Important Analysis: Facebook News Feed changes

This may be of interest to many of you – plus an excellent resource:

Hello Linda!

It’s Mike Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner emailing with an important analysis.

In this email I will outline (comprehensively) the new Facebook News Feed changes, what they mean for your future marketing, and what you can do now about these changes.

Before I share my analysis, let me share that I have been tracking the News Feed updates for almost two years. I have extensive feedback from our community. I also have our own research from thousands of marketers.

This change WILL impact you. Here’s what you need to know:

On January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook’s CEO) said that Facebook’s mission is to bring people closer together.

He went on to say, "but recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content–posts from businesses, brands, and media–is crowding out the personal moments."

Mark then dropped the bombshell, "Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook."

Then Facebook’s Head of News Feed (Adam Mosseri) outlined the coming changes. Adam also made a public interview and posted in media groups (which I belong to).

Some refer to this change as Facebook Apocalypse and others as Facebook Zero.

What I will bring you below are the facts, as presented by Adam.

Fact 1: Adam said, "space in News Feed is limited."

Fact 2: "We’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses," he said.

Fact 3: "Pages may see their reach, video watch time, and referral traffic decrease," said Adam.

My opinion: It’s been my experience that historically they have said, "may or may not." I interpret this may as a "will."

Fact 4: "Over the next few months, we’ll be making updates to ranking," said Adam.

Mark clarified, "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."

My opinion: I’ve heard reports from people in our community that they are already starting to see a different type of experience. I anticipate a wide scale change as early as February.

So here is what we know so far:

#1: Video will get less watch time. Inference: you’ll see less video in the News Feed.

#2: Links to external pages will get less visibility. Thus, they won’t be showing as many links to blog posts, news, and so on.

Now at this point, you might be wondering, "are you kidding me?" You might be thinking, "how could it get any worse?"

I have more data to share. Here we go.

#3: ALL posts from people and pages will be impacted. In Facebook’s News, Media, & Publishing group (which I belong to), Adam said the following, "The update applies to all post types, from pages and people."

So if you’ve been thinking, "I use my personal profile. This doesn’t apply to me," think again.

If you’re thinking of starting a group and hoping that will allow your posts to be seen, that’s not the solution. Those are still posts from people and the content itself is still subject to the News Feed algorithm.

So what are the important ranking factors?

Facebook will "prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people," said Adam.

In a recent Wired Magazine exclusive interview, Adam said, "we’re going to be (weighing) long comments more than short comments," and that "comments are more valuable than likes."

So, actual "meaty" dialog between people (not pages and people, see the language distinction) is critical for News Feed exposure.

Now to video. Adam said, "video is, primarily, a passive experience. You tend to just sit back and watch it. And while you’re watching it, you’re not usually liking, or commenting, or speaking with friends."

I believe this means a lot fewer shorter videos, a lot fewer Tasty-style how-to videos, and a lot fewer video animations.

At this point it should be very clear that your strategy has got to change.

I’m working my keynote slides for Social Media Marketing World 2018 and have given a LOT of thought to what the next steps are for us marketers.

I’m going to lay out some of my first ideas below:

Step 1: Scale back your frequency of posts. Less is more here.

Step 2: Figure out how to create content that will get people talking to EACH OTHER, not just you.

Step 3: Up your live video game plan.

Adam said, "live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook–in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos."

Step 4: Avoid engagement bait. These are posts that encourage people to comment. Adam said Facebook will "demote these posts in News Feed."

Step 5: Master Facebook ads: This will be one of the only reliable ways you’ll be able to drive traffic off of Facebook.

Step 6: Learn Messenger Chatbots: Moving conversations into Messenger and using bots will be a huge trend that will allow you to nurture leads and sell.

A lot of the above steps will likely require a complete shift in your current Facebook strategy. If it helps, share this email with your boss, clients, or friends.

And let me suggest a way to rapidly improve your Facebook strategy, live video experience, Facebook ads, and Messenger chatbot success.

Attend Social Media Marketing World 2018 starting on February 28th.

For Facebook marketing strategy, attend sessions from Michael Stelzner (that’s me), Mari Smith, and Brian Fanzo.

For live video, we have 8 sessions, led by Vincenzo Landino, Luria Petrucci, Amy Porterfield, Ian Anderson Gray, Lou Mongello, Alex Khan, Kim Garst, and Sean Cannell.

For Facebook ads, we have 8 presentations, taught by Jon Loomer, Andrea Vahl, Nicholas Kusmich, Amanda Bond, Dennis Yu, Logan Young, Rick Mulready, Zach Spuckler, and Azriel Ratz.

For Messenger chatbots, you’ll be taught by Molly Pittman, Andrew Warner, and Ben Beck.

Isn’t now the right time to up your skills?

Click here to explore the conference

And you might also be interested in our virtual ticket option.

Thanks for your time today.

Mike Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner

Social Media Examiner: 13025 Danielson Street, Poway, Ca 92064