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Brands have no choice but to turn and face the (not so) strange Facebook News Feed algorithm changes announced mid-January. Described by Mark Zuckerberg more or less as a rebalancing act geared toward providing users—meaning actual people (FB’s original target audience)—with a News Feed that encourages meaningful interaction within his or her circle.

“I'm changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.” –Zuck

What the heck does “meaningful” mean to Facebook? For the most part, convos. The most meaningful posts engage a user enough to want to comment or share the content.

As a result of the change, users have started seeing more posts from family, friends and groups or communities they intentionally connected with and posts from pages.

And robotic posting just bit a bunch of brands in the bum. However, brands that had been giving it a real go took a hit too. Post-change, the vast majority of brands are seeing huge decreases in their reach.

Biggies to Keep in Mind Moving Forward

1. Quality matters.

Being genuine—always leading with your brand’s purpose—is now much more than a good marketing agency, intern or board member recommendation; it’s basically a requirement by Facebook.

  • Create OG (original, genuine) content that reps your brand’s purpose and adds value to the lives of people in your target audience.
  • Share well-made content that taps into the above point as much as possible.
  • Always post quality over quantity.

2. Spam stinks.

Take a whiff if you want, but you can smell a phony post just by lookin’ at it. And so can the people you want to engage with.

  • Stop with the hyper-exaggerated or overly-mysterious clickbait headlines.
  • Don’t just share to look like you’re alive. If it’s not reputable and relevant to your audience, it’s best to swipe left.
  • Avoid straight up asking someone to “COMMENT, LIKE and RESHARE.” Your posts should ignite that reaction naturally.

Things like being timely and transparent, using an authentic voice and tone, appropriately tagging other pages and directly linking people the quality info promised in your post is still important too.

3. Pay to play.

Not all good things in life are free. Brands that haven’t incorporated paid social into their strategy may need to consider doing so if they want to see results on Facebook (and other platforms). The upside is that by doing this, you’ll be able to better target your specific audience.

Most brands' bottom line takeaway: It’s time to take a long hard look at your social strategy and make some ch-ch-changes.

Not sure where to start? Say hello@firespring.com to get some expert assistance.