Thanks to recent social media updates – seeing a family snap from your third cousin is more likely than an update from your favourite business or brand.

Facebook decided to grow its social conscience by prioritising posts from friends and family over businesses, brands and media in news feeds.

The reasoning? To create a platform for more meaningful “personal interactions” between users.

Instagram also introduced changes, to give users increased control over news feeds and ensure posts are more timely.

This might be daunting to brands, but it shouldn’t diminish Facebook’s importance to your social media marketing strategy. All algorithm changes simply call for a change of strategy.

While you still need to post engaging content, there are a few other things the 2018 social media updates will force you to consider:

1. Touch, pause, engage: As part of the Facebook algorithm update, people are now being punished for trying to ‘play’ the system. Posts deemed ‘engagement bait’– for instance, anything speaking about ‘winning’ or ‘tagging’ is now recognised as spam. Although there’s still a place for these posts, brands need to be smarter about creating content that drives discussion, i.e.: using a poll and letting your audience start the conversation.

2. Timely Posting: Newer posts are now more likely to show up at the top of users’ feeds. To ensure your content is seen, it should be the first thing users encounter when they open the app. Securing a place at the top of the feed is all about knowing when your target audience is online, and posting at those peak times. This is where tracking performance via the insights section is important.

3. Create Debate: Creating constructive debate where appropriate is one way to get people commenting on your posts – though this content can be tricky – so avoid the shock factor or anything overly political. Alienating audiences can turn them off your brand and have the opposite effect.

4. Utilise Employees: One of the best tools for promotion on social is harnessing your employee base. It’s time to get employees advocating for your brand and sharing relevant content. Reach is already limited by number of fans/followers you have, and considering new changes to the algorithm, people seeing and engaging with your posts will likely be reduced even further. Facebook users are 16 times more likely to read posts from family and friends, ahead of a brand; so, it’s a no-brainer to help increase reach.

5. Link Less: It’s well-known that Facebook prefers its own content to external links. This has been noted as one of the main algorithm changes. To avoid a huge drop in following, try creating unique content instead –such as photo, video or Gifs. Every post should have some visual element, be it a graphic or eye-catching image to stop people scrolling past. Try using relevant hashtags on Instagram or use cross-promotion by tagging another like-minded brand page.

The social space is constantly changing, that’s why MRD’s experts make sure to stay on top of the latest developments across all platforms.

If you have any questions, make sure to call us and discover how we can help maximize your business potential online.