How Facebook is Punishing Your Business in 2018

Zach RinardFacebook, Marketing

2018 Facebook Changes
As a business, your marketing strategies on Facebook will now have to become even more creative and engaging to adapt to the new algorithm in place.
The What

This month Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced a massive change to the  balance of content in the news feed and what type of content will now be prioritized and favored. The sudden change comes from Facebook’s belief of prioritizing  “relevant content to [help people] have more meaningful social interactions”. Facebook began making changes in this direction last year and will continue to roll out more alterations to the news feed over the coming months.  The first adjustment will be that users are going to see more from their friends, family and groups and less from businesses, brands, and media outlets as a whole.

Where These Changes Are Coming From

This sweeping change to the newsfeed comes from Facebook’s belief that it has strayed from its foundational value of bringing people together. Zuckerberg addressed that, “Public content (posts from businesses, brands and media) is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other”. In an interview with Wired magazine the VP of Product Management, Adam Mosseri, states, “We’re trying to focus or trying to look at how we might help—or use ranking to help people become closer together, connect people more. Newsfeed was founded—or Facebook was founded in a lot of ways—to connect people. So we want to see if we can do that better”.

Why Does This Matter

As these changes come out over the coming months, your business will take a hit on its user reach and engagement on Facebook. Zuckerberg is aware of how this issue for businesses and states, “by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down”. Which in turn will force you to adapt to the changes and create content that “encourages meaningful interactions” with your customers.

How to Adapt to These Changes
  • More now than ever before, putting customer engagement at the core of your marketing strategy is extremely vital in expanding your outreach. Posts that acquire more engagement (engagement involves Likes, Shares, and Comments) will perform better than popular posts that have little to no engagement. The top leader in social media management, Hootsuite, advises that brands “should create quality content focused on sparking conversations between users. Try including questions in your posts, or write about timely, relevant topics that users are sure to have an opinion on”. Users will be more likely to see your Facebook posts if their friends and family are engaging with it.
  • You may think that baiting or urging engagement would would work in your favor. However, Facebook says, “Using ‘engagement-bait’ to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed”. This means that Facebook’s algorithm will read engagement-bait such as “Leave Your Comment Below” or “Like If You Agree” and demote your post.
  • One thing not influencing the algorithm is asking customers to follow your businesses Facebook page. Keep in mind, you can also have your loyal followers click the “See First” box under your page’s “Following” options. This way your content will appear first in their news feed and prompt more engagement.

    Encourage your followers to have your new posts show first in their news feed

  • Under the new algorithm, live video is heavily favored over regular video (which tends to be a very passive form of media) because from Facebooks research, “live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos”. So under this new system, make sure to invest your time into streaming more live video to exponentially boost your engagement.
  • A Facebook page isn’t the only way to interact with customers, there’s Groups which operates around audience engagement. A page is for, “public figures, businesses, organizations and other entities to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook”. Whereas Groups focus on allowing, “people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos and share related content”.  Making a Facebook Group centered around your business or industry is a great way to spur engagement.