Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement that put brands on edge: Facebook’s News Feed will begin prioritizing content from friends and family over posts from publishers and businesses. It was said this change is being made to provide “more meaningful social interactions” and make time spent on the site “more valuable.”
For now, let’s ignore the fact that ol’ Mark believes users want to be brought closer together with their “Friends,” despite the fact that most users’ “Friends” are actually just acquaintances whose names they wouldn’t remember if it wasn’t displayed right next to their face. What does this algorithm change mean for brands? Pages will see a decrease in organic reach, referrals, traffic, engagement and video views with this update. And that makes it more important than ever for brands to take advantage of the ways in which they can maximize visibility, all of which are conveniently listed below:
- Quality Over Quantity - It’s important for brands to remember it’s not about the number of posts you publish, but rather the value of the content that’s shared. Low-quality content can be shared easily and often, but it doesn’t connect with users which will ultimately damage a brand’s rank and limit the reach of future content as a result. Posts should be made to resonate with an audience and encourage engagement.
- Pay to Play - With past changes to the platform’s algorithm and growing competition for social space in recent years, brands have learned that visibility often comes at a cost. While the update won’t affect ads, this lesson still holds true now more than ever for content, and it’s safe to assume costs will only increase with the drop in available real estate. So, get ready to pony up folks, unless you’re okay with not being seen.
- Diversify Your Marketing Channels - Don’t make the mistake of relying too heavily on a single social channel. Facebook may have over two billion active users and no direct competition in sight, but there was a time when MySpace reigned as King of Social, too. Social Media is a forever evolving landscape. Expecting these platforms to not make changes or even switch directions is unrealistic. By taking a diversified approach, you can expand your presence and increase your reach all while reducing the risk created by a limited strategy.
So take a deep breath and don’t panic just yet. There’s still a place for you on the News Feed. That place just happens to be between a video of your Aunt Karen’s poodle dressed up as cowboy and baby photos shared by that girl you met at a party once… you think.