Why We’re Excited About the New Facebook News Feed
When we heard Facebook was changing its algorithm, we held our breath. Facebook promotion has been tremendously successful for us and so many other businesses both small and large. It’s honestly part of our secret sauce. Were we about to lose one of our best weapons for growth?
The short answer is no; we’ll just wield that weapon differently. In fact, as we kept digging into the details, we got excited. Here’s why you should be, too:
First, Some Context
If you haven’t heard the backstory, Facebook is going back to their core goal of “bringing people closer together,” instead of emphasizing business pages. That means a user’s News Feed will show more personal posts—posts they’ll actually engage with vs. passively consume. It also means “less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses” and more content from family and friends.
These changes seem to be inspired from Facebook’s discovery that social media can be really bad for us. (Who knew?!) And they’re going into effect, even if that means users spend less time on the site… and even though the changes have already cost founder Mark Zuckerberg billions.
What the New Algorithm Means for Brands
So what do these user-focused changes mean for brands? Specifically for the marketers of those brands who have historically used Facebook to generate a buzz of top-of-funnel activity? (And for stealth marketing teams working for brands, like yours truly?)
1. There’s a new standard of quality.
Now, more than ever, publishers and businesses need a strong content strategy that relies on creating high-value pieces. Since brands will have to pay for distribution, they'll maximize ROI when they distribute content of a high enough caliber to spark organic shares.
The good news is, brands can still use Facebook to target audiences at an incredibly granular level. But the days of clickbait are over. So we hope they’re going to have to deliver on every promise to get visibility. This will likely mean more time spent on content development and choosing to engage in very specific conversations.
2. Creativity matters more than ever.
In some ways, it’s obvious that creativity drives up quality. But we also mean it’s going to be important to think outside the box.
For example, brands have gotten good at figuring out how to leverage videos that autoplay in a News Feed (generating some eerily awesome view counts). An organization may want to experiment with Facebook Live or Instagram stories—and they better be fresh, not formulaic. After all, engagement will be a lot more authentic.
3. Facebook just became a MUCH more valuable growth channel.
If these algorithmic changes do indeed result in a more valuable News Feed for every user, then showing up in said Feed is a much bigger deal. It’s much like having an SEO strategy with Google; brands will have to be more strategic with what they put on Facebook. But like in a Google search, Facebook users will likely be more apt to trust what shows up.
Perhaps casting a wide net on Facebook will be a greater challenge, but it also could yield infinitely more powerful results. Now, when a user scrolls through their Feed, a brand will no longer be a part of the noise, but a friend.