Recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm have brands and publishers in a spin, with the fear of their content no longer easily appearing in consumers’ feeds. But the new changes can be positive for the industry. For too long feeds have been filled with clickbait content, de-valuing great content and turning consumers away from the platform.
Brands admittedly have been part of the problem, often pushing their own agenda through product-focused messaging and bringing the overall value of branded content down. In their attempts to achieve high awareness, they have failed to recognize that low engagement scores are better barometers of success.
In this new reality, cracking the social code requires a program optimized around content that connects. To do this, brands should consider the following:
1. Make people-first content a priority
Brands can still appear in consumers’ feeds, but it requires users to engage with your content to get there. Your brand-first content likely has low engagement because people don’t like sharing a product-focused message. Find a way to make meaningful content that reflects a consumers values; this will have higher likelihood of shareability.
2. Think like a social user
Use social listening as a tool to hear what people are talking about, and be sure to react accordingly. And most importantly, be ready to learn from mistakes. Content engagement requires a test-and-learn process, which means putting less focus on single executions and considering the program as the sum of its parts. Put more content out, more often and be open to see what works and how you can create more of it.
3. Paid social is a must, but be meaningful
Brands often think that social is a platform purely for awareness, but with consumers scrolling through their feed a mile a minute, an impression means nothing unless you drive engagement. Paid social is a way to get your message out there, but it’s not relevant to everyone. Segment your audience and consider tailoring creative. This can ensure higher engagement and make your dollars work harder than a one-size-fits-all targeting strategy.
4. Make influencers an important part of every program
Arguably, influencers know how to connect with audiences better than brands in social. They’ve made a living out of creating content their audiences want to engage with, and as a result consumers trust influencers on average 40% more than brands. Leveraging influencers is an essential tactic to drive incremental engagement for your brand.
5. Start thinking about a holistic content strategy outside Facebook
Social programs are not a content strategy. Your consumers are on search engines, scanning blogs and browsing sites for content they care about. Tailor your strategies to focus on delivering content experiences to your audience first, and shift from platform first strategies.
So while some brands may be in panic mode due to the new Facebook algorithm, you don’t need to be. Making some simple shifts in your strategy can lead to greater success on the platform and beyond, and help you connect even closer to your consumer.