Why Facebooks News Feed Changes Are Great For Brands And Marketers
With all the media hype surrounding Facebooks recent news feed algorithm changes, we want to cut through the noise and share why we're excited by whats happening and why we believe the news feed changes are great for brands and marketers.
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional." - Tony Robbins
Before the news feed changes, a brands content was able to enjoy the same or similar organic reach as an individuals or posts by friends and family. So that meant, if you liked a page or belonged to a group, the content created by those pages or brands would turn up in your news feed on a regular basis. Facebook has however put and end to this free flow of organic content.
The new algorithm changes will also prioritize content that brings people value, as evidenced by engagement (likes, views, comments and shares). So in other words, content that enhances community or engages people, will rise to the top and been seen by more people.
Their reasons are simple, Facebook hopes to slow down the spread of "fake news" and force more brands and publishers into their advertising system where they can control the flow of content and make money off it (remember, Facebook is a business).
Many publishers and brands are upset by this change because they have long enjoyed the FREE advertising benefits of seeding clickbait and gathering massive view counts.
So how do brands and marketers leverage the new change?
1) Use content to start conversations with your community and fans.
In the past, most brand content was created as a one way conversation, ie. Here is what we do, this is how our product (X) fixes your problem (Y) etc. Brands will need to shift their focus and create conversations around content that 1) Educates 2) Entertains or 3) Inspires their community.
Remember, a conversation is two-way communication, so think about how people will respond to your content before you create it. When you do, the Facebook news feed algorithm will love you and will prioritize your content based on all your new engagement metric AND your fans will feel closer to your brand.
This shift in content focus will raise up an army of superfans and great brands will reap the rewards.
2) Engage your fans and community in the brand narrative.
The key words you need to know are: USER GENERATED CONTENT. Brands who want to win must leverage the influence of their fanbase, unleash them to create content on their behalf and involve their community in the brand story.
Congo has exciting news on this front: If you are a brand, sign up and become a beta partner with Congo's UGC Brand Activation Platform which is in development now - http://congo.io/brand
The results speak for themselves:
- User generated videos on YouTube get 10x more views than content created and uploaded by the actual brand.
- UGC is 35% more memorable than other media, and 50% more trusted.
- UGC-based ads get 4x higher click-through rates and a 50% drop in cost-per-click than average.
3) Add value to your community and fans by telling powerful stories
As a human race we are driven by the power of story, ancient or modern, fairytale or fact. Stories communicate across language barriers and are told through a myriad of mediums.
Great stories captivate the imagination, stir emotion in the soul and engage the mind.
As brand builders and marketers, we need to approach our craft as a storyteller would. Take people on a journey and compel them along with you.
Watch this short and wonderful Ted Talk by NYU's Amanda D'Annucci on Storytelling, Psychology and Neuroscience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKB_JVNGjLY
As brands begin to tell better stories in participation with their fans and community, they will earn greater trust and enjoy higher engagement with their content.
4) Use Facebook's Ad platform to reach more people
Lastly, if you don't already have a Facebook AD strategy, you need to create one start using it ASAP. Facebook has an amazing set of tools which allow you to target your content to the specific people you are trying to reach, while you control your budget and spend.
This will open up a whole new world of opportunity for you and you can start campaigns for as little as $5.
So yes, change can be uncomfortable, however at Congo we're excited for these Facebook changes and what it means for the consumer as well as for brands. 2018 is the year of User Generated Content, which means the relationship between people and the brands they care about will become tighter and more dynamic.