Facebook’s Latest Update & What it Means for Business

Last week, Facebook’s creator announced an update that some marketers are rushing to call the “Facebook Apocalypse.” While these changes will certainly impact businesses on Facebook, we hesitate to call it anything close to an apocalypse.

Let’s take a closer look at Zuckerberg’s announcement.

We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.

We’ve always implored businesses to keep in mind what was at the core of Facebook’s creation: person-to-person relationships. The latest change will focus on actual connections, person-to-person, and less on person-to-business.

 

Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years. Since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do — help us connect with each other.

Here, it sounds to us that as Facebook has monetized and worked towards being a place that leads with video and now wants to walk it back a little bit. Perhaps knowing your content will actually be seen by friends and family will make users post more of their own content. Zuckerberg is almost saying, “hey, we lost our way, but we’re headed back to why we started.”

 

Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.

Zuckerberg has zeroed in on the research that shows social media may be detrimental to our well being. In fact, Facebook discussed this on their newsroom in December 2017 here (and you can read more about social media’s impact on our health here and here). Expect to start seeing shifts on your algorithm now, though it will take months for the changes to fully roll out.

They key takeaway is that the engineers will be building their algorithm to recognize “meaningful social interactions.” What exactly that means, is still TBD.

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.

This is the biggest takeaway for our team from Zuckerberg’s announcement – the public content you see more will be held to the same standard. It will become crucial that business pages provide a place for meaningful interactions to take place – and asking for a user to tag a friend will, we can say with 99% certainty, not count as a meaningful interaction. In fact, Facebook sees this as bait and will push this content down.

So, what are the takeaways and how do you handle your business Facebook page?

  • Create content that will inspire a genuine conversation.
  • Create content that users will want to share, and their networks will want to talk about or react to.
  • Always, always engage with your users, negative or positive. (Okay, ignore the hardcore crazies.) You are building a relationship with your users, get to know them, start a conversation, get them engaging with you in a genuine way. .
  • Stop marketing. Start talking. Don’t use Facebook to sell sell sell, use Facebook to connect connect connect.

 

If it’s appropriate for your business, you can also consider starting a Facebook Group. Facebook sees groups as communities and will value those above Facebook Business pages moving forward. To read more about Facebook Groups, click here.

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