What does the Facebook’s News Feed update mean for you?
Facebook is updating the news feed to focus more on content that is from friends and family and engaging content. Many businesses and organizations are going to feel the hurt of this, especially if Facebook is a primary source of marketing:
“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.
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.
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.
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.”
There is a whole lot more to that post but the breakdown is as follows. Facebook wants to build a more close-knit community. The News Feed, which is the primary go to for most people on Facebook for updates and information, is going to be geared more toward posts from your friends and families which means that post from church pages, business pages, and other organizations will be crowded out of the space. This will lead to less engagement and it will force pages to pay to boost their post to fans. This post according to Bloomberg caused Facebook’s stock to plummet costing Mr. Zuckerberg $2.5 Billion Dollars.
The co-founder of the world’s largest social-media business saw his fortune fall $2.9 billion Friday after he posted plans to shift users’ news feeds toward content from family and friends at the expense of material from media outlets and businesses. – Bloomberg
Are We Doomed?
The short answer is no, but the long answer is you are going to have to change the way you market on Facebook. First, you need to understand the News Feed is the first thing people see when they open up Facebook. And most people stay here. After all, you don’t have to go to your own page to post updates. You can do it all right on the news feed. And most people don’t experience your content by visiting your Facebook Page. They experience it when they see it on the News Feed. Facebook uses algorithms to determine what post get seen first.
In the current system getting people to not just like your page but to follow your page increases the likelihood that they will see and engage in your post. And users can also choose not only to follow your page but to see your post first. Engagement has always been an important part of getting your post to be seen by more people. If you can create content that people want to share, like, and comment on it increases that post visibility to all of their friends.
In the new system, this is going to become even more vital. Engagement. Unless you want to shell out a lot of money to get your content noticed there is only one way to beat the new system. You must create Engaging Content. It’s about quality over quantity. For churches that means building a community around their church. And what better organization to build community than the local church. This could be a huge opportunity for churches to shine on Facebook. Add groups that are associated with your Facebook page. Make a group for each one of your Sunday morning small group classes. Create inspirational videos. Videos get 80x more engagement on Facebook than any other post type. Livestream your church services on Facebook. Facebook loves live videos and it’s so inexpensive these days to set up.
Yes, Facebooks new News Feed Algorithm changes are going to make it harder for businesses, and organizations to get noticed on the platform, but with each challenge comes opportunity.
Here Are 7 Ideas for You
- Start a Campaign to get people to not just like your page, but to follow your page and to select “see first.”
- Start Conversations. Use questions in your post to try to get the conversation started in the comments.
- Instead of posting a great quote in a meme-style picture try to engage your leaders to go live on Facebook with a short 2-3 min devotional or talk.
- Plan your sermon series and other posts around creating conversations. Find that one block of content or cornerstone of your overview that could help spark that conversation among your followers. The digital side of your content strategy should be an overflow, not an afterthought.
- Facebook is no longer just a stage for making announcements. It’s your coffee table for building relationships.
- Consider going live with your small groups.
- Avoid Stock Photos!!! Get real photography of your church and your people. This really resonates with people.