Facebook's New Year's resolution

What's all the fuss?

While most of us have long forgotten our New Year's resolution, there is one social channel still holding strong. Facebook is taking the mantra "new year, new me" to heart with some changes aimed at making the platform "good for people's well-being and for society." This includes prioritizing meaningful content from friends and family over content from businesses, brands, and media, emphasizing local news, and increasing ad transparency by allowing users to see pages' active ads.

What Does This Mean for You?

If you post organic content to your business' Facebook page, you will see a noticeable decrease in your page's reach and overall user engagement. Organic business content has always struggled to make its way onto users' news feeds, but this change will make it that much more challenging.

As well, an initiative Facebook has rolled out in Canada allows all users to see a page's active ads through the navigation bar on the left side of the page, even if they are not in the target audience. For those organization attempting to influence the public without associating it with their brand this is bad news, but for most this change won't make a difference.

Will this affect my Facebook Advertising?

Facebook itself acknowledges that people may use the platform less frequently as a result of these changes. As a result, ad costs may increase as people spend less time on the platform, resulting in less ad inventory.

Is there any good news?

Yes! We expect that these changes will boost use of other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook Messenger, which will offer new ways for businesses to reach their Facebook audiences.

What can I do?

  1. Make your content engaging. Facebook will prioritize content that sparks conversation. So utilize the platform as a two-way communication channel and create content that engages your audience and avoids simply talking at them.
  2. Set aside a budget for paid social posts.Even before these changes, putting dollars behind Facebook content substantially amplifies reach. Facebook is still one of the most cost-efficient ways to reach an audience, so putting a little money towards advertising can greatly improve your results. It's worth noting that even a very modest recurring spend on Facebook allows for improved paid and organic reach to your audience.
  3. Engage your fans. Your fans will support you if you reach out to them. Encourage your followers to add your page to Facebook's “See First” feature.
  4. Make it Live! It's nerve wracking to think about going live on the net — what would you say, or do, or show? Despite that, Facebook Live videos receive six times the reactions as non-live videos. So next time you are considering creating video content, think about how you could integrate live content into your toolkit.
  5. Diversify your options. Ok this is not a Facebook only tip, but it is a pro tip. Facebook isn't the only advertising option out there! Diversifying your messages across several social media platforms can help reach a variety of audiences — or the same audience segment but across more than just one feed. We always recommend testing out different platforms as digital and social media is always changing, and your audience may be in places you might not expect!

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