🤔 Facebook has just announced a major News Feed update coming very soon.
✅ If you use Facebook for business, you’re going to want to read this article in full.
😲 Read on to discover;
1. What the 2018 Facebook update is
2. How the 2018 Facebook update will affect business pages
3. What experts are saying about the update
4. 12 tactics to ensure your business doesn’t implode
Essentially, Facebook is changing its algorithm to prioritise posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people you care about over content from pages.
People is the key word here. Facebook wants to encourage users to have more meaningful conversations with their friends and family, rather than passively consuming content.
Facebook’s research has shown that interacting with people is associated with a greater sense of well-being whereas passively reading or watching without interacting with others tends to make you feel worse.
Here’s what Facebook has to say about the update.
Facebook has stated that it will show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.
According to Facebook, this update ‘may’ affect business pages in the following ways;
❌ Reduced reach
❌ Reduced video watch time
❌ Reduced referral traffic
‘Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.’
Michael Stelzner was one of the first people to jump on Facebook live and announce the breaking news (see live stream below).
When I saw the live stream, I felt a sense of panic as I heard Michael say things like;
‘We could be approaching end of days with Facebook when it comes to pages.’
‘The signals have been on the wall for a long time that Facebook is now focused heavily on the interactions with people and not pages.’
Michael’s take on this is that it is HUGE news for businesses and marketers, stating;
‘This is a monumental shift. This is literally going to be one of those days you remember. It’s Thursday January 11th 2018 was the day that everything changed on Facebook for marketers, period.’
After the initial panic from Michael Stelzner, it was interesting to read Dennis Yu’s post.
Dennis took a completely different approach to the 2018 Facebook update with a view that this wasn’t drastic news.
‘This is not breaking news- more about reaffirming what they’ve said all along about making a better community.
If you’re spamming on Facebook, even if you don’t think you are, then YES- the changes they’re rolling out will probably hurt you.’
Lucy shared some interesting points including;
🎯 Why having a multi-faceted marketing strategy is crucial (with examples)
🎯 Why businesses must adapt or die (including an inspiring personal story from Lucy)
Lucy makes a great point;
‘If 60% of my business came from one medium I’d be scared! I’d be really scared. Because it only takes for the medium to go bust or a big algorithmic change to wipe out 60% of my revenue. Same with products and services.’
My take on this is a balance between the two extremes.
For most (including me initially), this does seem like a drastic announcement. However, when you look back at Facebook’s previous News Feed announcements in June 2016, you can see it’s been heading this way for a while.
I guess this time it seems ‘drastic’ as Facebook is bluntly saying that the performance of business page posts is likely to drop when usually they just hint at it.
I 100% believe that all businesses need to stop what they are doing, audit themselves and make relevant changes to improve their marketing strategies (especially for Facebook).
Facebook has clearly stated that new metrics such as ‘page posts that generate conversation between people’ will show higher in the News Feed.
Unless you already have a highly effective strategy which focuses on encouraging your Facebook audience to have their own conversation in the comments on your posts (amongst other things), you need to change up what you are doing.
Below are the specific actions I believe you need to take to ensure your business doesn’t implode after the latest Facebook announcement.
Being omnipresent is the most important tactic you need to act on.
Stop putting all of your eggs in one basket. You can reduce risk dramatically by spreading your marketing efforts across multiple channels and platforms.
Then, you can combat any external factors having a negative impact on your marketing by ensuring you have other channels and platforms to fall back on.
For example, we utilise the following channels and platforms to market our business;
✅ Multiple Social Media Accounts for Lloyd, KPS & me (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn)
✅ The KPS Digital Marketing blog
✅ Guest blogging
✅ Email marketing
✅ Video marketing
✅ Speaking at events
✅ Attending events
✅ Attending networking meetings
✅ Word of mouth
✅ The KPS Digital Marketing Website
✅ Lead generation software
✅ Being a guest on Podcasts
✅ Being a guest on Live Facebook shows
✅ Collaborating with other marketers
✅ Reaching out to ‘multipliers’ in our network
✅ Building relationships with relevant funding providers
The bottom line is that if most of your business is coming from one channel or platform, you need to branch out and utilise others to spread your risk.
Did you know that you can choose up to 30 pages or personal profiles that you’d like to ‘see first’ when you log in to Facebook?
The ‘see first’ feature allows users to override the algorithm and choose the content they would like to see at the top of their News Feed.
For businesses, now is the perfect time to encourage audiences to enable ‘see first’ so that no matter what changes are made to the algorithm, their content will show up at the top of the News Feed.
See the example video we did below, showing our followers how they can enable this feature.
One of the best ways to ensure your current Facebook audience enable the ‘See First’ feature mentioned above, is to create a Facebook video Ad, targeted to them, showing them how to do it.
There are internal or external Apps on iPhones and Android devices that allow you to record the screen. You can then use a video App like Inshot to add music and text instructions to the video.
Again, we know that page posts rank higher in the News Feed if people are having conversations in the comments section of the post.
So, responding to comments from your personal profile, rather than your page should help boost the ranking score of your post.
See how Lloyd and I are now doing this on the KPS Digital Marketing page posts.
Facebook has stated that the following type of pages posts will now show higher in the News Feed;
🔝 Page posts that generate conversation between people e.g. live video
🔝 News on important issues (we’ve already seen this working on this post)
So, one action you can take to ensure your future Facebook posts tick the two boxes above is to look at your Facebook Insights and see what has worked previously.
Simply go to your Facebook Insights, click on posts and look at the data to find the top performers.
Now, you need to be careful to ensure you’re not using “engagement-bait” to goad people into commenting on posts as Facebook will continue to demote these posts in the News Feed.
From our own experience, we’ve noticed the following type of posts spark conversations in the comments;
1. Breaking news
2. Posts which share a strong opinion about a topic that people are passionate about
3. Videos tend to encourage way more engagement in general
4. Facebook Live videos (Facebook stated that these get 6 x interactions compared to video)
5. Entertaining videos
I get that this is ‘gaming the system’, but it’s worth testing to see how it effects post results. Because this update is new, I’m guessing the algorithm isn’t clever enough to know whether conversations on page posts between employees are genuine or not.
To add value for your audience, ensure employees are sharing meaningful knowledge and information in the comments.
Encourage them to debate differing views.
Please do not piss everyone you know off by tagging them in irrelevant posts all the time (that’s bloody annoying).
I recommend speaking to other people in your industry who you know well and asking them if they mind you tagging them in some relevant posts to help spark conversations.
You could agree that it’s ok for them to tag you in some of their posts too.
For this to work, tagging them in the post needs to be relevant and not too frequent.
Again, ensure they are adding meaningful ideas and opinions to add value for your audience.
To drive more conversations in the comments of your page posts, reply to user’s comments with another question.
This will continue the conversation and in turn, positively impact the algorithm score of the post.
When you look at your Facebook insights you’ll see that posts with links (in general), get much less reach and engagement.
The reason for this is because Facebook doesn’t want you to leave their platform and go to another website, so, they punish you for using links (via the algorithm scoring).
One workaround is to create videos to promote posts with links in and do a Facebook Ad campaign to help increase exposure and traffic.
We do that with most of our blogs now, like the video we’ve created to promote this blog (see below).
Facebook has stated that;
‘Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution.’
Therefore, you only want to be posting content which is going to receive the most comments and engagement.
If you continue to post content that doesn’t get any engagement, you could ‘see the biggest decrease in distribution’.
Facebook Marketing expert Dennis Yu suggests that the ‘antidote’ to Facebook’s News Feed changes is to have an AEC (awareness, engagement, conversion) funnel.
Here’s what Dennis had to say;
‘Your “antidote” is to:
+ Have an AEC (awareness, engagement, conversion) funnel with these 3 stages.
+ Use the 3×3 video grid (9 one min videos- 3 at each funnel stage).
+ Spend $1 per day boosting posts to custom audiences, so you can keep tuning your AEC funnel.
This “antidote” will protect you for years. Any update that Facebook releases won’t hurt you. You won’t have to panic anymore.
Our reach, and more importantly, our performance, has gotten BETTER, each time Facebook makes these updates.
Because it’s taken them 11 years to close many of the spammy techniques that I helped pioneer on Facebook.’
It’s now time for you to stop, audit yourself and make relevant changes to improve not just your Facebook marketing strategy, but your Digital Marketing strategy as a whole.
Which changes will you be making first?