BREAKING: Facebook news feed changes are coming in 2018, and it’s going to make a huge difference in your Facebook strategy.

Today Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s aim for 2018 is to make sure that the time people spend on their social media website is well spent. Meaning that they’re seeking to foster more interaction and active participation in Facebook posts, rather than, what Zuckerberg has described in his post as “passively reading articles or watching videos.”

For many of Facebook’s users, this is going to be a very welcome change. How many of us signed up to social media, expecting to stay in touch with our friends and family, only to get frustrated with seeing more and more posts cluttering our news feeds from pages and businesses that we had liked.

facebook changes are looking for increased conversation and dialogue on posts josh mitchell communications

Do your Facebook posts generate conversation?

However, for Facebook page managers, it’s going to be a major change to the way we operate.

Zuckerberg stated, “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.” In other words, news feed is set to start displaying more content that generates conversation, rather than just posts that inform and entertain a single user. Facebook now wants its users conversing with one another, chatting and discussing your content, not just watching it and then moving onto the next piece of information.

“As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands and media,” Zuckerberg said. The idea being that content displayed on the news feed needs to be fostering “meaningful interactions between people.”

facebook changes mean generating likes won't be enough to generate reach anymore josh mitchell communications

A flood of likes won’t mean a great organic reach anymore.

This doesn’t mean the death of Facebook Pages. What it does mean is a major change in your Facebook Strategy. Examples have been used by Zuckerberg in his posts about community posts from sports teams and TV shows, the kinds of Facebook pages that generate significant interaction and response from their audiences. It means that to get your posts noticed organically, you’re going to need to be providing quality content that doesn’t just make people click ‘like’ and keep scrolling, but gives them a reason to comment – and not only a single comment, but actually engage in conversation with friends, family and other members of the Facebook community.

Updating Your Facebook Strategy

Facebook hasn’t made these changes just yet, so there are some things that can be done to try and get ahead of the curve.

See First still works

Facebook is not changing or removing the ‘see first’ option, which means that anyone following your page who has asked to see your content first, will continue to do so. This is an important consideration, because there are definitely ways to convince your audience to give you this pride of place on their news feed, although it may mean a change in your Facebook Strategy (stay tuned for a follow-up article). If you can get into this position with your audience, there’s a good chance that they’ll be willing to engage with your posts on a deeper level, which will let you take advantage of these Facebook changes and continue getting an organic reach.

Non-effective posts will hurt you

In a follow up announcement on the Facebook Newsroom, it has been stated that “pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution.” This is a big factor for pages using volume to increase organic social reach. The core of this message is that Facebook seems to be taking a “less is more” approach in the new algorithm, and the best way to take advantage of this will be to publish quality, engaging content rather than masses of ‘buzz’ articles.

Facebook Live is a Key Ingredient

Commentary from Facebook’s research suggests that “live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.” So start giving some thought to how you can possibly incorporate Facebook Live into your social media plan, because it’s obvious in reading their commentary around these changes, that Facebook Live is a key factor.

Social media – and digital marketing as a whole – is an ever-evolving subject, and it’s so important to make sure that you continue to have a Facebook Strategy that will be effective to grow your business and audience. Having an expert assist you with your digital marketing strategy can help you to be confident that you are getting the best out of your social media. Contact Josh Mitchell Communications today for an obligation-free discussion around how we can help you with your online marketing.