Everyone is screaming that they sky is falling with Facebook making so many updates and changes in their news feed algorithms. Yes, there are some very annoying new changes, but let's not get our creative panties in a wad about this. We will survive this storm.
Facebook's New Changes
Facebook is under a lot of scrutiny these days, what since they let the Russians pay for political ads and what-not, so they are making big moves that are an effort to make the Facebook users feel better. Here is a synopsis of the recent slew of changes being rolled out in the next few months.
1. Facebook wants to minimize click-bait
This is good news for us, because we hate sounding like those marketing posts that sound like this, "New research proving that kale is bad for you! You won't believe what else is included in this list..." Now everyone knows that when you click those links, you're led to a site full of gland augmentation pop-up ads and more news-worthy articles showing movie stars caught looking ugly on a beach photos. Facebook is actually checking to see how long people are staying on the link provided in the post and if it's too short, your Facebook account gets dinged for click-bait content.
2. Facebook wants community conversations ON FACEBOOK
So, someone "liking" your posts isn't enough to prove your value anymore. Facebook believes that longer comments are better than shorter, one- or two-word comments. They want you to spark engaging conversations. "Meaningful interactions", they say. For those of you who have blogs with a lively comment section, Facebook doesn't care. They want the conversations to happen on their site, not yours.
3. Facebook wants your LIVE video
As recently as 6 months ago, Facebook just wanted your video and any video would do. But then they realized that you were passively watching the video and not commenting or "liking' it. You weren't engaging in the video experience. Now they are emphasizing LIVE video because that encourages interaction among viewers.
4. Facebook wants to show you more from "your family and friends"
Aren't they so thoughtful? Not. Facebook will be showing less "public" content in your feed. What that actually means is that you will not see a post or an ad from a business that isn't paying for it. It doesn't matter that you actually took the time to search for a favorite company and "like" it's page. Facebook has decided that you don't actually want to see those posts. You will only see posts from companies who pay to show up in your feed, whether you liked them or not. If you can't tell from my bitter tone, this is the one change that really pisses me off. I think it's the one that might really cause some damage to their reputation, aside from the Russia and fake news problems. We want to see a variety of posts, and we want to see what we have agreed to see, am I right? (Of course I'm right!)
You may have noticed a few viral posts convincing people to post and comment so that you are seen again. That won't work. Here is what will work:
If you go to an account profile, click on the box that says "following". You will have a drop-down menu to "unfollow", "see first" or leave it at the "default" setting (which lets Facebook decide). Choose "see first" and you will start seeing those posts in your feed again. I heard from a Juicer that you can only choose "see first" in 30 accounts, which again is another bummer, but it does give you a chance to give the finger to Facebook in this particular instance.
5. Facebook wants users to never click away from their site
Posts that include a link to another site (such as your blog post, or a great article you read on--God forbid—another website) will be demoted. In these cases, try to put some good nuggets of content on the Facebook post and then offer a link at the very end to read more.
7. Facebook Wants Your Ad Revenue
This hasn't changed at all. You will still (and now, more than ever) have to pay to play in the business game of Facebook, so take some effort to learn how to use Facebook's audience creation system and promotion content. At the moment, it's still not expensive to run an ad campaign or boost a post, so give it a try!
6. Quality over quantity
This is the only bit of really good news. You no longer have to feel obligated to post ALL THE TIME, all day, every day. Go can back to the basics of social media and remember that it's a party and you're invited. Don't be an a$$ at the party, shouting at everyone and trying to get them to take your proffered business card, look at your blog post or make you feel good about your business by liking it. Use it as a tool to really meet people and talk with them. Build your community with your thoughtful, funny and quirky personality. Help solve problems and let people help you solve problems. Share and enjoy what you like. Don't worry as much about finding a way to make your title click-worthy. If you are speaking in a genuine voice that matters to your friends and followers, then you will win both the business marketing game and the friend-making game of life.
How to be a real winner
Remember that Facebook can't ever touch, demote, hide or make you pay to send emails to your email list. Other than your winning smile, that's one fantastic asset that no social media site can take away.