If you run a fan page on Facebook, and your business is largely based on communication on the site of Marek Zuckerberg – I feel sorry. A real earthquake is coming, for which it is better to prepare today.
These are no longer tests and empty announcements. Facebook speaks directly – we will cut the scope of the pages and stop promoting them in newsfeeds of users.
The change announced this morning for the average user means only that instead of the content from the pages and information he will see more photos and entries of friends. Mark Zuckerberg in his statement convinces that this is to restore the social network of its service, and it has a positive impact on our well-being because active interaction with friends is healthier for us than passive scrolling stream of information.
For content publishers, however, it is a preview of the earthquake and in many cases the need to rethink the strategy for this platform completely from scratch. So let’s answer some of the questions that you need to ask yourself about the Facebook traffic announced today.
What exactly will change on Facebook?
With news, the vast majority of the so-called “Public content”, that is entries made available by online publishers, brands, stores, and websites. Only the pages that the user chooses to display first are to remain unchanged:
Other website posts will be promoted much less frequently. It may happen that posts from specific websites will appear in the users’ newsfeed up to twice a day, provided that they are posts that meet the new requirements.
What posts on the pages will continue to be promoted by Facebook?
Here, the definition is quite conventional. In the newsroom, we only read that they are supposed to be “initiating conversational” content and engaging in an organic way. Encouraging discussion. Facebook from the particulars lists only live video, but what’s interesting, it also writes about “significant updates for businesses” and “information that is the beginning of the discussion”.
Not only the content proposed by the publishers and brands will have to change, but also the way it is presented.
What posts will definitely disappear from Facebook?
We know about this already since December last year, when Facebook announced the beginning of the fight against the so-called “Baitami-engagement.” Previously, the site only announced a limitation of the reach of such posts. Today, he emphasizes that there is no valuable content and they will be gradually eliminated from newsfeeds.
What posts are we talking about? Facebook distinguishes five types:
- Vote baiting – picture divided into several sections with different reactions (upward crop for product X, heart for product Y)
- React baiting – posts like “like this post, if you really liked it, give it a heart if you want to find REAL love”
- Share baiting – “Share it with 30 friends to win a chance at X”
- Tag baiting – probably the most annoying “bait” of them all. “Tag a friend who would also like to dance on a pipe at sunset on the top of Mount Fuji”. Yes, it’s more or less this level of absurdity.
- Comment baiting – encouraging to leave a worthless comment, eg “enter YES if you agree”.
Sites that regularly use any of the above “baits” will have not only the organic scopes of posts cut off, but will also reduce their overall rating and will be perceived by Facebook’s algorithms as unworthy. Ergo: they will not appear in users’ newsfeeds.
How will Facebook evaluate what content should be included in the news?
This is clearly explained by today’s video published on the website. Facebook uses the so-called “Ranking” posts and segregates entries in news on this post. After new changes, higher rankings will receive posts in which interactions occur between users and not between the user and the site.
Simply put, if you like a friend’s post, he will note a higher rank than if you liked the post. The above-mentioned posts will also be higher, which attract interactions requiring greater involvement – for example, entries under which long discussions take place. Longer comments will be scored higher than shorter comments.
How will these changes affect Facebook’s entirety?
Well, Facebook is openly saying that they are prepared to reduce the average time spent by the user on the site. And this is a significant drop.
For normal users, this is very good news. Less time spent in social media is generally healthy for us. But looking with a bit of empathy on all brands that use Facebook as a marketing tool, especially agencies that mediate in it, I heartily feel sorry for them.
Companies will have to reevaluate what reach is measurable. After the changes on Facebook, measuring the effectiveness of the campaign according to the same KPI (Key Performance Indicator), which until now may be simply pointless.
Who will suffer the most on Facebook changes?
According to everything we learned today – primarily marketing agencies and the content provider’s reach.
Marketing agencies, as I mentioned above, will have to be much more naked to maintain current results and not lose customers.
Publishers, in turn, will have to radically rethink how they use Facebook to promote content and redirect traffic to the site. Normal linking may no longer work. I bet dollars against nuts that as part of the changes in the Facebook algorithm will score native content, e.g. articles published under Instant Articles directly on the site.
Will the changes affect also small fan page?
Yes. Facebook says that changes will affect absolutely every page, regardless of its popularity.
Small fanpejdże, especially those run by bloggers and small businesses, however, have a greater chance to guard against the destructive impact of changes on the site. First of all, such websites usually publish much less on Facebook than large publishers or brands. They will not be affected by the restriction of promotion frequency in newsfeeds. Small fanpejdżowi it is also easier to immediately change the publication strategy, so such sites will soon feel the benefits of changing the type of published posts.
In the case of bloggers/influencers, it is still possible to use a private profile instead of the site and I am afraid that many people will put this scenario on.
Facebook limits the number of friends on a private profile to 5,000, but it does not limit the number of private profile followers. If an influencer allows followers to comment on public posts and can already “deceive” algorithms in this way. At least there is no indication that this option will be excluded.
This solution, however, has a basic disadvantage in the absence of analytics. On the private profile, it is impossible to assess ranges, target group, the relevance of published content. In addition, with any commercial activities, the only analytics that such an influencer would have, would be the statistics of the paid, promoted post.
Will changes affect groups on Facebook?
You do not know anything about it. The site’s message is not given how the changes will affect the activities inside groups on Facebook, and if so, they probably will not pre-date. Facebook treats groups as the most organic tool for interaction between people.
How to defend yourself against Facebook changes?
In fact – nothing. We can only dance as Zuckerberg will play. This is the inevitable defect of relying on any platform that does not belong to us. It does not matter if it’s Facebook, Google, Twitter or anything else: as long as we operate in a field that does not belong to us, we must use the imposed rules of the game.
Therefore, the parties have nothing to do but start brainstorming today and plan new social media strategies. Forget about the easy ways of engaging recipients of all types of “baits”, and think about what content actually adds value.
Is it not enough to spend more on advertising?
Well, ads …
There is nothing to delude, Facebook is a business. The high-profile announcements of the head of the platform and the assurance of “caring for the well-being of users” are one thing, but – colloquially speaking – has must agree.
Facebook assumes a significant drop in time on the site. For me, this is a clear signal that the parties will have to somehow compensate for this fall and compensate for financial losses.
We do not know yet how new algorithms will affect sponsored posts, so we are moving around in the area of strong speculation. However, I would care about the fact that the newsfeed will not disappear those websites which often buy sponsored posts. I would not even be surprised if suddenly the price list of ads on Facebook jumped up, because the website realizes that everyone will want to “burn” posts, if only to keep existing ranges.
In addition, there is the question of Facebook partners. The biggest media that have collaborated with the website over the last years, when the platform has changed from social to publishing. Facebook can not suddenly tell your business partners “we’re sorry, but now we’re practicing Hygge as a corporation, and our users’ luck matters more than your money”. So I have no doubt that the biggest news websites that work closely with Facebook will not disappear from our newsfeeds.
Also, Facebook can find some new, clever ways to focus our attention on them. A few months ago, the service tested in two countries two separate newsfeeds – one private, the other for websites and news sites. Facebook, however, swears that it will not implement such a division on a global scale, but in the light of the changes announced today it would be completely natural and even beneficial.
On the one hand, Facebook could still tell us that it cares about our well-being and show pictures of friends’ children, and on the other hand, it would keep all brands and publishers in a separate card, giving users a choice what they prefer to watch at a given moment. A wolf full and sheep.
Paradoxically – these changes will bring us all for good.
Not because Facebook “cares about our well-being”. But because the new policy will force brands to change their behavior on the site.
Let’s meet – Facebook is an unimaginably overflowing trash. Even the best-ordered newsfeed at some point begins to resemble one large sewer of awareness, especially when we have friends catching on any “baits” used by companies.
Thanks to new changes (at least that’s what I hope and that’s Facebook’s plan obviously), those pages that will be too lazy to adapt, will simply disappear from our sight. And those websites that really care about the right visibility will have to offer something that will really bring added value.
If you run a Facebook page, I sincerely wish you to belong to the latter category. The Internet really does not need more trash, so despite all the difficulties that many people face to change Facebook policy, I treat it as a step in the right direction.
And to push brands to conduct more thought-out activities than before.