The day marketers and publishers have dreaded has arrived: Facebook is changing its algorithm to start prioritizing posts shared by friends and family over those from publishers, brands, and other pages.
Facebook, as well as other social media channels, has been headed that way for a while, and while this may seem like tragic news, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
What else can marketers do besides continue to post “good content”? Well, good content is a start, but it needs to be shareable content! Friends like sharing with friends- it’s that simple. Even better when that content is a friend or family member. User-generated content is more important than ever to encourage content to reach more eyeballs organically.
Although the stereotype of the “oversharing” Facebook user remains prevalent (and we all know at least one person like that), it’s not as common as you might think. In fact, many people share original content or updates of their own infrequently.
Data from Pew Research Center indicates that:
- Only 10% of Facebook users update their status once per day
- Only 4% of Facebook users update their status more than once per day
- Approximately 25% of Facebook users either never or rarely change their status
So what does that mean for the 1.09 billion active users visited the social network on a daily basis? After all they are on the social network doing something… it means you need to give them something worth sharing.
Facebook’s recent announcement reiterates that saying, “The specific impact on your Page’s distribution and other metrics may vary depending on the composition of your audience. For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts. We encourage Pages to post things that their audience are likely to share with their friends.”
The cost of promoting content on Facebook has steadily risen, and will continue to rise as more brands seek to promote their ads or posts on the network. However, it is important to note that with this increase in demand it will likely raise ad costs. So expect the cost per engagement of your Facebook ads to go up.
Important distinction: publisher organic reach will go down, but this does not affect PAID reach. Facebook will happily take your ad spend, and you should be happy to give it to them if you want successful Facebook ad campaigns.
For both organic and paid social, interactive content and video is still on top. With the average attention span between 3-5 seconds, you have very little time to grab a user’s attention. GIFs are great due to the nature of auto play, so the message is guaranteed to be seen, rather than someone having to click to watch. However, if using this method it’s important to keep in mind to only focus on engagements and shares, not view counts.
While brands need to pay for space in your Newsfeed, it’s also for them to not forget the power of micro influencers or brand ambassadors. Influence is about authenticity, access to information and the drive to empower others. Brands need to engage in continuous dialogue, build engaging content, and empower influencers as strategic partners and content contributors. Your mom or neighbor has just has much influence at times, if not more, over your purchase habits than a celebrity who promotes several brands.
Also, marketers need to be sure to expand on the other channels, and not focus on just Facebook. Delve into other newer social channels if you haven’t already to broaden demographics, expand on new types of content, and experiment with livestreaming video channel including Facebook Live.
So if you are worried about your content getting lost in the mix, make it worth sharing, and don’t be above paying for it.