Is This the Facebook Apocalypse?

When Mark Zuckerberg started the year with the message they were setting out to improve Facebook in 2018, we knew there would be big updates to come—and they have held true to their promise.

Facebook began with a relatively simple mission, and that was to connect with others. Through the many years and changes, Facebook became a place that had a lot more than just our friends—businesses, community groups, publishers and advertisers started showing up in the newsfeed. After an election wrought with fake news shared on the network, plus evidence suggesting that human interaction is much better for our mental health than news overload, Zuck + Co. are putting our relationships first again.

When Facebook announced that personal profiles and content that creates conversation amongst friends will get priority in the newsfeed over businesses and publishers, marketers let out a collective cry that this could be the Facebook apocalypse.  

But is it really?

What Does the Facebook Update Mean for Users?

Facebook’s latest announcement is truly meant to benefit the user. Their goal is a newsfeed that will make the platform more relevant—and engaging—for the masses. They understand that their users aren’t getting the same value as they used to, so instead of serving us updates from people, businesses and publishers that we end up passively scrolling past, they want us to stop and take action (like, comment, share, etc.).

This is great news for Facebook users! But what about business?

How Should Your Business Respond?

Mike Stelzner, CEO of Social Media Examiner, came out the gates deeming this update the “Facebook Apocalypse.” Why did he go so far to say that? This quote from Facebook is a big part of it:

“As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it.”

I repeat: you will be seeing a drop in your Facebook Engagement. A drop from the already pitiful 1-2% organic reach business pages averaged? Um, yeah.

So, what’s a business page to do?

Fear not, there are actionable steps your business can take to make the most of these changes.

1. Video is Queen

Sound familiar? It should—because video is the number one social media trend for 2018. Video is not only what the users prefer, it’s what Facebook gives algorithmic preference to, too.

Adam Moressi, Facebook’s Head of News Feed, directly named video as a way to keep users engaged. Specifically, Facebook Live.  

“Live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.”

If you haven’t thought about including Facebook Live as a part of your social media strategy, now is a great time to start. Think about Facebook Live as an opportunity to show the human side of your business. Here are some ideas:

  • Share what is happening behind the scenes of your business

  • Use Facebook Live for a company announcement

  • Give a product demo

  • Do a live Q & A with a relevant guest

2. Link Your Instagram to Facebook Stories

Facebook Stories are designed in the same fashion as Instagram Stories. They live on Facebook for 24 hours before they disappear forever. If you can use Instagram Stories, then you can use Facebook Stories.

To upload your story to Facebook, first link your Instagram account to Facebook. Next step, create your story masterpiece and share with your loyal followers. Then, select the three dots in the bottom right-hand corner and select Story Settings. Finally, select Share Your Story to Facebook. Easy!

A great part of Facebook Stories is that you appear at the top of the newsfeed on the mobile app. The stories feed is not as heavily congested and therefore your business can be seen.

3. Invest in Facebook Ads

In Mari Smith’s Facebook Post, she reveals “that is, to see solid ROI on Facebook, businesses must invest in ads. The good news, though, is advertising done properly on Facebook and Instagram can dramatically grow your business.”

4. Join and Engage In Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are niche communities that will continue to give your business an opportunity to reach your target market. In Groups, people often interact with public content. Facebook appears to favor posts in Groups. If you do not go into your group when there is a new post, it still appears in your News Feed.

Final Notes

In our humble marketing opinion, this latest update is NOT the Facebook Apocalypse. Is it forcing you to engage with people more? Yes. Is it forcing you to post more content that your audience wants? Yes. Are these things bad when it comes to marketing? Absolutely not.

Some quick changes that you can make today include:

  1. Test out scheduling your content DIRECTLY into Facebook instead of third-party scheduling software.

  2. Reduce the number of articles you’re posting Facebook. When you do share them, make sure you include a question or conversation starter.

  3. Do NOT over post.

“Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution.”

Now is the time to clean up your engagement strategy. Engagement bait and over-posting will hurt your Page ranking.

Facebook is focusing on quality over quantity—and it’s forcing us to do the same.