Oh Facebook. How are we supposed to keep up with you?
Facebook has yet again changed its algorithm, claiming to put your “family and friends first”. In a nutshell, this means that less organic (unpaid) posts will show on our news feeds, and more of our friends’ content will appear at the top of our feeds.
Speaking of the change, Facebook said: “When we launched News Feed in 2006, it was hard to imagine the challenge we now face: far too much information for any one person to consume. In the decade since, more than a billion people have joined Facebook, and today they share a flood of stories every day. That’s why stories in News Feed are ranked — so that people can see what they care about first, and don’t miss important stuff from their friends. If the ranking is off, people don’t engage, and leave dissatisfied. So one of our most important jobs is getting this ranking right.”
As a multi billion dollar company, Facebook operates using a very strict set of core values, and undertakes vast research to ensure its users are getting what they want. After all, if we’re not getting what we want, we’ll go elsewhere. And if we go elsewhere, why would businesses choose to advertise through Facebook?
Facebook’s research claims to show that, after friends and family, users have two other strong expectations of the site: to inform, and to entertain.
One piece of feedback that Facebook received from users was that they wanted to see fewer posts that their friends had liked or commented on, making a shared post now the most valuable currency on Facebook (not taking away from the value of a like or comment – this type of engagement still makes your content more visible to existing fans).
So how can we make this work for us?
The silver lining to this seemingly dark cloud is that more content that is shared by the friends of a user will be filtered through to the top of that person’s feed. For the media, this is a blessing in disguise, as more news stories are shared on social media than any other company.
I said how could we make this work for us….
How we make this work in PR is simple: get more media coverage. By devising more elaborate campaigns and producing high quality content, the media will do the work for us.
And who doesn’t want that?