A few days ago Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook was about to alter your news feed. Its new algorithm prioritizes content from friends, family and the groups you follow. You’ll see more of your cousin’s baby and less of the public content that’s been cluttering up your feed. For individuals, it’s good, but businesses are scrambling to adjust social media campaigns.
Why The Change?
Zuckerberg said Facebook studied the impact of social media interaction and found when people interacted with those they cared about, they experienced positive results from that interaction. However, when they just passively consumed impersonal content, their interaction could be harmful.
Facebook has also received negative press for fake news some use the channel to spread and for the Russian-linked posts that might have impacted the 2016 presidential election.
What Will Change?
Remember when you first signed up for Facebook and you saw status updates almost as users posted them with very few ads? Then in 2013 the social media platform updated its algorithm saying the goal was to help you find what was “relevant.” You no longer viewed things chronologically. Facebook measured shares, likes and content keywords to decide what was relevant to each user.
Some posts might not ever cross your feed because Facebook deems them irrelevant. If you search for running shoes or dog food, suddenly ads for those things clutter up your feed.
Now the site’s goal is to help users have more meaningful interactions. Instead of measuring likes and shares, the new algorithm will boost posts that get comments or other types of interaction.
What Does That Mean For Brands?
If you use Facebook for marketing, start planning campaigns that encourage interaction. Provide content that provokes a response or starts a conversation. Ask questions or invite users to comment on breaking news.
The new algorithm still favors video, especially video that is shot live. Zuckerberg pointed out live videos get six times as much interaction as regular ones. Brands will seek to partner with influencers even more to resonate with audiences and create more organic content. As Instagram’s algorithm increasingly mirrors Facebook’s, expect to see more influencer and user interaction preference there too.