Facebook’s News Feed Announcement: What does it mean for generating engagement?
by Conal Dougan
Facebook has been under fire from several directions recently. Most prominently, the probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US Presidential Election dragged Facebook into the mud through its dissemination of fake news and openness to advertising from all sorts of nefarious clients. Elsewhere, social media executives have been admitting that their services are designed to be addictive, and neither use them themselves nor allow their children to.
In response to this, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a widely-shared post stating how Facebook would be toning down the content from businesses and news organisations in favour of making personal and conversation-based content more visible. In other words, going back to what Facebook started out as – a social media platform.
This has raised some concerns in marketing circles. Will content reach and engagement be dragged down? Will businesses become more irrelevant on the platform? Where will all those deliciously high audience numbers go?
In many ways, however, the announcement just signifies more business-as-usual for Facebook.
Firstly, Facebook relies on its customers. Its value of over $500 billion is dependent on continuing to attract advertising revenue from marketers hungry to get a bite of the two billion plus users currently on the platform. There is no way that the platform will neglect its business clients.
Secondly, driving down reach rates for organisations’ organic posts is nothing new. Facebook has been doing it for years in an attempt to encourage businesses to spend more money on advertising.
What the announcement does reiterate, however, is that organisations need to be adaptable in the way they speak to customers. A few years ago Facebook was pushing video content as much as possible. Then came Live video. Now, it appears they want posts to encourage conversation. Therefore, adapting your marketing strategy to ensure you’re able to maximise Facebook’s focus is key to getting the best results.