Take A Deep Breath About Facebook Changes

Bill Faeth
Posted on February 7, 2018
(Creative Commons image)
(Creative Commons image)

Mark Zuckerberg recently deployed a statement on behalf of Facebook about a new update the company is making to the News Feed.

And boy, did social media light up in a panic, including members of our industry, as posts immediately went into Facebook Groups asking for clarification and stating the end of organic reach for business posts.

Take a breath.

Facebook makes updates like this all the time. Actually, there was an update as recently as last month regarding the devaluation of click bait and asking for engagement posts, but this one is a little different.

1. The announcement came directly from Zuck, which is unusual.
2. The announcement is very convoluted and unclear about specifics.

As often is the case with Facebook announcements, it is light on specifics, which means we are left to fill in the blanks. And when we fill in the blanks, our answers become speculative and subjective.

Since we really don’t know at this point and all of the articles being shared around the Internet are subjective...here is the original post directly from Zuckerberg via his Facebook page.

Here are a few primary points from Zuck’s statement…

“...We’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. 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 with each other.”

Pay close attention to this comment from Zuck. Facebook sees person-to-person interaction as the core Facebook experience, not business or brand page posts which is starting to take over News Feeds.

“The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being.”

That's great. But… “...passively reading articles or watching videos -- even if they’re entertaining or informative -- may not be good.”

Sounds like changes are coming…

“The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family, and groups.”

Remember we are playing in Facebook’s sandbox. They own the platform and we don’t, so we are subject to their rules.

With that said, if brands get slammed with organic post reach in this new update, Groups could be a way to sustain or even improve your organic reach until we all manipulate and ruin them.

“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.”

That’s not good. Maybe it’s time to start preparing for the worst. But wait. Read that last sentence again. “...it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.” I see a ray of light here, that in reality, has always been there.

If your posts are meaningful and create enough value for your community that they will engage and comment with intent, then your content will continue to be displayed in the News Feed.

If you keep reading Zuck’s statement, you will see he uses the term “passive experience” as he talks about how people watch videos and view news articles. Many watch videos without sound and never comment or engage. This would be classified as passive engagement and Zuck doesn't see this as valuable and neither do I.

I mean I do the same thing and I see it diminishing my experience on Facebook which is completely different today then it was when I joined in 2008.

Really, this announcement is typical if you follow them as we do at Limo University.

There is nothing to be up in arms about as your organic posts most likely aren’t getting much reach today anyways. Most likely, you are getting less than 2-3% organic reach.

You will need to focus on creating more valuable content for your community. Remember they are the judge of value and will vote on every one of your posts with their comments. If you aren’t fostering meaningful interactions through your content, as Zuck mentioned, then you will lose future reach with your posts.

Last thing: You may have noticed I didn't mention anything about Facebook Ads. This was intentional because Zuck didn’t mention anything about Ads being affected.

For this, we will need to sit back, be patient, and wait and see. Keep putting out great content your community will love and you will be OK.

Related Topics: Bill Faeth, building your clientele, client feedback, client markets, customer service, Facebook, Facebook marketing, marketing/promotions, Social Media

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