When Facebook launched its product, the platform was built to bring people closer together. One of the ways they did this is by connecting people to posts from their friends and family. With this newest update on News Feed, Facebook will be focusing more on News Feed ranking so people have more opportunities to interact with people they really care about. This update has even more impact on the organic reach of Pages than the previous update to News Feed.
Why did Facebook make this change to the News Feed? This is what Mark Zuckerberg wrote down himself about their focus for 2018:
“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent. We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.”
The last couple of years, the News Feed has shifted away from Facebook’s most important goal. Because of the explosion of video and other public content that has brought News Feed out of balance, Facebook is making a major change to how they view Facebook. “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.” according to Mark Zuckerberg.
What is this update about?
Facebook used interactions like how many people react to, comment on or share posts to determine where they appear in News Feed.
With the update to News Feed, Facebook prioritises posts in News Feed that spark conversations and inspire meaningful interactions between people on Facebook. These interactions can be shares, comments, messages, reactions, or likes on content. Interactions between people like comments, shares, and messages will be valued more than plain reactions and likes. Both people and pages can create content that drives meaningful social interactions. But, posts from friends will be weighted most heavily.
Some examples of meaningful interactions that can be generated by pages:
- Multiple people replying to each other’s comments on a video they watched or an article they read in News Feed
- A page responding to a person’s comment on its post
- People commenting on or interacting with a page’s live video
- People responding to page posts shared through messenger
- Any interactions that people have with a page post that has been shared by a user
What this means to you as a user is that you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. The public content you do see will be held to the same standard Facebook is aiming for: it must encourage meaningful interactions between people.
What does this mean for Pages and public content?
To succeed within News Feed, publishers need to create content that resonates with their audiences or drives planned viewing of their content. News Feed will value content that encourages people to interact with each other. Good to know is that this type of content is not limited to a certain partner set or industry.
As described in the above explanation about the update, Facebook weighs conversations (meaningful interactions) heavier than interactions (likes and shares). A page responding to a person’s comment on its post is one of the examples of a meaningful interaction. Being a business and managing a Page, makes it, therefore, more important than ever before to focus on the Engagement part of your social media marketing strategy. Using a social media management platform such as Media Injection enables your team to monitor and engage with people to create meaningful interactions.
Please note that using “engagement-bait” to goad people into commenting on posts to get to conversations is not meaningful content. Facebook will continue to demote these posts in News Feed even more.
Does this update affect my Ads Performance?
This change will not impact the performance of ads or the ways they are ranked, as the ads auction already optimises for user value. The ads auction takes into account relevancy and feedback to deliver ads to the right people based on business objectives.
According to Facebook, it’s not recommended to shift Advertising Strategies from real business outcomes to Page Post Engagement based on this News Feed ranking update. Engagement is only a very small part of how Facebook ranks ads following the non-impacted ads auction.
What can you do to increase your reach within the updated News Feed?
Get to the top of people’s News Feed by promoting the ‘See First’ preferences. People who want to see more posts from Pages they follow can choose ‘See First’ in News Feed Preferences to make sure they always see posts from their favourite Pages. Reach out to your fans and customers via a blog and/or newsletter.
Page posts that generate conversation between people will show up higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. While in Groups, people often interact around public content. Thirdly, local businesses connect with their communities by posting relevant updates about their business and creating events. Finally, news can help start conversations on actual, important issues.
With the update to News Feed, Facebook forces businesses to focus even more on the relevance of content, targeted to the most relevant audiences. Combine the power of advertising (using The Next Ad) to get to know your best performing target audience and empower your content strategy. Focus on the right target group, create the right message that encourages meaningful interactions and be on top of engagement on your posts.