In the volatile landscape of social media, the ground has shifted once again. For businesses on Facebook, this means they will have to change tactics if they want to thrive, or even survive, on the platform.
Mark Zuckerberg today confirmed an overhaul in the Facebook news feed that will see posts from brands, businesses, and publishers, demoted to second tier content.
In a post on Facebook, Zuckerberg said:
"We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. But recently we've gotten feedback from our community that public content -- posts from businesses, brands and media -- is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other."
“The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed at Facebook, went into more detail about what these changes will mean for businesses users:
“As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”
He warned that pages using that “engagement-bait” to goad people into commenting will see their posts demoted in the news feed, whereas posts that generate meaningful interaction, such as conversations between friends in the comments, will be shown more prominently.
Speaking specifically about local businesses, Mosseri said they should “connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events.”
He went on to say that pages using the live video feature saw considerably more engagement on their posts and that live videos attracted six times as many interactions as pre-filmed content.
The key take-away from both Zuckerberg’s and Mosseri’s statements is that Facebook now has a definition for what constitutes “meaningful engagement”, and short comments and Likes won’t cut it anymore.
For pages, producing content that encourages long comments and conversation, such as live videos, is the way forward.