So, Facebook is tinkering with its News Feed again (of course it is) and it announced in a typically cryptic fashion earlier this week why. Within hours, digital marketers started losing their minds over the update, but let’s look at the facts about the Facebook update.
Facebook’s problem is that its users (that’s all of us) are sharing less and less content that could be deemed personal and that’s a problem because, as we know from the failures of platforms like Myspace, once users start to see less content from the people who matter to them, it can very quickly kill it off.
JUGGLING SWORDS CEO JOHN DURRANT GIVES HIS VIEWS ON THE FACEBOOK NEWS FEED UPDATE.
Depending on who you listen to, personal sharing is down by 20% or so… a big percentage that Facebook could not simply ignore.
All the chatter about Facebook no longer being a social media platform but actually a content platform made content marketers like me feel pretty great. Facebook’s announcement on Wednesday was welcomed by marketers like Michael Gove at a Johnson family together… not particularly well.
But what do we actually know? Here are three crucial pieces of information that so many blogs I’ve read over the last 24 hours seem to neglect:
Your business page’s objective HASN’T changed
For now, ignore the BS from so-called experts who are posting about the “sure-fire ways to beat Facebook’s changes” because none us actually know what strategies will work best with this new algorithm.
But Facebook wants the News Feed to entertain and inform. That’s not new. Every single piece of content that you produce should do at least one of these and hopefully both.
Facebook is working hard to make the platform about you and your friends and family again. So, the reality is that no matter how amazingly awesome you think your brand’s content is, it’s always going to come after the content from your follower’s friends and family. Deal with it.
Facebook says it’s always working to find out what’s interesting to you personally so that it can serve you more of that content so, more than ever, your company’s content marketing will have to be on point.
Organic reach and referral traffic will take a dip for most pages
This is one of the crucial points that marketers are panicking over but this drop in organic reach won’t necessarily hit all pages. Why? Well, it depends on how your Facebook audience engages with your content.
If you tend to get a lot of referral traffic from people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, you’ll probably see less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through page posts.
In summary, the changes mean that now, more than ever, you simply MUST be producing content that resonates with your audience because if it doesn’t, this update will make things very tough for you.
Is this another giant step towards Facebook becoming a pay-to-play platform for businesses? I’ll leave that debate for another day…
John Durrant is the CEO of Juggling Swords, an Edinburgh digital and content marketing agency.