There has been a lot of buzz going around regarding Facebook’s recently released policy to change their news feed algorithm. We’ve seen posts of people’s reactions, received emails and phone calls from our clients, and felt that it would be best to give an explanation of exactly what this policy means, and how it will effect your business.
The policy (which is linked below) states that Facebook was built to bring people closer together, and that they will be making changes to better provide that via your news feed. Their new policy is that they are going to demote pages and effectively stop them from showing up in your news feed if the posts are not creating ‘meaningful interactions’. That they are going to enforce strict policies against pages and public content that do not directly engage and promote interactions. Their definition of what they mean by ‘meaningful interactions’ is this: A page post that generates conversations and interactions between people.
What does this mean for me and my business?
We have seen a lot of reactions from people stating that they are going to re-focus their advertising strategies to not include Facebook as they don’t feel that they are going to obtain the reach needed. We have seen people stating that this new policy will only result in their posts not being displayed to anybody. While this is true for the businesses that are used to just throwing posts on their page without any further thought about strategy and engagement, just hoping that if they throw enough at the wall, something will stick – This new policy is actually a good thing for companies that are serious about their marketing strategies, and understand the need to create content that promotes engagement. Gone will be the days of scrolling past 50 business posts that nobody likes or cares about. The advantage to this new policy is that if you do keep up your ranking and produce professional content that engages your users, you no longer have to compete with the seemingly infinite number of business posts that are filling up your target audiences news feed.
How do I incorporate this new policy into my marketing strategy?
People read this new policy as a negative thing for businesses, but what they miss is the fact that the formula for success is literally spelled out right in front of you. Create content that produces engagement – engagement being defined as ‘liking, commenting, or sharing’. This new policy really just aligns success on Facebook with success on Google, both are a very intricate process, but with a very simple driving principle: Be the content that people actually want to see. Facebook is now actively working to not display the ‘spammy’ or ‘blind promotional’ types of posts, which also means that they are actively looking for businesses that create content that people actually want to see. If you are in business, chances are that you are selling something that somebody wants or needs – high-pressure sales that leave people unhappy will only get you so far, and then the bottom will fall out from under you. By promoting businesses that receive engagement through their posts, Facebook is opening a huge opportunity to the businesses that are serious about their marketing, and they are promoting people that actually put the effort into being what people want – as opposed to trying to force people to want what you’re selling.
What if I don’t know how to create and execute a marketing strategy?
One of our favorite says here at BPetersonDesign is that if you were really good at marketing (or anything), that you should be doing that for a living. We partner with businesses to help them with this very problem because, let’s face it – Most businesses are good at what they’ve created as their business and are severely lacking in the other many facets of business that doesn’t directly pertain to what product or service they are offering. Even HUGE companies, have specific departments for the different areas of business – this way they can have knowledgeable people performing each function of their business and cover all of their bases. The way to get around the need to hire an entire marketing department is to partner with a marketing agency. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, so be sure and do your homework before partnering with a company to make sure that they are not only going to be able to produce the results your looking for, but that they are going to go after those results in a way that fits with the expectation and presence that your company already has. Remember that with this new policy, every single post will effect your rank within Facebook, and therefor will either help or hurt your reach.
Where do we go from here?
If your stomach dropped upon reading this new policy as you don’t have total confidence in your company’s ability to engage your audience on Facebook, it’s time to ask for help. Contact that marketing agency, and see what they have to say. If you’re of the same opinion as we are at BPetersonDesign, your marketing agency should be able to explain to you exactly how they are going to create this engagement in terms that you can understand – “If you really understand something, you should be able to explain it in terms that any reasonable person can understand”. Keep in mind that even though Google and Facebook are cracking down on businesses that try and promote themselves as something they are not, there are still lots of places out there, especially so in the marketing world. Just remember one simple term that is literally driving the biggest forces in the industry right now: “Be the result that somebody is looking for”. If you are and can communicate that you are this result, these companies literally have thousands of people who’s only job is to find and display you.
Facebook’s Official Release:
Another good read showing how FB is actively weeding out posts that are not actually engaging people:
Mark Zuckerberg’s post regarding this issue: