What Facebook’s Latest News Feed Update Really Means for Businesses

Facebook’s unexpected announcement on January 11, 2018, about the way it will soon display content within the News Feed sent media agencies and businesses into a tailspin. But what does this change actually mean, and will it really impact businesses?

What Does this Change Mean for Your Content?

In short, Facebook’s News Feed update will favor posts from people instead of brands, and posts with comments and shares are more likely to appear in News Feeds than posts with reactions (i.e. likes) alone.

In filtering out this type of content, Facebook sets its sights on its original purpose: social media, in which users participate in meaningful interactions with other users.

But this update raises the question of what the future holds for businesses who market themselves through Facebook posts. Many brands and businesses rely on Facebook as a communication channel to make announcements and stay in touch with their fans and followers.

With Facebook’s updated algorithm favoring users over brands, it is imperative that your social media strategy focuses on quality content and community management to continue to reach your audience on Facebook.

What to Do to Stay Relevant on Facebook

Now more than ever, it is crucial to create visual, meaningful, relatable, original, and polished content in an effort to connect with page followers. Businesses must also be cognizant of the fact that Facebook users determine what is noteworthy and shareable, and pages must publish and promote content with user preferences – as opposed to brand interests – in mind. Remember that good social media content earns shares and comments, which in turn, earns the favor of Facebook’s algorithm, meaning posts will be more visible on News Feeds.

With Facebook’s recent preference for interactions between users, community management should be a cornerstone of your social media strategy. Businesses now, more than ever, need to respond to comments, mentions, and messages from page followers. Facebook will look at these interactions when determining what content to show in the News Feed.

It’s worth noting that Facebook ads are not directly affected by this update. So, by advertising your business on Facebook, you’re increasing your chances of reaching a large portion of your target audience beyond your followers and across the social site and its extended network. And, coupling the aforementioned community management strategies within ad management can lead to improved page performance.

Your Future on Facebook

As Facebook continues to revise its algorithm, businesses must keep flexible, creative, and user-oriented social media practices in mind. Remember to show the human side of your brand to connect with your followers, which not only agrees with Facebook’s algorithm but also leads to the start of a meaningful client-business relationship.

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Cecilia Lopez

Cecilia started at ReachLocal as an intern and now works as a Digital Marketing Manager at the Plano office. She specializes in social media and blogs and likes to find ways to improve her clients' written and visual content. Cecilia eats cheese three times per day, and her other hobbies include writing, drawing, and casual birdwatching.

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