Marketing on Facebook could be about to get harder with its new focus on privacy and requirements for advertisers to be more transparent in how they interact with users.
There are three key changes that will come into effect in June:
- Brands will have to become ‘authorised’ before they can post an ad about any topic that is perceived to be a news or political issue. To get authorised by Facebook, advertisers will need to confirm their identity and location.
- A new ‘view ads’ feature will more clearly label a post as an ad, including a ‘paid for by’ button to let the user see who is promoting the content. View ads will also let users see all of the ads a page is running, and it will affect every advertiser page on Facebook, not just political advertisers.
- Brands posting content they didn’t produce, or at least feature in, will suffer negatively in terms of native reach. This means that if you’re a publisher working for a brand, you now have to collaborate to produce authentic content, or accept that posts will have to be promoted as paid advertising.
What does this all mean for your brand?
To start with, you’ll need to shift your focus from reach and impressions to creating meaningful, personal interactions with real people. This means you’ll need to adapt the way you write content or face losing your position in news feeds.
Interestingly, some large media outlets that usually see high volumes of engagement have suffered, while smaller, niche brands have seen engagement spikes and a growth in followers by as much as 300 per cent.
The difference comes down to creating simple, sincere, story-driven content.
From now on, to rank in news feeds, you’ll need to create genuine interactions with your followers by eliciting comments on your posts. If people don’t comment or engage with your content, it will be ranked as irrelevant and your online voice will diminish.
Our top tips for engaging your followers:
- Post a question. The aim is to spark a meaningful conversation with your followers, rather than just sell to them. Participation with these users, by responding to their comments and asking follow up questions, is more important than ever.
- Post a video. Live videos can get six times as many interactions as regular videos according to Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s head of News Feed. The more interactions you get, the more your post will be seen. Many celebrities use live video to speak with their fans, and the principle works with brands too.
- Only post content that you created, or content that features you. This will not only satisfy Facebook’s latest requirements for branded content, but serve to strengthen authenticity between publishers, brands, and consumers.
- Be relevant. If you’re a local business, post updates that are relevant to your community and create events for people to attend. Posting news can [also] help start conversations on important issues.
- Target your content. If you’re going to promote a post, target the right people. A carefully-selected audience will deliver more impressions than an Australian-wide selection of every age and gender, and it will keep your costs down too.
People don’t log onto Facebook to hear from brands; they want to connect with people. Now that Facebook has decided to resolve this, it will only reward brands that demonstrate integrity and authenticity.
Those who seek to do this will be much more successful at navigating the algorithms and retaining a position in consumer news feeds.
How Facebook organises information in news feeds
By understanding how Facebook determines what will appear first in news feeds, you can structure your content for the best chance of success.
- Inventory: Facebook considers all the information available on the user such as who they are, how old they are, what posts they’ve commented on in the past, and more. From there, Facebook can assess the likelihood that they’ll want to see a certain post.
- Signals: information like how old the story is, how fast the internet connection is, what kind of device the user is on, and whether the community has ever rated a similar story as spam helps Facebook make informed decisions.
- Predictions: combining inventory and signals, Facebook can predict the likelihood of a user taking a certain action, such as commenting or sharing a story, based on their past behaviour.
- Relevancy scores: finally, Facebook uses this information to rate the relevance of each post using a number that represents how interested they think a user will be in any story.
For more information on how we help our clients make the most of their Facebook marketing, contact us today.