Facebook profileSocial media is here to stay. Facebook had an average of 2.2 billion monthly active users by the end of December 2017, and at the start of 2018 CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced some radical content changes. What are they and how can your business leverage them?

A quick overview of Facebook’s changes

Content posted by your friends, family and groups will receive more airtime in newsfeeds than content posted by brands and media.

Zuckerberg also announced that users will see more local than national news on their news feeds, and tighter controls means ‘fake news’ gets put on notice. Only credible and trustworthy media news outlets will feature in feeds to avoid polarising users and spreading misinformation.

In light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is paying more attention to its original roots of encouraging meaningful and personal connections.

 1. Create tailored content

Brands will start to see less of their news feeds on Facebook because Zuckerberg wants users to actively stay on Facebook.

You may find (as a business user) that you can’t publish external links to websites on your status updates, so you’ll need to publish actual original content into status updates – think articles or product descriptions.

The trick is that you can still publish external links in the ‘comments’ section underneath the status update, without being disqualified.

 2. Start broadcasting on Live and pay attention to trends

Since Facebook Live was launched in 2016, video has really taken off. Photos account for 54% of user content, but videos receive more interactions than photos with an average of 2,183 interactions compared with 1,358 for photos.

It’s time to pay attention to video content in your social media strategy!

Also, you need to look closer at the issues that concern or excite your audience.

Use Facebook Insights to identify what’s popular, and shape your content around that.

Tip: Add subtitles to your videos – 85% of all Facebook videos are watched without sound.

3. Local content for local people

The algorithm change means more content will be shown on news feeds from local news sources in the user’s area.

This aims to strengthen social interactions between Facebook users at a local level that is more meaningful.

Tip: Boost your local Facebook audiences by paying attention to local topics and events and collaborate with local businesses.

4. Groups play a bigger part

Groups form a big part of Facebook’s social media platform, so more content from groups will be shown in news feeds to users.

The thinking is that more meaningful interactions come from Facebook groups consisting of tight-knit communities, such as friends and family. So it’s a good idea to position your products or services

Therefore, businesses have to tap into the relevant groups where their products and services can connect with these communities in order to boost Facebook audiences.

5. Offer audience specials

One of the best perks on Facebook is businesses being able to start public conversation and to encourage a range of comments and opinions. But that’s not all.

You can add incentives (free meal, holiday package, ebook, product gifts etc.) to the conversations to gain likes, comments and those all-important shares.

This will actively increase Facebook audiences and engagement for your business.

6. Boost your posts

The results can be worth the spend, as many Facebook users might not even get to see your business posts when they’re published.

Boosting posts can rapidly increase audience engagement, whether it’s targeted to just your followers, to their friends and families, or to new audiences through targeting.