Facebook: Bringing the Social Back

by BJ Murphy

Facebook made big news this past week when they announced an impending change to the News Feed that will affect all pages. They will start scoring content that generates conversations higher in the News Feed than content that is consumed passively. Therefore, business pages (publishers and brands) will have pressure on them to create content that makes consumers want to engage in conversations.

They’re trying to put the social back in social media.

On January 4th, 2018 Mark Zuckerberg said in a post that his challenge this year is to "focus on fixing important issues" on Facebook. Part of the fix seems to be a change in the algorithm, to demote pages in favor of personal connections.

Facebook even admits that people won't log on nearly as much in the future as they do now. Unsurprisingly, the markets reacted to the news with a 4.4% drop in the company’s stock, leading to a $3.3 billion loss in Mark Zuckerberg's net worth. There’s no doubt he’ll be able to withstand this loss, remain one of the world’s wealthiest 10 individuals, and continue to grow Facebook’s earnings.

For social media marketers here are three ways to adapt:

  • Get creative in driving conversations: put out the type of content that leads to engaged conversations from consumers.
  • Spend more on paid advertising: Facebook Vice President Adam Mosseri said the change in the News Feed is unlikely to affect ads. However, expect prices to go up since many lazy marketers will simply try to boost for engagement and not focus on the creative. In other words, don’t be lazy with your creative as the more engaging ads will also win in the News Feed.
  • Focus on Facebook Live as it will be crucial to your business: live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook. On average, they get six times as many interactions as regular videos because they generate more comments and reaction in real time.

The bottom line is, as marketers, we have got to make changes and adapt to this new reality.