When Facebook began as a small project in 2004, it was a school-based platform allowing students across different US colleges and universities to connect. After expanding and opening up to everyone worldwide, Facebook has grown into a major figure in all aspects of our lives, from social to economic. Facebook has become a major player in political movements, and it has also been used in internet marketing strategies. Overall, Facebook has majorly impacted how we communicate and share information in the 21st century.
Facebook has continued to grow and evolve, rolling out new features every year to improve the user experience. The Facebook News Feed is compiled of information shared by people in your network, and it is tailored based on algorithms of your likes and preferences, along with the users with whom you engage most actively.
In early 2018, Facebook issued a statement that there will be changes in how the News Feed works. For those of us who work in internet marketing and use Facebook to share information and boost visibility for our local businesses, these changes will affect how we work.
Here we’ll take a look at Facebook’s new changes and how they will impact our line of work.
New Changes to the Facebook News Feed
On January 11, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg issued a statement from Facebook:
“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent. We built Facebook to help people stay connected. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.
“But 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.
“It’s easy to understand how we got here. Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years. Since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do — help us connect with each other.
“Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook…We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.
“As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
How Do the Facebook Changes Affect my Local Business?
With the new changes to the Facebook News Feed, Facebook uses algorithms to predict posts that will help spark “conversations and meaningful interactions” between your friends and family. In other words, Facebook will “show less public content, including video and other posts from publishers or businesses,” according to a press release from the company.
Local SEO marketing strategy uses targeted advertising on Facebook that can be shared amongst networks. Additionally, local businesses use Facebook with pages that allow people to learn more about the business, garner the information they need, and share their experiences both with the business and with people in their communities.
These changes to the prioritization of the Facebook News Feed will undoubtedly change the way in which we do business. Facebook tells us in their press release: “Pages may see their reach, video watch time, and referral traffic decrease.” For those of us who work in local SEO, this impacts the visibility of our businesses.
What Will Local Businesses Do to Optimize Content?
Though these changes may seem like a huge blow to the SEO marketing strategies of local businesses, there are still things we can do to ensure our relevance and visibility on Facebook. Rather than measuring success and visibility in terms of clicks, local businesses can begin to optimize “likes” and “shares” amongst users, which will put our businesses back on the News Feed radar. Furthermore, building communities on Facebook will help improve our visibility.
This is also a moment for us to rethink how we market. As internet marketers, we will have to become more creative about the content we create, with the goal for it to appeal to people in a way that is significant and meaningful – rather than just clutter on a News Feed. All of this is tied in to branding and the information we want to convey to our potential customers.
How Increase Marketing Can Help
Our team at Increase Marketing has plenty of experience working with small business to create meaningful content that speaks to customers and visitors to websites and social media pages. For a consultation on your business’s online marketing strategy, contact us today.