On January 11th, Facebook announced a major overhaul of their News Feed algorithm that prioritizes “meaningful social interactions” over “relevant content.” With it, Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to spend 2018 “making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent”.
Zuckerberg explained that “video and other public content have exploded on Facebook … [and] since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do — help us connect with each other.”
Signs That This Was Coming
Although this is big news, there has been signs that Facebook were moving this direction recently:
- Facebook ran tests in 6 countries where users’ News Feeds were split into a stream posts from friends – and an ‘Explore’ section with posts from publishers and business pages. (Reuters, 2017)
- Digiday interviewed publishers in their Confession Series on January 4th, 2018, where one anonymous interviewee stated:
“They are going to completely deprioritize publishers. They [Facebook] very candidly said to me, ‘If I were you, I would probably not rely on Facebook as much as you are’ … Their efforts are going to be elsewhere.”
- Facebook has also been close to the tipping point of maximum ad load. This News Feed update may be a way for Facebook justify decreasing the supply of ad placement and increasing prices. (MarketingLand, 2017)
The Opportunity = Your Customers’ Voices
After marketers digest this the update and it’s implications – they’re going to look for ways to adapt their strategies to suit this new News Feed.
Let’s take a holistic view of Facebook’s News Feed update. The bad news is that brands, media, and public figures will experience a reduction in reach and engagement. The good news is that Facebook will be prioritizing peer-to-peer content.
Why is that good news? Well, it makes user-generated content even more valuable! Whenever your happy customers share a photo from your business or checks-in on Facebook, that post will reach even more people than before. Brand advocacy will be the most cost-effective way to organically reach your audience on Facebook in 2018.
Brand advocacy posts is an incredibly powerful way to influence consumer perceptions and purchase decisions. Why? Because consumers trust the source, i.e. their friends, family, and people just like them. They trust them much more than they would ever trust a brand, media site, or public figure.
Conclusion: Focus on Delighting Your Customers
Facebook’s new News Feed should motivate brands to shift their focus away from reach and impressions, and more towards delighting their customers. This will make customers more likely to recommend your brand to their friends.
But Facebook users are posting less often. (The Verge, 2016) So what can marketers do to encourage their customers to share their brand experiences on Facebook?
How To Get Your Customers To Talk About Your Brand on Social Media
Here’s a number of guides and resources on this topic:
- Free eBook: Guide To Turning Customers Into Brand Advocates On Social Media
- Blog Post: How To Get Customers To Post Photos On Social Media | 3 Actionable Tips
- Blog Post: 14 Actionable Tips To Encourage Customers To Share Brand Experiences
Check out Popdeem for more information about a rewards system that automatically rewards and encourages customers for talking about your brand on social media. Or submit the form below to schedule a free demo.