Big Facebook Changes Coming (Maybe?)

Were you on social media at all yesterday afternoon or evening? If you were, then you might have heard something about a big shift on Facebook up ahead.

Recently, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced his plans to somehow ‘fix’ Facebook. This is an interesting form of New Year’s resolution if I’ve ever heard one, full of complications and dare I say it–oxymorons. You can read the article and form your own opinions on that though.

Today, I wanted to help get the word out to you about changes that will affect all of us. Notice I said ‘will’ and not ‘may’ there.

Back to the big shift I originally mentioned. Facebook has now announced its plan to ‘bring people closer together.’ Within this article, directly from the source itself, you’ll find lots of words. Are the meanings of those words clear? Not exactly.

Essentially, the upshot of this announcement is that brands are probably going to see a large(er) drop in reach because Facebook is really going to start prioritizing our newsfeeds for us to focus on interaction with people and not brands.

Maybe.

So many experienced people and businesses have already pushed out some helpful thoughts on this topic, from Social Media Today to Mari Smith to Jon Loomer and Tech Crunch, among numerous others. I find Jon Loomer’s article the most helpful as he breaks down the Facebook announcement snippet by snippet and tries to interpret it.

The article seems to indicate that if you have a business page on Facebook, get ready to be pushed to the bottom of the newsfeed. The curious thing about Facebook’s announcement though is the contradictions sprinkled throughout.

For instance, live video is mentioned more or less as a preferred tool that receives much more engagement. The entire announcement though is about ‘meaningful interactions’ between people and ‘making Facebook better’ so people spend less time on it. Here we have but one contradiction: if this change will make Facebook so amazing and better for us, why in the world would we spend less time on it?

I could go on about how weird and vague this most recent development is. However, that’s not helpful. Instead, what are some things you can do as a business owner or nonprofit running a Facebook page? While no one (outside of the Facebook executives, of course) has an answer for that just yet, here are some ideas for you:

  • Prioritize live videos. It may or may not help more people see your page, but it sounds like it Facebook is likely still favoring live videos at this point.
  • Create posts and content that starts discussions. This is kind of a core value of social media in a way. It’s more important than ever now with the crackdown on engagement baiting and this latest update. It seems that pages with lots of interaction (conversations) on Facebook will get preferential newsfeed treatment.
  • Ask your fans to prioritize your page. Get ahead of it now while you can. Ask your fans to tell Facebook that they’d like to see your page’s posts first in their newsfeeds. (Side note: if you want some screenshots and how-to help with how to do that, let me know in the comments.)
  • Pay to play. Yes, it’s a bit of a tired phrase but it’s becoming more and more relevant with Facebook. You need to be boosting posts and paying for ads in order to reach Facebook users. With these changes, it’s highly likely that ad costs will start to go up. So if you haven’t created ads before, do it now while costs are more normal so you can ‘practice’ with fewer dollars spent.

What else have you read about this? Leave any helpful insights you have here. I’d love to read them!

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