What Do Marketers Need To Know About Facebook’s Algorithm Change?

Online marketers are frenzied in their response to Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of the 2018 Facebook algorithm change.

But is there really a reason to fear this update?

What do you need to know to adjust your content marketing strategy according to the Facebook algorithm update?

What is the change to the Facebook algorithm?

In a status update, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is going to readjust their algorithm to focus on emphasizing content from friends and family. Businesses won’t be given the same sort of significance or real estate on personal News Feeds anymore.

Zuckerberg discusses how interpersonal relationships are “at the core” of the Facebook experience, and the social media giant is looking to get back to those roots. He said recent feedback and research has shown that users’ personal moments are getting lost in the shuffle of content from businesses and media.

Basically, Facebook is going to start showing less “public” content. The News Feed algorithm is going to prioritize posts from friends and family and minimize content from businesses.

If you’re a business with a Facebook strategy, this means you’re going to have to change your approach.

What spurred the Facebook algorithm change?

Facebook has the largest social media base with over 1.4 billion active users daily. Facebook has recently been losing esteem, though, especially among younger users. To the majority of users, Facebook has become the “aged” social media that caters to grandparents and advertising.

To avoid becoming the next MySpace, forgotten and redundant, Facebook is returning to their roots: engagement with personal relationships. They want to bring the online social network back to the interpersonal social network.

Is this the end for Facebook business?

Small businesses aren’t dead in the Facebook waters, though.

Firstly, we don’t know if this algorithm change is even as dramatic as Zuckerberg claims it is.

Facebook has been making similar statements about an algorithm change for years. In 2014, they reported that Facebook was going to move to a more friends-and-family focus. In 2016, they released a headline that read: “Facebook’s algorithm update will prioritize posts from friends over news organizations.” They’ve always focused on content from friends and family, so the impact of this change may be overplayed.

Secondly, there are ways you can respond to this algorithm change that can actually boost your marketing. Here’s how.

How can you respond to the changing Facebook platform?

1. Don’t stop using Facebook.

Hosting a small business page on Facebook is still fruitful.

Now, however, your objective with Facebook should not be to gain a broader reach or audience base, as it was in the past.

Instead, you should use Facebook to further engage with current customers. Users can still follow your brand to get content, they just have to actively opt into it more often.

Facebook can also be a strong platform to provide additional information to potential customers who are eager to learn more about your brand before purchasing. When they do a search of your brand, they can take a look at your Facebook content to learn more before purchasing. This can help improve brand awareness and visibility.

2. Use Facebook ads.

Facebook ads aren’t going anywhere. Facebook makes the majority of their money on advertisements. Despite their desire to focus on interpersonal relationships, Facebook has no interest in losing their advertising revenue anytime soon.

However, because of this algorithm change, experts predict that Facebook ad prices will spike. Businesses still want to reach their Facebook users, but the change implies that they won’t be able to gain this reach in organic ways anymore.

So, businesses are going to have to pay to reach Facebook users. This increase in demand will cause prices to skyrocket for advertisements.

Is this another hidden agenda on Facebook’s part to pull in more from their advertisements? Maybe. Either way, you want to get on the bandwagon before advertising prices skyrocket.

3. Use Facebook Live.

In Zuckerberg’s post, he briefly mentions how users interact more around live videos than regular ones. Live videos increase engagement with a more personal one-to-one relationship.

Even if you are a brand or business, Facebook wants to boost this personal aspect. Thus, Live videos may be a way to skirt the algorithm change to optimize your content. Businesses can use the Live feature to connect with their audience in a more intimate way, which can boost visibility, reach, and engagement.

4. Use other social media.

This is a great learning opportunity for digital marketers. Putting all of your eggs in one basket is a surefire way to end up with egg on your face.

Growing a content and customer base on a variety of platforms can help minimize the loss by changing social media algorithms. Don’t neglect Facebook, but don’t idolize it as the sole network either.

We recommend focusing on Instagram and Pinterest in today’s market. Neither was founded on the “interpersonal” aspect, like Facebook or Twitter. These platforms are less about conversations and more about visuals. This means it’s less likely that they will penalize brands for sharing their content—as long as that content is high quality.

Learn more about which platforms are right for your business here.

5. Host your own blog.

It’s especially critical to host your own website and blog. A personal blog is not subject to the rules of a “higher power.” You are the higher power that controls your audience base and viewership.

Google changes its optimization as well, but not as drastically as social media updates. Unlike Facebook, Google has no allegiance to the “network effect.” Google will always want to put businesses first, which means you’ll continue to have the capacity to optimize your website and blog content for Google.

At Palm Beach Content Co., we formulate marketing strategies that disseminate content across multiple platforms. This dissemination of information helps protect against optimization changes while reaching a wider audience base.

We provide content strategies that withstand these “shocks” to the digital marketing system.

Conclusion

As Zuckerberg writes, “Facebook has always been about personal connections.”

This doesn’t mean your Facebook marketing is over. It simply means your content needs to emphasize the personal connection.

It’s time to create a content strategy that will withstand changing rules and algorithms.

It’s time to create a content strategy that will engage your audience and optimize on marketing platforms.

It’s time to contact Palm Beach Content Company.

Get in touch with us today to build an indestructible content strategy for your business.

 

Allison Hess