Facebook has always been changing. However, perhaps what’s truly changed in these last few go-rounds of major alterations to their algorithm is the increased amount of ingrained businesses that populate the platform.
Facebook marketing has slowly become mainstream, and considered a common necessity by many companies. Naturally, as Facebook creates more reliance on their services, they hold more power. This is why it’s good to diversify your social media, even if it’s only on one or two other platforms.
One thing that’s relatively assured throughout this upheaval is that social platforms, including Facebook, have a reciprocal relationship with marketers. So it only stands to reason that when there’s maintenance or re-routes on one of the major highways of advertising—Facebook, Google, Amazon, and so on—there’s bound to be both angry commuters (consumers) and commercial transporters (companies), alike.
But people calibrate. There’s not another choice… unless you want to be driving on the grass on the side of the road.
So what kind of re-routes to Facebook’s algorithm do businesses need to adapt to?
Cultivating Real Engagement
It shouldn’t be a secret by now—Facebook wants to create situations that mimic (or actually achieve) meaningful connection. They want to be associated with fulfilling social experiences that people are drawn toward. That’s the mechanism behind building any of the social platforms.
The algorithm favors the posts that get the most “real” conversation. Facebook is especially cracking down on posts that ask users to engage with a post through likes, shares, or comments.
So not only do the posts have to garner genuine responses other than a reaction (such as a Like/Love/etc.), comments must also be longer, thus indicating to Facebook that people truly have something to say about what you’ve posted.
The goal here is to create real engagement that creates conversations that Facebook perceives as being impactful. Obviously, there will be some bias here as to what is considered impactful. Nevertheless, if you’ve entered the Facebook marketing game, you have to play by the rules if you want to “win.” Though you may get to bend some of them along the way…
Video Content That Does More Than Catch The Eye
Basic stimulus response to movement will always keep video on the forefront of people’s awareness. But whether that video is engaging past the point of awareness is another matter.
Facebook has made it clear that video is still a viable content form, but particularly with Live Video, as well as with Facebook Watch, which is essentially a melding of the user-generation aspect of YouTube and the episodic binge-ability of Netflix.
Whether that combination will play a negative role in the quality of the video that’s produced remains to be seen. According to current Facebook whisperings and commentators, it seems as though original, long-form video will be favored, as opposed to sponsored and promotional video that doesn’t produce high engagement metrics.
Calibrating Your Facebook Referral Traffic
Facebook wants people to stay on their site, plain and simple. They keep their audience numbers up, and they control the game. That means their algorithm isn’t going to respond as well to posts that dump people off their site in the form of links, whether that’s to your website or another—or so it appears. So if you’ve been relying on website referrals from Facebook, that metric will take a slight hit with the shifts in Facebook’s new algorithm.
To what extent Facebook’s control will affect businesses is still murky. On the one hand, Facebook knows that one of their main strengths is size and data, so they have to keep their users up and active on their platform.
And on the other hand, Facebook also must appease companies by allowing them some measure of control in order to differentiate and attract customers. It will be interesting to see how this relationship continues to evolve over the next few months and years.
So is Facebook marketing right for your business?
All in all, it doesn’t appear that Facebook is going anywhere any time soon. It’s still a giant in the social media realm. But like any platform, businesses will need to weigh the potential benefit of using it against the time and funding necessary to do so.
So if your business is currently using Facebook as a marketing platform, then it’s best to continue adjusting to Facebook’s algorithm, all while building up a diverse set of networks, social media and otherwise.
If your business is not on Facebook or is simply not active on the platform, there are several factors to consider when deciding on whether to vamp up your social presence: audience, resources, messaging, and more.
And that’s why social media strategy will remain a constant in the marketing game—regardless of algorithm mayhem.