I know you’ve seen it, whether you’ve realized it or not. As you scroll through your news feed, an article appears with a tiny “i” on the bottom right corner. When you click the icon, more information is revealed about the publisher. “About This Article” is Facebook’s most recent addition to the news feed that is intended to combat fake news. You may have also noticed that as a whole, you’re seeing fewer news articles than before. On January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg announced a large shift in the way the Facebook algorithm works, and especially how it prioritizes what appears on each user’s feed. Zuckerberg explained, “You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
It’s like Mark visited our website and was inspired by our tagline – Making Meaningful Connections. Basically, he’s saying Facebook will no longer be a place for brands to push meaningless, humanless, and sometimes completely misleading content. It’s the end of the set-it-and-forget-it era. This is the end of social media being a menial afterthought and the start of putting brand storytelling and creating at the forefront of publishing.
As a brand, think of the algorithm shift as a challenge or an invitation to rise to the occasion. There are a number of ways you can transform your Facebook presence (and these tips likely ring true on other platforms, too).
Invest in Content Creation
For many brands, creating content and populating social media is an afterthought. It’s simply a task to be checked off the list. Now is the time to take a critical look at your content creation efforts. Invest in creative people, whether it be an agency or an in-house team, and give them the time and environment they need to create something special. Maybe they need a space to juggle. Maybe it’s a fully-stocked 2 p.m. bar cart. For us, it’s a caffeine drip of dark Colombian coffee. Whatever it is, make it happen, and enable your team to do their best work. Then go ahead; sip your coffee in peace knowing your content creation is handled.
Stop Pushing and Start Pulling
If you’re constantly pushing your product or service, you’ll be preaching to a ghost town. In fact, the new algorithm will make sure of it. Let’s get real. Nine times out of 10, social media is where relationships start. It’s where connections with people are nurtured. Users don’t see you for the first time, click your link, and immediately make a purchase. That’s just not how humans function (But really: Google has proof). Create great content, and they will come. And eventually, they will convert.
Leave the Engagement Bait in the Past
“Like, share, and comment on this post to be entered in our contest!” How about no. Just stop. First off, that’s boring. Second, Facebook will penalize your brand’s account for it. Great content will speak for itself, and engagement will come naturally. Don’t fool yourself into thinking there is an easy fix for this algorithm change.
Define a Video Strategy
We’ve been witnessing the rise of video for decades. Newspapers turned into cable news. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. And, on Facebook, videos only make up 3 percent of content, but they earn the highest engagement rate. There are many ways to use video on Facebook, so you need to look at the options and define your strategy. Explore Facebook Live, Facebook Channels, plain old video uploads (but add captions!), and even gifs. Find what works for your brand, and stick with it!
Rethink Your Facebook Advertising Strategy
Advertising on Facebook is a surefire way to reach your audience if you are willing to pay for it. With big changes in the Facebook algorithm, advertising on the platform is likely going to get more competitive (and expensive 😟), so take a good, hard look at your advertising strategy and make sure it stands out from other advertisers.
Facebook is forcing brands to stop making shitty content no one cares about. Creating content that moves the needle and establishes connections takes time. And lucky for you, we can take care of that. Contact us to learn more about how we help brands tell their story.
On Target is an Orlando based Digital Marketing Agency that helps brands stand out and rise above the noise. Through great storytelling, On Target turns companies into thought leaders. Founded in 2005 as a search engine marketing (SEO) firm, we’ve evolved into Orlando’s only agency that specializes in creating remarkable online content. If you’re looking to refresh your marketing strategy, contact us today.