Last night, Facebook released some major news on changes to the News Feed that is going to impact all of us. And it’s been coming for some time.

In their commitment to clean up the News Feed, they will be changing the algorithm to prioritise content from people and the content that sparks meaningful engagement / comments. 

Here is their press release on the subject: 

And here is the key paragraph from that release:

“What does this mean for Pages and public content?
Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.
As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

What you can do:

1) Post natively and not via scheduling tools. Social Media Examiner suggests not using scheduling tools (ie, Hootsuite, Spinklr etc) as this could signal to Facebook that you’re not being authentic in terms of sparking meaningful conversation. Don’t literally stop using them today, but as you review your content and social strategies over the coming weeks, consider how this needs to change for your publishing workflow. The next point might help with that.

2) Decrease publishing frequency. For those posting very regularly, especially those once per day / a few times per week, consider posting less, and focus instead on quality content that will engage your audience and create one-to-one and one-to-many conversation (“no way!”, I hear you say in a sarcastic voice). This is the true end of 'spray and pray'.

3) Pay to play. Posting an organic post without boosting / sponsoring it? Forget it. You’re wasting your time. Facebook is still going to need ad revenue and won’t want to be turning that off any time soon, so this should give you a window whilst you re-focus your social strategy. For now.

4) Tell your audience to add your page to ‘See First settings.’ This will help surface your content at the top of your followers' feeds. I published a video on this last year: 

(the Facebook interface may have changed a little, but it’s the same sentiment).

5) Do more content hosted on Facebook. I’ve always been a big advocate of driving your social posts to your owned destinations, where you can get your users into your own ecosystem, capture data, float related jobs, tag them programmatically, and so on. As far as Facebook is concerned however, that’s now flipped on its head a bit. You’re going to have to create entertaining, interesting, truly shareable content that lives and breathes on Facebook that creates commentary and engagement - Video, Facebook Canvas, Facebook Live, etc. Links to blogs and articles ‘off-Facebook’ are likely to see less traffic.

Of course, if your content strategy is solid, you’re getting great engagement and ROI from social media, you might be ok. Although Facebook suggests you may still see a decrease in visibility, engagement and views of content if it’s coming from a Facebook Page rather than a person.

Ultimately, this is a great thing for the world of content marketing and social media - less crappy content clogging up our feeds. 

If you have any questions on your content or social media strategy, please don't hesitate to connect with / message me on LinkedIn.  

Want more? Watch this 11 minute video. Social Media Examiner breaks it down really well: 

Director of Digital Strategy

Nathan helps organisations optimise their recruitment marketing strategies by leveraging technology, creativity and data. In his role at employer marketing agency AIA Worldwide, Nathan has played pivotal roles in developing content marketing and social media strategies for large multinational corporations, as well as being a driving force behind a number of careers website projects and hiring strategies powered by the agency’s proprietary automated recruitment marketing software, TalentBrew. Catch him on Twitter, where he tweets all things digital marketing, branding and tech.