningful engagement are still in the running for a front seat. So keep in mind that you have to create content with the aim of leading to discussions and provide actual value to your prospects and customers, like a recurring series of how-to posts or live videos. Quality above quantity and I assure you’ll continue to do well on Facebook.

What about advertising?

According to Mark, people will spend less time on Facebook resulting in a decrease of your business’ reach and referral traffic. So what we do need to know, is that the importance of Facebook advertising will increase exponentially. On the other hand, as Facebook is going to reduce the number of posts afforded to businesses, competition and cost for ads will also increase. Thankfully, Facebook offers a whole bunch of alternative ad placement options which ensures that advertising still can be extremely lucrative.

What about Messenger?

As one-on-one interaction is increasing in importance, maybe you should consider to become active on Messenger. If these Facebook changes mean that we’re not going to reach as many (potential) customers as before, it is important to provide the ones we can reach an excellent customer service experience.

Up to you now

Your job is about to get somewhat harder, but luckily we’re here to help you find the key to unlock the interest of your Facebook users. A strong social media strategy is the best way to make sure you get results.

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