Consumer behavior has greatly changed over the years and this in return has made companies pay more attention to them. This we see in the recent changes announced by Mark Zuckerberg on how Facebook will give more priority to content posted by family and friends as compared to businesses and brands. The announcement was made on 11th January 2018.

Below is part of the announcement:
‘We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being. So we’ve studied this trend carefully by looking at the academic research and doing our own research with leading experts at universities.
The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.
Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. 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.’

So now that we know Facebook is changing its algorithm,what does this mean for digital marketers and entrepreneurs?

1. More quality content.
This means that marketers have to come up with content that adds value to their audience.The algorithm will shift in such a way that only posts with a lot of engagement will be given priority. The purpose of this change was to enable more interaction and not just passively share information. It has to add value to the reader to the extent that they either comment, like or share the video! More engagement means more distribution.

2. Decrease in organic reach.
When companies started embracing social media especially Facebook in their marketing strategy, the organic reach was very high but as the algorithm changed, the reach went down to 15-20% and that figure will get lower with the new policies being implemented. Organic reach has been steadily decreasing over the years and soon it may be non-existent. In order for you to have more organic reach, this means very creative and meaningful content from your marketers.

3. Increase in Ad budget.
With the drop in organic reach, this only means that the ads will increase in price whereby you get what you pay for. Here you pay to play and if you want to reach more people, then that means digging deeper in your pockets. This means that you have to know your target audience in order to get the maximum ROI for your investment. If you are new to Facebook ads, spend some time learning about your audience, the goals of your ads and how to make great ads in order to convert that prospective client into a paying customer.

4. Rise in Influencer marketing
This means that the value of influencers will go up as they have the number and the audience that you are targeting. Over the last few years, traditional media and advertising has lost appeal to the consumers as they prefer to get tips from those that they follow and admire. Influencer marketing has been on the rise and it will continue to be in demand especially with the current Facebook changes. When choosing an influencer, choose a person who blends with your brand and understands your audience.

5. Facebook live video and native videos.
The current changes means that Facebook’s algorithm will favor those who use the live video and will prioritize them as a result. This is to encourage more people to use Facebook live videos and native videos as compared to using YouTube or any other sites. Research shows that the live videos receive better engagement which leads to better interaction and as a result are viewed more as compared to any other form of videos.

6. Get more followers to your page.
If you want to reach your audience, then this means that you have to ask them to follow you and put the ‘see first’ option. Remember the new changes are meant to offer a wholistic experience to the user and as a result, if they choose that they want to see your content then it shall be in their feed. When a user chooses to follow the page, a drop down appears where there is options like : see first, default and unfollow.

7. Facebook groups
Facebook groups are usually based on the audience interaction and thus it is encouraged that you create a group for your members. This will contribute to more interaction and they will get to be in touch more often. Find ways to engage your audience in groups.

Change, as we all know, is constant and I hope the above information helps you make a better social media marketing strategy 2018. If you have any more points or ideas, feel free to add them in the comment section.

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