Facebook Recap: Five Recent Updates You Need to Know About
Staying up with the latest updates on the web can be challenging (to say the least). If you haven’t quite kept up in the last few months, you’re in luck! Here are the latest announcements and updates that affect your business’s presence on social media giant Facebook.
Tweaks to News Feed Algorithm
Facebook has done it again! Within the last couple of weeks, the social media site has quietly announced two new algorithm updates that will affect your business. In early August, Facebook told advertisers they were going to allow twice as many ads in users’ news feeds, whether or not the users ‘like’ the brand running the ads. This is good for businesses who would like a chance to show more ads in front of more eyes. (Read more about this update here.)
A second Facebook announcement addressed that the company will continue to cut down on “click-baiting” headlines and posts – those that users would consider as spam. These ‘teaser posts’ tend to get a high click-rate, but end up not offering users much information about what they were promised they would see. Because of this, these posts sit at the top of news feeds blocking out actual posts from friends and family. (Read more about this update here.)
Advice: As a business, make sure you’re post high-quality content on your Page and always include an image with links you share.
Organic Reach Decline
Organic reach on Facebook is not exactly how it was seven years back. The purpose of gathering “likes” was to increase your audience and drive more awareness to you business, products, and services. Through free distribution on content, businesses were able to build a two-way dialogue and relationship with customers and build a sense of authenticity. Over the last few months, however, that free organic reach has declined significantly. It is reported that Facebook’s organic reach has declined steadily over the last couple of years to reaching only 5% of a brand’s total audience. Facebook is now making it pretty clear that in order to compete and to continue to build fan acquisition, they will have to pay for it through advertising. This is because competition for the limited space on the news feed has increased. There’s simply not enough room for everyone to be posting their content. (Read more about this update.)
Advice: Expect organic reach on Facebook to decline more and more on the social media site. Really think about if Facebook is right social platform for you. If it is, it might be good idea to start running Facebook ads. Begin with a small budget (posting once a day) and increase the budget as you get more comfortable with Facebook’s targeting features.
No More Like-Gating Apps or Content
Like-gating, also known as fan-gating is where businesses incentivize users to use social plugins or to like a page in order to get a reward or more information. To ensure that only quality connections are being made every time a user “like” a brand’s Page, Facebook is banning the practice altogether, beginning November 5, 2014. This sounds scary, but will benefit both businesses and customers in the long run and help creative a valuable and engaging online audience. (Read more about this update here.)
Advice: If you’re using any extensions or apps that are running like-gating campaigns for you on Facebook, it will stop working on Nov. 5. Instead, turn a like-gating strategy into action-gated by having customers fill out a form, sign up for a newsletter, vote in a poll, and so on. This will allow to gather more information about your customer so you can building a higher quality lists of prospects.
‘Save for Later’ Feature
It’s insane how much content Facebook users receive in their news feeds per day. Many of those posts are articles and content created by your favorite brands, news sites, publications, but there are so many that some of us may not have time to read it when we see it. In July 2014, Facebook released a feature that allows users to save items they find on their Facebook news feeds. This includes links, places, movies, TV, and music. Users may choose to share these items with Facebook friends or keep items private. (Read more about this update here.)
Advice: As a business, make sure you’re encouraging your readers to save content to read for later. Continue to make content interesting, helpful, and relevant for users to encourage shares and referrals.
Facebook Addresses Privacy Concerns
Privacy issues about Facebook’s Messenger app prompted massive outrage from users a couple of weeks back. To address growing concerns about privacy on users’ mobile devices, Facebook has rolled out a tool called Privacy Checkup on Thursday that helps users control who sees their content. Users will start seeing the option to run the privacy check up pop up on their screens within the next week. (Read more about this update.)
Advice: The truth is that Facebook has receive a lot of flak about the Messenger app, which is required for users to download to their mobile devices that has the capability of accessing contact numbers, text messages, location and other personal information. And it doesn’t help that editing privacy settings can be a really complicated process. The new Privacy Checkup is promised to be a simple three-step process that will walk the user through reviewing their privacy settings. For Facebook, it’s a step in the right direction to address these concerns. Although these privacy concerns have threatened the value of Facebook, for businesses it means that Facebook won’t be going down without a fight. Keep having an active presence on the site and see what happens. Who knows, Facebook may even surprise us with another update in the next couple of weeks… we’ll keep you updated!