Facebook’s new focus: what you need to know

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Facebook has come under fire over the content it deems appropriate to display to users recently. However, if recent developments are anything to go by, it seems like the social platform will make 2018 the year it takes action.

Recent news feed changes have been announced that will ultimately improve the overall user experience. Key changes include:

Prioritising meaningful content

Previously, Facebook relied on the number of likes and comments on a post to determine whether to show it in a user’s news feed. However, the fatal flaw in this was how easy it was to encourage likes and comments without any actual engagement.

Facebook’s updated news feed algorithm will consider meaningful interactions between users, such as back-and-forth discussions or how shareable a post is, although details of how this will be determined remain unclear.

Family first

The new changes announced that content from family and friends will be prioritised over brand and publisher content. For marketers, they could see the reach of the content they share on Facebook decreasing.

However, this could potentially be avoided by creating meaningful content that really engages, as the point above suggests. Alternatively, brands could encourage users to adjust their ‘See First’ settings to allow greater visibility of their posts or turn to sponsored posts instead.

Our verdict

On initial inspection, the changes to Facebook’s news feed could cause panic amongst marketers. However, take a step back. Like most of us, you’ll likely be a Facebook user yourself; consider then what you interact with most. It’s unlikely that the posts that get you liking and commenting the most are mediocre articles.

So, rather than seeing Facebook’s changes as a setback, consider it to be an opportunity to better the digital content you’re producing and ultimately your online performance. In the coming months, it’s going to be more important than ever to create and share content that genuinely connects with your audience — you need to tap into a deep interest and trigger a genuine discussion.

This approach won’t just benefit your Facebook performance. Creating something that your users genuinely care about will boost your performance across all platforms.

Of course, this type of content is not new; it’s just neglected. It’s time to take the more challenging route that will lead to greater returns. So what’s the next step? Review your existing digital strategy: how aligned are your current and future content projects with Facebook’s new objectives? If you’re way off the mark, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

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