Facebook has announced a major change to how its algorithm works in this post.

In the announcement, Facebook has said that during the coming weeks content between people that sparks conversations with friends and family will be prioritised over content from businesses, brands and media.

This will mean that pages are likely to see a decline in organic reach, referral traffic and video watch time. Pages who do not get any engagement will see the biggest impact.  “Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect”.

What is this going to mean for business use of Facebook?

It is likely that ultimately organic business posts will be moved to a separate feed – which Facebook experimented with last year in six countries.  Not surprisingly pages in those countries saw a dramatic decrease in reach.  This news broke this morning so the jury is still out on exactly what impact the changes will have.  However, in the meantime, we suggest you:

  1. Train your community to use First News to see your post.  Watch this video to see how to do that.
  2. As always on Facebook – create engaging content – that hasn’t changed.
  3. Be prepared to use Facebook ads to get your Facebook posts in front of the right people (use the Ads Manager rather than Boost)
  4. Consider whether Facebook groups might be a way to continue to talk to your community
  5. Ensure Facebook really is the right social media channel for you.  It is going to take more work so you need to make sure your audience is active on Facebook – it might be a case of using LinkedIn or Instagram or even Twitter more – depending on who you are aiming at.
  6. Make sure your marketing strategy includes a marketing mix (content marketing, email newsletters, LinkedIn, an optimised website, offline marketing) – this hasn’t changed – we have always been a big advocate of creating email subscriber lists.
  7. Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you get the latest information about what these changes mean for you

More to come over the next few weeks as we learn more.  Let me know what you think about the changes in the comments below.