To listen to some eyecare professionals talk about the new changes Facebook is making to the site’s timeline, you would think the world is about to end. This certainly isn’t the first time Facebook has made significant changes to the news feed nor will it be the last. The whole world is constantly changing and evolving and nowhere do things change faster than online on social media sites.
On January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO, announced that Facebook’s mission was to bring people closer together, but “recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content – posts from businesses, brands, and media is crowding out the personal moments”. This is when he went on to scare every marketer out there by adding, “we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook”.
Everything in Facebook is presented to you based on a proprietary ranking or relevance system. A post from someone you interact with consistently will be shown more often and at the top of your news feed over someone you almost never interact with. The same goes for business and news posts. If you click and comment in every post in the Eyecare Marketing Forum, then those posts will consistently be at the top of your news feed every time you log in.
Facebook, like any other media site, wants to keep you on their site. The more time you spend on Facebook, the more ads they can present to you, the more money they make. Simple. It’s the same reason none of you sell only one color of one style of one brand. You want every prospect who walks through your doors as a customer, so you provide everything you can to meet their needs.
Facebook is attempting to cull some of the abuses that have gone on over the last few years and in an attempt to keep people on the site, they are willing to forgo a few hundred million in revenue to do so. Afterall, if no one comes back to Facebook, no one will want to advertise.
So, here is what we know about the changes being made in Menlo Park.
Video was big last year. There are so many videos now that people aren’t watching as much, so you will most likely see fewer videos in your timeline. This is because watching video is mostly a passive experience and Facebook wants ongoing interaction between people. The caveat here is Facebook Live videos are still being promoted, so get your game face on and do it live. Facebook Live gets six times the interaction recorded video does.
As I mentioned earlier, Facebook, like any radio station or TV network wants you to stick around longer. They don’t want you taking off to websites out in the interwebs. Therefore posts that link to external pages will see reduced visibility. Those posts auto-shared from all our blogs will start seeing less screen time.
This goes whether you post from a business page or your personal profile. We all know real estate agents and even many of my optical rep friends who post from their personal Facebook page instead of a business page. Facebook, like Santa, knows all, sees all. All content will be deprecated unless Facebooks sees meaningful interactions. What is meaningful you ask? Meaningful means much more than likes. Meaningful means long comments and interactions. That means getting people to talk with one another and not just to you.
That also means Facebook will be on the lookout for clickbait. You can’t say or ask for people to comment on a post as Facebook wants natural unsolicited conversation and will demote posts that it sees as engagement bait. That goes double for soliciting people to share your posts. Facebook wants organic comments and sharing, so we will all have to work harder and smarter to achieve those ends.
You might want to consider asking your followers to click the See First menu item under Following which appears right below your page Cover Photo. This will ensure they will see your content in their news feed no matter what. There is a limit now of 30 See Firsts per account by the way.
While these changes are first affecting the main News Feed, Facebook announced that these changes will be spread across all Facebook properties, so in time everything from Groups to Instagram will be affected.
If you truly want to be a player in the Facebook world and I suggest that is a good move for ECP’s from businesses large and small, learn to embrace Facebook advertising. Smartly target and pay for your reach. Facebook is still one of the most affordable targeted mediums out there. We will cover Facebook ads in an upcoming post as well as well as the next new wave of marketing on Facebook, Messenger chatbots.