Before talking about Facebook’s latest changes and their impact on Facebook Brand Pages in particular, let’s answer these questions for ourselves:
What do we post on Facebook?
- People barely post any personal content today. Instagram has taken that space in the last 20 months or so with its personal visual stories.
What are we doing on Facebook?
- Almost everyone is simply sharing. At the top of the list is viral video content, apart from the click-bait blogs and engagement-bait contests to win prizes.
What else are we doing?
We’re flaunting our successes! The check-ins to ‘status-worthy’ places and travel stories, adding major life events such as a change in job, engagement, wedding or the arrival of a newborn have taken over timelines.
All three answers point to the latest ‘Passive Behavioural’ pattern of the Facebook audience. The platform is beginning to lose its sheen when it comes to relevancy in day to day affairs. And the audience isn’t spending much time on Facebook due to irrelevant content in the news-feed and fewer posts from friends and family.
“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.” - Mark Zuckerberg (in his latest post)
The latest changes are simply in tandem with Facebook’s vision and will only better Facebook as a marketing platform as well. Here’s all you need to know about what’s changing:
1. Videos: It All Comes Down to Intent & Repeat Viewership
Facebook has accepted the huge trend of video consumption and is working on interface changes to make the video-viewing experience more user--friendly and relevant. The new changes will show you the most relevant videos based on two factors -
If people are going directly to your Facebook Brand Page to view your content or are searching on Facebook for a particular video, this will get greater reach and distribution.
If the same publisher’s videos are getting watched frequently, he will get preference in the new news feed.
2. Baits Get Devalued
We have to go back to the basics. Yes, content will be the King and the Queen. Facebook will crackdown all kinds of engagement bait to bring down the massive clutter of pointless contests and sweepstakes. So stop using, “Like this if…” or “Tag that friend”or “Share this with a friend” to engage with the audience. You need to avoid these five types of baiting:
- Tag Baiting
- Share Baiting
- Vote Baiting
- Comment Baiting
- React Baiting
According to Facebook,
“To help us foster more authentic engagement, teams at Facebook have reviewed and categorized hundreds of thousands of posts to inform a machine learning model that can detect different types of engagement bait. Posts that use this tactic will be shown less in News Feed.”
3. Low-Quality Websites Get Devalued
Another major challenge for Facebook is to crack down on the amount of ‘fake news’ generated and distributed through its Newsfeed. Facebook has reviewed hundreds of thousands of webpages linked to the platform and developed characteristics that indicate that the page is of low-value and includes spammy content. This will help them identify similar low-quality websites linked to the platform.
Here’s what you have to do to ensure smooth traffic to your websites and landing pages:
- Ensure the pages do not have disruptive, malicious content or shocking ads.
- Check that page loading speeds are up to the mark - slow-loading pages will be affected.
- Ensure that the pages have substantive, topical and relevant content.
- Keep a check on the bounce rates and pages per session metrics.
In conclusion, while it seems like testing and painful times lie ahead for marketers, Facebook should be applauded for constantly striving for a better user-experience. After all, the platform is all about ‘discover, connect and stay connected!’
Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we tell you how, as a Social Media Marketer, to deal with these changes.