There’s been a lot of speculation in recent months about whether Facebook was looking to make people’s News Feeds more personal once more and reduce the number of brand/page posts being displayed.

(Continue reading to the end for 2019 update)

Well, it’s finally happened and this is what we know:

On January 12, 2018, none other than Mr Facebook himself, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that the social network was going to make a major change designed to help us all “have more meaningful social interactions”.

The bottom line is that Facebook wants people’s News Feeds to be filled with more posts from their friends and family, and fewer posts from brands/pages.

Basically, going forward, people are going to “see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media”.

Perhaps the most important part of this change is highlighted on the official Facebook for Business blog. While brand/page posts, on the whole, are going to see their reach decline, “page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed”. In other words, posts that attract a lot of comments and create discussions. Facebook has even gone as far as to highlight how live videos are a great example of this (hint hint).

Here’s a short video from Facebook explaining these changes:

So what do I think?

Personally, I think it’s a good move! Facebook has got noisier and busier in recent times and there has been less and less relevant content. In fact, I’ve actually noticed how much low-quality, repetitive content there is nowadays.

If nothing else, this update should force companies to evolve, put more thought and effort into their posts and inspire genuine conversations. We’ll see how it will turn out in reality, but, right now, I like the drivers behind it.

A few points stand out for me at first glance:

1. Driving traffic from Facebook is dead. Links will be highly disadvantaged and only the best out of the best will get any reach. To drive traffic you’re going to need to use Facebook Ads.

2. Facebook Pages aren’t dead, but they’ll need to evolve! Aim for the 3 Es – engagement, education, entertainment.

3. Quality over quantity – even more than ever! Only meaningful, relevant, timely posts, which people will want to engage with will have a chance – and only Pages doing this consistently will succeed.

4. Facebook Groups will be even more powerful for businesses!

I don’t think you should see it as ‘constant changes’ – this has been coming for a long time and has always been the ‘golden rule’ of social media. Only now they’ve decided to enforce it, making sure that only businesses who put enough thought into their content and Pages that offer genuine information – are helpful, relevant, timely and engaging – will stand a chance.

And I fully support their decision! Yes, it means more work, but it also means a better Facebook and higher quality relationships for businesses.

What to do next?

  1. Stop the presses (meaning stop scheduling and pushing tons of content out there).
  2. Analyse your results to identify what content your audience engages with the most.
  3. Create a new strategy (specifically for Facebook) that will reflect these new rules.
  4. Focus on quality over quantity – post less, but more in-depth, more thought through content.
  5. What content will work? Live video, conversation inspiring images, videos or thought-provoking texts.
  6. 3 Es – engagement, education and entertainment are your new best friends.

Want to improve engagement on your Facebook Page? I’ve put together my top 10 tips on getting better results from Facebook.

Facebook News Feed is Changing, AGAIN!

(2019 Update)

It’s becoming almost a habit that at the beginning of each year, at the annual F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg makes a couple of huge announcements about changes to his platforms (mainly Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp).

Here’s a quick overview of the major news that have been announced at 2019 F8 conference:

Facebook

  • New design. Facebook will get a new look with a bigger focus on stories. So, there’s no escaping anymore. You need to start doing Facebook Stories now!
  • More Groups! There will be a new dedicated section for Groups on mobile. Groups are becoming increasingly more dominant and important for Facebook and its users. Plus new tool for Groups.
  • Meet friends. A new feature similar to suggested friends enabling you to find like-minded people more easily. They are really trying to foster the community feeling on the platform.
  • New events tabs. A feature similar to Google Maps showing you what’s happening around you, including local businesses.
  • PC and Mac apps for Messenger. Making Messenger more accessible for brands to use for lead generation and customer service.

Instagram

  • New look for Instagram stories camera. An attempt to make it easier to use and enable people to be more creative.
  • Hiding like counts. This will be a big one! At the moment they are testing it in Canada, but if this update goes ahead, it will only show the number of likes on an image to the author. Your followers won’t be able to see that. This might shake the influencer marketing as well as engagement levels.

The overall trend continues to be leaning towards community and meaningful interactions as it was over the past year or so!

2019 Facebook News Feed Updates

So when it comes to Facebook News Feed updates, what’s new?
Following the F8 Conference, Facebook made a series of changes to the News Feed algorithm. Here’s the quick rundown of the biggest ones:

1. Ongoing focus on the quality of on-platform engagement.

‘The goal of News Feed is to connect people with the posts they find most relevant. … making sure people see what they want to see – whether that’s posts from family and friends or news articles and videos from Pages they follow.’

That’s why Facebook tweaked the News Feed algorithm to favour close friends and ‘worthwhile’ content.

Mark Zuckerberg also recently said the Facebook’s direction will shift from being a social network where people broadcast information to large groups of people — a town square — to a service that functions as a digital equivalent of the living room, where people communicate with smaller trusted groups.

2. Original content rules!

Weeding out unoriginal content, misinformation, and other forms of ‘borderline content‘ that brings down “the overall quality of discourse” on the platform.

This will especially effect video content on the platform. Facebook is introducing a series of algorithm updates that will affect video rankingthe key areas are: 1) loyalty and intent, 2) video and viewing durations and 3) originality. These are not new principles, but they will be strengthening their influence among the multiple factors that determine video distribution.

This means that going forward, Facebook will focus on intent and repeat viewership of videos. If users watch the same video/or different videos from the same publisher multiple times week after week, the chances of their videos showing on the users’ News Feed will be higher.

Facebook will also look more closely at video length – a video should engage the user for at least one minute. They will give more reach to videos that are at least three minutes long.

The last video update looks at original vs duplicate content. Always create original content and do not post content that that already exists on Facebook or that has been posted somewhere else first.

Want more details? You can always find the most up-to-date information and news in the Facebook Newsroom.

You don’t need to take my word for it, here’s a great 12 minute summary of the major announcement from Mark’s 2019 F8 talk:

How about you? Will you create a new Facebook plan for your business or will you rather focus on other platforms? I’d love to know what you think about these changes!

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