You may have missed that Facebook announced YET ANOTHER change to the algorithm it employs to power users’ news feeds. While Facebook algorithm changes can seem so frequent and subtle they’re hardly noticeable anymore, this most recent one is causing a great deal of consternation for brands and news outlets in particular.
Here’s how the algorithm is changing, in an nutshell: Moving forward, it will prioritize personal content from users’ friends and family at the expense of professional content from publishers and brands.
Facebook has good reasons for the change – it will continue to…inspire, shall we say…brands and publishers to supplement their organic content with paid prioritization of their content, along with ads and other paid solutions.
This has marketers predictably panicked, concerned that their organic content will be buried beneath a barrage of baby photos, birthday party recaps and other banal banter.
Savvy and forward-thinking marketers, on the other had, will hopefully see the change for what it can be: a good opportunity.
Effective social marketing, after all, should be a two-way conversation, not a one-way communication. And effective social marketing means many of those conversations should be with the people that matter in your particular industry – thought leaders, influencers, stakeholders, innovators. Productive conversations and smart content can turn those people into advocates and ambassadors on platforms like Facebook. Those advocates amplify your content and message to their networks – the kind of content this new algorithm will place increased value in.
This also serves as a reminder of two important things: 1) Strategic plans must be adaptable to external factors at any and all times; and 2) Marketers should never be over-reliant on any particular platform or outlet, especially one owned by other companies with objectives other than their own. An effective social media strategy is content strategy at heart – as focused on the message itself as it is the delivery platform.