Big news on the Facebook front, Mark Zuckerberg has been very busy and has made a number of Facebook news feed changes and announcements in the past couple of weeks. Here are some tips you should remember as these changes start to roll out.
1: Mark Zuckerberg’s impact on the media
On January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg announced a massive change to the way Facebook is built: the product’s goal is changing from finding relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions within your news feed. This announcement comes as a massive impact on the media and publishers. For 2018, Facebook’s big focus area is reconnecting people with people and seeing less content from businesses, brands, and media. Posts from friends will be weighted more heavily than posts from pages, and this change will result in lower reach for content published by publishers and media companies.
Following that, in his second major update on January 19th, Zuckerberg announced that they will make sure the news people see, while less overall, is high quality. News content will make up ~4% of the news feed – down from ~5% today – a 20% decrease. This update will not change the amount of news you see on Facebook but it will shift the balance of news you see. “Broadly trusted” outlets that are affirmed by a significant cross-section of users may see a boost in readership. This means that lesser known media organizations or start-ups receiving poor rating could see their traffic decline significantly.
2: Don’t frame the problem the wrong way
The most important thing about these announcement to your organization, your team, and yourself, is to not frame this problem the wrong way. There are many significant and negative stories out there with images of Mark Zuckerberg’s head in a mushroom cloud (right) and other apocalyptic type visions of, “oh, this is the death of journalism (on Facebook, at least)” and then tinged with a bit of a silver lining. Here are a few things you can do with your organization is to focus on what you know, and don’t let speculation get too far afield.
There are a lot of questions surrounding whether Facebook is a “friend or foe?” “Can I trust Facebook?” – these are the wrong questions to be asking as they miss the point as it relates to what you’re trying to accomplish, requiring simplistic answers. Facebook is neither friend nor foe, Facebook is comprised of tens of thousands of people and is a complex organization doing many different things. Facebook is a company that is going to act in Facebook’s interest, and sometimes that can align with your interest in which case they’re your friend, sometimes maybe not.
Instead, ask “How do I succeed in distributing and monetizing my content to consumers using mobile decvices?” Mobile consumption is a huge part of Facebook and more broadly, social media. Being able to monetize and reach mobile user with your content, is essentially what you are trying to replace what you can’t depend on Facebook for. Despite these announcements, Facebook still has massive scale, there’s two billion people on the site and even with the 20% decrease, your ability to be successful on Facebook will decline but not go away entirely. So, whatever you do, don’t write Facebook out of your social media stragety.
Now, more than ever, it’s extremely important to be aligned with the right technology partner (or partners) and platform provider to navigate these Facebook news feed changes. As these changes just continue to become rapid-fire, there’s technology and api’s involved that can help you manage all these changes and accomplish your goals.
3: React with controlled urgency
This is big news, but we don’t know the precise magnitude of the changes (other than the 5% to 4% as stated by Zuckerburg), the timing, or to which pages they’ll be applied. Often what you see in the algorithms and what you see in the real world deviates from the high level plans and what he though or said was going to happen – so just keep your ears open and make sure to follow us on Twitter as these changes develop.
90% of the engagement comes from 10% of the posts; the decrease won’t be spread evenly – measure and react accordingly. Consumers still hold the cards and their content preferences will continue to matter. Don’t draw conclusions based on what you or your colleagues see happening in your own news feed. Your Facebook news feed is as unique to you as your fingerprint.
4: Find the opportunities
Revisit your post strategy:
Rebalance your portfolio of distribution options:
Facebook has been the leading social media giant, but because of these changes, people will start to look at other channels to get their news and media. Increasing content publishing on Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and even Apple News will breath new life into your analytics.
Take a look at your overhead costs:
Labor, salaries, benefits, etc. is most likely your organization’s biggest cost. By finding way to cut time spent on distribution and automating it through platforms such as SocialFlow, you’ll be able to save more time and hours.
5: It’s not about traffic, but about revenue
By preserving and extending your advertiser relationships, your organization will be able to continue making money even with the Facebook news feed changes. An important note is that Facebook’s paid algorithms are NOT affected by these changes at all.
Tips to remember:
Don’t have time to watch the whole webinar? No problem! Pick the topic you want to hear more about:
1. Mark Zuckerberg’s Impact on the Media
2. Don’t Frame the Facebook Problem the Wrong Way
3. React to These Changes With Controlled Urgency
4. How to Talk With Your Organization About the Facebook Changes
5. Your Facebook News Feed is as Unique to You as Your Fingerprint
6. Find the Opportunities in Social Media
7. Should You Still Be Scheduling?
8. It’s Not About Traffic, It’s About Revenue
9. SocialFlow Tips & Tricks
10. How SocialFlow Can Help With Your Apple News Distribution
11. SocialFlow Integration With Google Analytics
12. Finding High-Performing Content in SocialFlow
13. Labeling Content in SocialFlow
14. Weekend Posting: It Matters