Since Mark Zuckerberg announced major changes to the way Facebook’s News Feed will operate, there has been a flurry of online discussion as Social Media Managers and Content Creators alike seek to make sense of the way the new algorithm will prioritise posts. Whilst brand communication will certainly be impacted, there is much to rejoice about what has been darkly dubbed a ‘Facebook apocalypse’ - if you approach this creatively.

The bad news is that every post is going to need to be promoted (but we’ve been heading here for a while), engagement baiting is penalised and competition will be fierce in order to get eyeballs in a crowded market. The good news is that content is going to get far more audience-driven and relevant, so we can hopefully wave goodbye to click bait and corporate messaging. Every cloud, right?

Whilst Facebook has posted a handy list of ‘Don’ts’ I have tried to concentrate on the ‘Do’s’ in order to help navigate these choppy social media waters successfully.

1)  Do a Facebook audit to see what content is currently resonating with your audience (if you’re not doing this already, why not?). Is your current audience your target audience? If not, find out what makes them tick as well to help you plan content of value to both camps.

2) Experiment and evaluate. The future is still uncertain as the announced changes will be rolled out across all Facebook products over the next few months - and more may come. Now is the time to try new post types and content topics, and monitor their success.

3) Post less often, but always promote. Experts such as Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner advocate reducing your posts from anywhere to once a day for big brands to once a week depending on your content. This won’t be news to anyone who has monitored organic reach dramatically decline over the past year or so, but still worth noting as organic reach is now virtually zilch.

4) Resolve your audience’s challenges. ‘Long comments’ are now the holy grail of engagement, but the reality is that many brands will never generate much discussion unless you post something controversial. ‘Shares’ are still important, as are ‘reactions’. So by creating content that can offer solutions to your audience’s everyday trials and tribulations you might position your brand as a valuable asset. And if people love your content, so does Facebook. After all it makes them look good if they serve up stuff people like.

5) Get to grips with Ads. As well as promoted posts, ads could be a great way of getting reach and engagement on Facebook. Be as targeted as possible as it’s not just the money you’re willing to spend that gets considered, but Facebook has its own ‘relevance score’ to help it distribute the right content to the right people. One guy even managed to send a love message to his wife via ads. They really can be THAT targeted!

All in all, the announced changes will have an impact on a brand’s visibility. What you can do is make your content count by being as creative and connected to your audiences as possible. Expect to see a much more humanised News Feed, which in my opinion, is a good result for everyone!

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