Over the past few months, there have been some major changes to Facebook that will ultimately change the way people use Facebook for Business.
What are the latest Facebook updates?
Back in October 2017, Facebook began trialling an ‘Explore Feed’ which would see boosted posts in Facebook’s News Feed, and organic posts moved over to the new Explore Feed.
In December 2017, Facebook announced that they will be penalising businesses and brands who use ‘engagement bait’ – posts that contain ‘tag’, ‘like’, ‘share’, or ‘comment’ within their content to encourage users to engage with their posts.
Less Prominent Business Posts
Now Facebook has announced its new algorithm update that will make business and brand posts less prominent on a user’s news feed, allowing their ‘Facebook Friend’s’ content to filter through first.
Why has Facebook released these new updates?
According to Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team, users of the popular social media channel aren’t happy about seeing branded content filling up their feeds whilst their ‘friend’s’ posts are pushed aside and sometimes missed.
Users said, “they dislike spammy posts on Facebook that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comment, and other actions”.
When speaking to the Facebook community, Zuckerberg said: “public content – posts from businesses, brands, and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other”.
After hearing what their users had to say and reviewing Facebook’s algorithm, Zuckerberg and his team felt it was time for Facebook to be updated to please their all-important users, and take Facebook back to its roots of being a networking platform for friends and family.
When will the updates happen?
The trialling of the Explore feed began in October and seems to continue. People may have noticed already that many business/brand/media posts that aren’t boosted, have been disappearing from their news feed but boosted/sponsored boosts are still within sight straight away.
Facebook began rolling out the engagement bait updates in December, so users should begin to see less of the spammy posts on their News Feeds over the next couple of months, if not already.
As for the new algorithm update, this has just rolled out, so it could take a couple of weeks to hit user’s feeds, though it is important for businesses to jump onto the updates now!
What does this mean for Facebook for Business?
As if the Explore feed trialling wasn’t enough, all three of the new Facebook updates are going to have a major impact on Facebook for Business, especially those who are a small to medium-sized businesses who do not have the budget like the big corporate companies.
The updates all seem to have a domino effect on each other. For Example:
Let’s say a small florist business is on Facebook and only has a small budget for their online marketing. This means that they mainly rely on engagement from their organic Facebook posts.
Here’s where it begins to get harder for the florist.
Facebook begins to trial the Explore Feed feature, which means the florist’s organic posts are now being pushed out of a user’s News Feed. In order to stay in the News Feed, the florist uses some of their budget to boost some posts and uses phrases such as ‘like’ or ‘comment’ on their other posts to try and keep their engagement and reach.
Facebook then roll out the ‘engagement bait’ update, which forces the florist to stop using phrases such as ‘like’ or ‘comment’ as they do not want to be penalised. This then forces the florist to use more of the budget for their Facebook marketing.
Now let’s throw in the new algorithm update that pushes business posts to the bottom of the pile unless they are boosted. The florist has now used up the majority of their budget and can no longer afford to keep posting boosted posts.
SME Businesses will no longer be able to attain the same marketing strategy or budget they had been using for Facebook previously, and with organic reach significantly declining on Facebook, should SME businesses stop prioritising Facebook and begin to concentrate on other social media avenues to market their business and brands?
So what are we doing about it?
Throughout 2018, we are going to be undertaking research into the new Facebook updates.
Our aim? To find out whether or not Facebook Business Pages should still be a priority in your business marketing strategy.
There are so many unanswered questions, but really we want to find out:
- How Facebook for Business changes for the corporate businesses compared to the SME businesses.
- If organic posts are still worthwhile.
- If businesses and brands move their attention towards other social media platforms.
- How quick the ‘engagement bait’ posts take to disappear.
Facebook News Feed Guidelines
Are you feeling lost as to what you should now be posting on your Facebook Business Page?
Here are some official Facebook guidelines to give you an idea of what content you should be posting: https://www.facebook.com/help/publisher/newsfeedguidelines