Facebook’s New Year’s Resolution F-etox of its Newsfeed algorithm will prioritise content shared by family and friends over that of publishers and brands.
This Facebook Newsfeed detox is part of Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to “bring people closer together” by ensuring that time spent on Facebook is “time well spent”.
The algorithm will promote content that receives more likes, comments and shares, demoting content which people passively scroll over.
Scientific research has shown that passive Facebook Newsfeed scrolling is a detriment to people’s mental health.
Facebook wants to “inspire back-and-forth discussion” which aims to strengthen people’s relationships, improving our “well-being and happiness”.
The changes aren’t too dissimilar from Instagram’s algorithm changes last year which prioritised high quality content over “engagement-baiting” posts.
Brands with a strong social media strategy won’t suffer from the Facebook Newsfeed algorithm changes.
Facebook said that they expected the changes to reduce the amount of time users spend on their channel to ensure that time spent on their platform is more meaningful.
This might seem detrimental for brands/publishers at first glance but actually what it does is nut out the poor quality and reward the brands with more meaningful, engaging content.
If anything, this is a chance for brands to flourish and have a positive impact on their community.
Facebook users will be able to choose “See First” in their News Feed Preferences for their favourite brand Pages to make sure they don’t miss a post.
The choice is 100% theirs.
The onus will be on the user to select what they do and don’t want to see.
This might sound scary but in fact it’s an incredibly powerful thing – choice. Customers that follow a brand and trust it will be much more likely to engage with the brand’s posts than those who are passively fed the brand’s content.
Brands will need to think like Influencers.
Imagine if your ideal customer felt like your brand was a close friend.
A friend they genuinely enjoy spending time with. A friend that makes them feel good about themselves. A friend whose recommendations they trust and respect.
That, my friend, is influence.
Think about it from an Influencer’s perspective.
Their followers choose to follow them. They can un-follow at any time but generally Influencers achieve around 50% audience growth per year. (Source)
Because every word of their captions, every detail on a photo, all the brands they partner with, the frequency/timing of posts, the content of their Instagram Stories – every choice they make – is community driven.
What their audience engages with constantly evolves. Brands, like Influencers, are going to need to be adaptable.
Like Influencers brands will need to build trust and relationships by prompting discussion among their followers.
Brands who leverage Influencers will be more visible on the Facebook Newsfeed.
Recent stats show that 92% of marketers plan to include Influencer marketing as part of their marketing mix this year. (Source).
Brands working with Influencers and high quality Content Creators will rank higher on the Newsfeed than those not utilising user-generated content.
Brands will drive more loyalty and community engagement if their audience sees Influencers posting regularly about their products.
There’s no two ways about it, a brand’s Influencer activity has got to be on-going now as part of its social media strategy.
Our final thoughts
The brands we will see popping on our Facebook Newsfeed will be like authentic Influencers.
They’ll have personality. Their content will be community driven. It’ll be more engaging than ever before and brands will reap the rewards.