On Thursday, January 11, 2018 Mark Zuckerberg shared a Facebook post, again announcing changes to their algorithm to show preference for user-to-user engagement. While some Facebook experts are calling this change catastrophic to brands, it is in fact just the latest step in a multi-year strategy* Facebook is pursuing, and for which we and our clients are well prepared.
Since its inception, Facebook has altered the News Feed dozens of times. Below you can see how the changes in 2017 drastically affected engagement rates:
Like the graph above, other Facebook updates that predated the official announcement from Zuckerberg have influenced our teams into strategically changing what we recommend to clients. We’ve moved our focus from organic content daily to focused, boosted content during important events, business updates, and sales specials. We’ve found that without using the boosting feature, less than 1% of your fans will see the content you post.
Our Director of Operations for QC and Ads, Becca Rettenberger, says, “When we look at the reports from a year ago, reach and engagement has decreased. Our strategy calls with clients have evolved from a focus on content to a focus on advertising. Facebook advertising is one of the most targeted ads you can create. Facebook has also added new ad types including dynamic product ads, lead ads, and dynamic retargeting ads so that you can more directly focus on selling your products to the people that will buy them.”
With this change, our recommendation is to spend less time on posting daily content and more time on quality posts worth boosting with always having an ad campaign running. It might be worth asking what your objectives on social media are to begin with. If you are wanting to generate leads, then paid ads is what you should have been doing all along. If you want to stay connected with past customers, perhaps you should be shifting effort into getting online reviews from them or connecting with them on other platforms. We will continue to monitor the effect these changes have on content and advertising alike while educating our clients on best practices in the ever-changing landscape of social media marketing.