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HMC NEWS: Facebook is changing its News Feed – here’s why you don’t need to worry

You may have heard Facebook’s recent announcement that it will change the algorithm that runs its News Feed, which shows a selection of posts from other users and pages. The algorithm is complex and decides what users see in their news feed based on many different aspects of their behaviour – from what they click on to who they’re friends with and the types of businesses and groups they choose to follow.

Facebook is now changing its algorithm to help its users have “more meaningful experiences”, instead of providing a feed full of information sources, such as news items and videos. The idea is that posts from friends, family and groups users belong to will dominate news feeds in the future.

While Facebook hasn’t provided a clear definition on what makes a “meaningful experience”, or when exactly the news feed changes will come into effect, it’s safe to say the announcement is a sign of things to come as users are increasingly favouring organic (i.e. not-sponsored or paid) posts that encourage interaction, discussion and engagement.

What does this mean for you?
The algorithm change may result in a few changes to how you approach your Facebook business page and the content you create and share. Specific changes, and the extent of them, haven’t been announced yet, but it’s safe to assume that posts deemed too “passive” will feature less in the newsfeed of your followers. By “passive” we mean posts that only serve to communicate with audiences one-way, such as company announcements or product posts – basically anything that doesn’t encourage discussion between you and your followers.

What about Facebook advertising?
Facebook hasn’t announced any changes to ads or advertising, however with the news feed changes you may find that the amount you may have previously spent on boosted posts and sponsored content doesn’t reach the audience numbers it did in the past.

Advertising is the primary way Facebook makes its money, and we don’t see this changing soon. The algorithm changes may make spaces for advertising in news feeds more competitive, and we may see an increase in the ad spend required to help your content reach large audience numbers.

What should you do about it?
The next time you devise a content calendar or create a post for Facebook, have a think about how interactive you can be. Can you ask for feedback from your audience on something you’ve done? Can you stimulate discussion on a topical issue? Aim for posts that encourage discussion.

We can help
If you’re stuck for ideas, we’re always here to help. The team at HMC is also working on some exciting additions to our social media offerings, all designed to maximise your reputation and reach in the ever-changing social media game, so you can expect to hear from us soon about that too.

TLDR (too long, didn’t read)?
In short, to maintain and increase your awareness and reach on Facebook in light of the recent news feed changes, we need to up our game with the content we create – quality over quantity.  Passive posts that encourage no discussion or interaction will feature less and less in users’ newsfeeds and posts that promote back and forth dialogue will feature more.

This is an exciting time for social media and a great chance to flex your creative muscles to create exciting, engaging content.

For more information on the changes, read this useful article from The Guardian, or give us a bell if you have any questions.