Deep breath: Facebook changed.

Facebook has changed its strategy when working with businesses to protect users–what’s a business owner to do?

The reality of it is, for most businesses who have been using Facebook to authentically engage with their audiences, the strategy need not change in major ways. Facebook is still accepting posts from businesses, and they’re still all about posting beautiful, relevant content for users.

Google’s similar strategy

This change is similar to the Google changes that have been made over the past decade with tags and SEO. At the beginning, SEO was a game in which coders would generate hundreds of tags and place them behind the page to create a search presence. The content that the user saw did not necessarily relate to these tags, and the content didn’t have to be good; it was basically the wrapping to deliver the tags to the web. As Google grew more sophisticated, so did the content strategy. Businesses actually had to write content engaging to the reader and well crafted. Since that time, we’ve had the rise of storytelling and more compelling content across the web.

The change has been good, but it deeply impacted many businesses who had been using search to “trick the internet” and grab readers without providing excellent content for the reader. 

So, what’s going to happen with Facebook? 

Mark Zuckerberg said, “The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.

As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.” ((emphasis mine)
They are flagging posts that use engagement bait. “To help us foster more authentic engagement, teams at Facebook have reviewed and categorized hundreds of thousands of posts to inform a machine learning model that can detect different types of engagement bait. Posts that use this tactic will be shown less in News Feed.”
To read the complete post from Jan. 11, 2018, click here
You can overcome this, but it’s going to cause some changes for everyone. Pages reach, video watch time and post length will decrease. They want to see posts that generate conversation, and they’ll be pushing up posts that create engagement. 

Engagement bait has been blocked–like this, share this, tag a friend, comment if you blah blah blah. Also contests are being suppressed.  

So, what do you do? 

Focus on storytelling. You can do it!

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