How to Conquer Facebook's 2018 Newsfeed Changes
By now you’ve probably heard about the social shake-up that is Facebook’s new algorithm update. Dubbed the “Meaningful Interactions Update,” the new algorithm prioritizes newsfeed posts with friends and family top of mind. Why? Because in the eyes of Facebook, posts that spark more “active” interactions - or posts that generate meaningful conversations - provide a better Facebook-user experience.
What exactly is an active interaction?
An active interaction, like a comment or share, is also known as a positive interaction. The new Facebook algorithm uses four signals to determine whether or not a post qualifies as “active.” These include:
- A person sharing a link over Facebook Messenger
- Multiple replies to comments on a video
- Commenting on or liking a person’s photo or status update
- Engagement with a publisher/brand post shared by a friend
Previously, Facebook used a variety of signals to decide which content was seen by users. Now, emphasis is placed on the signals that heavily favor active interactions. In other words, Facebook now deems person-to-person connections as more valuable than person-to-page connections. Marketers can use these signals to have their content seen by more users.
What does this Facebook update mean for digital marketers?
While Facebook’s new algorithm update means changes to users’ newsfeeds - and inevitably significantly less organic reach - it isn’t the end of social media marketing as we know it. Instead, it’s a new beginning. Rather than focusing efforts on creating content that goes viral, digital marketers need to switch their focus to what makes content personal and conversation-worthy.
However, this is nothing new. Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm is constantly in flux.
In 2007, we saw the birth of Facebook ads - one thing digital marketers cannot go without today. In 2009-2010, Facebook began to favor newsfeed content by popularity opposed to chronological order. In 2015, we saw the the introduction of the mobile app Ads Manager. And in 2017, Facebook started to penalize companies for using “clickbait” headlines and videos. Fast-forward to today, and now the social media platform favors “meaningful interactions” above all else.
Just as Facebook is constantly updating its algorithm, Blue Compass is constantly updating its knowledge of the social media sphere. No matter what changes in the Facebook Newsfeed, we strive to exceed clients’ expectations and make sure they come out ahead every time.
What about the Cambridge Analytica data breach?
At Blue Compass, our clients’ security and personal information is always top of mind. The way we use and access your data always follows white-hat best practices. We take pride in knowing that your data would never be compromised.
How to Continue Reaching Consumers on Facebook
1.) Know your audience
Now, more than ever, it’s time for digital marketers to really get to know their audience on a deep level. This requires asking questions like:
- What content does your audience respond to?
- What makes your audience tick?
- What are some challenges your audience faces?
- What does your audience care about?
- What else is your audience interacting with online?
Once you have a more intimate understanding of your Facebook audience, you can begin creating content that is more personal and, thus, content that naturally creates conversation. Remember, the ultimate goal is to garner more dialogue amongst users.
2.) Target, Target, Target
While the Facebook Newsfeed change means updates to what users will see in their newsfeed, the new algorithm only pushes digital marketers to think more creatively.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to heed tip number one and truly know your audience. The more you know about people interested in your brand, the more accurately you can target them with Facebook Ads.
The key to gaining conversions is precise targeting.
Facebook makes this fairly easy with their powerful audience selection tools. These include core audiences, custom audiences and lookalike audiences.
With core audiences you can select your audience manually based on characteristics like age and gender. Custom audiences allows you to upload your contact list to connect with your customers on Facebook, while lookalike audiences uses your customer information to find people similar to them on Facebook.
Once our clients’ audience(s) are refined, we like to do A/B testing to see which ads perform best in order to get the best return on investment.
And while noone is exactly sure what all of the implications of the new Facebook algorithm will be for Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram, one thing is for sure: marketers can expect an increase in their ad-spend budget.
3.) Stay ad-amant about ad spend
Fortunately for digital marketers, Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm change does not yet affect their ad algorithm. And since Facebook ads should undoubtedly already be a part of your brand’s marketing strategy, we suggest honing in on your ad skills and increasing your ad budget. This means applying the above suggestion to truly know your audience so you create compelling content with emotion behind it. Also, as mentioned above, it’s more important than ever to target the correct audiences to ensure you get the most out of your advertising dollars.
4.) Utilize Facebook Groups
Since the entire idea behind Facebook Groups is to generate audience engagement, incorporating a Facebook Groups strategy into your overall social media marketing strategy will serve digital marketers well.
The Bottom Line
While the objective of Facebook’s Newsfeed change is to prioritize posts from friends and family over brand/page posts, the intimidation of decreased organic exposure is nothing new. By understanding your audience, implementing more creative tactics to produce content that is on brand and highly relevant, and keeping Facebook ads at the forefront of your digital marketing strategy, brands can still get in front of their audiences and maintain their online community.
Stay In Front of Your Audience
If you’re ready to see how you can defeat the new Facebook algorithm and stay ahead of your audience, learn about our social media marketing services and how we can help!