Last week, Facebook made a huge announcement regarding a change to its news feed which would affect its two billion users and the three million businesses utilising the platform.

Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be concentrating on the people by having the news feed focus on content that sparks conversations between family and friends, rather than the posts from businesses and brands that will now have to take a back seat.

Facebook announced it will be concentrating on:

  • Prioritising posts from friends and family over public content from business and brands.
  • Prioritising the posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions
  • Pushing the ‘fake news’ off of the news feed

Facebook intends to encourage more organic conversations and personal sharing by encouraging users to share content, which will hopefully lead to friends and family doing the same.

Mark Zuckerberg explained that even though the time users spend on Facebook may go down after the change, the time that they do spend on Facebook will be more valuable – so good news? Not necessarily though for businesses I’m afraid!

The Guardian suggests that the businesses lacking interactive content that rely on Facebook to generate page traffic, will be the ones that struggle as their content will not be pushed to the top. Whereas, the businesses that control their platforms with a dedicated audience, should hopefully still see high levels of engagement through the conversations that they naturally generate.

So what should marketers and communication teams be looking at to keep on top of the news feed?

  • Live videos, live videos, live videos! On average, live videos gain six times as many interactions than regular videos.
  • Community groups are seeing high levels of interaction but it may not always be the ideal option, would you join a branded group for toothpaste?
  • More conversational content – businesses will benefit from word-of-mouth marketing if their content is relevant and encourages interaction between friends and family.
  • Focus on creating a community when launching a Facebook campaign. If you involve your social community, it is then likely that members will be keen to share your content authentically if they feel involved in the brand.
  • Couple Facebook with other PR efforts. Give consumers the opportunity to discuss brand activity off of social media on Facebook with others.
  • And of course Ads. You might now have to pay to play if you are still struggling to get your thought-out content seen on the news feed.

So will the change in the news feed take Facebook back to its roots and bring its two billion users closer? Or will it drive its three million business users elsewhere, maybe brands will focus more on Twitter and Instagram?

Our consumer PR agency specialises in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer PR, Food & Drink PR, Consumer Technology PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR.