Last week, Facebook unrolled a major update to the News Feed, centered on prioritizing person-to-person interaction.
In a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg wrote, “I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”
This news set off alarm bells for Pages on Facebook, who are largely dedicated to providing users with meaningful content. This News Feed update isn’t necessarily a disaster for Facebook Pages, though. Below, we’ll break down what the update means and how Pages can take steps to stay relevant.
What Does this Update Mean for Pages?
Facebook has been pretty clear that this update means less visibility for brands. Mark Zuckerburg stated that users in 2018 can expect to see more posts from friends, family, and groups and fewer from businesses, brands, and media. Adam Mosseri, the Head of the News Feed, noted that Pages should expect to see their traffic and reach decrease as a result.
Over the past couple of years, content such as news articles, videos, and page updates have taken up a huge portion of the News Feed. But now, that’s exactly the content that Facebook is targeting. Users have responded that all of that Page content is creating a less interactive experience. So Facebook is prioritizing interaction over content. This may be a challenge for brands, but Pages can respond by making interaction their top priority too.
Aim for Interaction – Not Just Engagement
All engagement is good, but Facebook is putting more and more of an emphasis on “conversations and meaningful interactions.” That means that shares, likes, and reactions won’t help you as much as weighty comments. So as much as possible, orient your posts around genuine engagement with your audience. Leave an opening for people to comment about their experience or opinion.
Avoid Engagement Bait
In all of its press releases, Facebook has emphasized “conversation” rather than simple comments. That’s because they’re also cracking down on “engagement bait,” or posts that prompt users to react, share, tag, or comment. Facebook’s algorithm is going to penalize posts that have a lot of low-engagement comments, such as one-word votes. On the flip side, it’s going to boost posts that have a lot of substantial comments.
Post Live Video Instead of Recorded Videos
It’s not news that Facebook gives a boost to live video, but that boost might be even more significant now. Adam Mosseri noted that live videos average six times as many interactions as regular videos. So take advantage of that engagement! Decide on an interesting topic, and post a live video that engages with comments from your audience.
Use Groups for Pages
You may have noticed that Mark Zuckerburg commented that users would see more content from groups as part of the update. Facebook sees groups as a key venue for communities and interest-focused conversation. So if you haven’t already set up a group for your page, now is a great time to start.
Have you seen any difference in engagement since the update was announced? And what, if anything, have you decided to change about your Facebook strategy? We’d love to talk about it in comments.