Facebook is changing its news feed algorithm to prioritise more ‘meaningful’ content, so you’ll see more posts from friends and family than from brands, businesses and news media.
This follows Facebook’s public acknowledgement of the detrimental affect the social network is having on people and society. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it was his new year’s resolution to improve things, and make the time people spend on Facebook more valuable:
“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” he said.
“Research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long-term measures of happiness and health.”
Good news for our brains, but a worry for businesses.
However, on a recent podcast, Ashley Davis of Skyline Social put small businesses at ease saying that it’s only huge corporates that will suffer:
“Facebook organic reach has already been super low for Facebook pages and brands unless you do any paid advertising,” he says. “So if you’re a small business and you’re not the owner of a large media publication such as Mashable or Business Insider or any of those really big online publications, you will be absolutely fine, you’ll hardly even notice a difference… The only way you’re going to get any real results from Facebook is if you do advertising and this isn’t really going to change.”
So that’s good news.
But what is ‘meaningful’ content?
The way the algorithms will judge meaningful content is that it will be content people are interacting with – commenting and sharing – pieces that prompt conversation, rather than posts people mindlessly scroll through.
So the change provides a new discipline for content creators: if you want people to read your stuff, it now really has to be personal, human and vulnerable.
So when you’re discussing your business, drop the sales angle altogether and dig deep into the human one – who you are, what you’re about, and what you believe in.
Show how great you are to do business with. Give them benefits not features. And get people talking.
Photo by Andre Hunter.