Facebook Makes Sweeping Changes – Here’s What it Means for Ads and Content
Facebook has made some huge changes to its Newsfeed algorithm in 2018. Facebook has stated that it wants to “increase meaningful interactions between people“. To accomplish this, there will be less video and news. Facebook makes a TON of changes to its product, on a constant basis. And although they said less news, they also created caveats for “trusted news” and “local news”. They’re also increasing their Stories product on desktop and mobile.
First, let’s briefly address how all these changes are affecting Facebook Ads. In two words: they’re not. Facebook Ads are here to stay, and potentially stronger than ever. Below is a note from a Facebook Ads representative:
Now that that’s out of the way (although it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add some influencer marketing strategies into your mix)…
Facebook Newsfeed and Content
Businesses, both large and small, have been built off Facebook and its algorithm. Those times have officially come to an end. Organic reach of posts has been declining for years (it’s now around 2-4%, sometimes much less). Facebook DOES NOT CARE if you use their platform. Still, some well-known publishers are doing everything they can:
Publishers on Facebook in 2018 pic.twitter.com/kQ4tqi1t19
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) January 23, 2018
We feel liberated from FB. Yes we’ve lost the viral spikes but we’re actually making content our core audience wants and building a more sustainable business. If FB welcomes publishers back with open arms, I’m not sure we’d bother — Benjamin Cohen (@benjamincohen) February 9, 2018
A sage tweet from Matthew Ingram of Columbia Journalism Review sums up the thoughts of many:
You could argue that it’s good Facebook is forcing publishers and media companies to get off the algorithm crack, except Facebook is the one who got them addicted to it in the first place
— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) January 12, 2018
I think we can all agree on this: Facebook is done with quality journalism. They’re tired of fake news and bad PR. Controlling it would be too costly. So they’re just phasing it out. Here’s a quote from Mark Zuckerberg:
“The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good. Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”
Still want news on Facebook? Go to the Watch tab.
Anyone who counted on website traffic from organic Facebook posts needs to move on, especially publishers. Internally, we’ve adjusted how we manage our clients’ Facebook pages. Instead of doing 10 posts/week (years ago) or 5 posts/week (last year), we just try and do 1-2 high quality, engaging posts each week.
You know what’s not going down in the midst of all these updates? Facebook’s profits:
Why is that the case? Facebook (and Instagram) ads of course. Those will still be growing strong.
What You Should Do
With the new and future landscape set in stone, I recommend four things:
- Post less, but make every post as high quality as possible
- Facebook Ads (which include Instagram and Messenger) are still gold mines – focus on those
- As Facebook increases human relationships, utilize influencers more
- Invest heavily in Groups (Facebook continues to prioritize Groups content)
Also, NEVER build your business in a way that it’s dependent on a singular social platform. First off, focus on all social platforms. Secondly, create consistent, quality content on your website. Lastly, build your email list. Those last two tips are things that cannot be taken away from you.
Finally, good luck! Need help with marketing strategy? Contact us today!