5 Ways PR Pros Can Take Advantage of the Facebook Algorithm Change

5 Ways PR Pros Can Take Advantage of the Facebook Algorithm Change

While savvy PR pros have included video in their campaign strategies for a few years, it still wasn't ubiquitous. It now seems that with the Facebook algorithm change, a Facebook strategy is inherently a Facebook video strategy. Read on to learn how brands can keep up their engagement in light of the platform's changes.
Christian Karasiewicz
February 8, 2018

Facebook has recently made some significant changes to the News Feed algorithm.

If your business relies heavily on Facebook to generate engagement, drive product awareness, and bring in new leads, these changes will have an impact on your organic page reach.

What Is Changing in Your Facebook News Feed?

With this update, Facebook is planning on prioritizing posts that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.” What this means is that Pages are going to see “reach, video watch time, and referral traffic decrease.”

According to Facebook, “Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed.” Those who use “engagement-bait” to drive comments will be demoted in the Feed.

Now that your Page updates are getting pushed further down the Feed in favor of personal updates and you can’t ask for shares or comments, what can you do?

5 Features PR Pros Should Use to Drive Engagement

1. Native Video

Facebook has said that they prefer updates that lead to discussion. One way to capitalize on this is to create and upload video directly to Facebook (no YouTube or Vimeo links). Consider scripting these and producing a regular daily or weekly feature that offers a behind the scenes look into an aspect of your service/product/industry. And while you may initially see a dip in views, video content that receives organic likes, comments, and shares will receive a bump in the News Feed since it will be deemed valuable to segments/communities of friends and family.

2. Live Video

A Live video strategy can increase your News Feed ranking in the same way native video can. With features like an announcement that you’re Live and the ability for viewers to send Likes and Hearts, as well as the ability to comment in real time, Live is engagement gold. 

Consider scheduling Live events to allow viewers to get to know your brand. During the broadcast, give them a tour of HQ, encourage questions about your brand, product, or service. These events can also be an opportunity to hold AMA-style question and answer sessions with product experts. 

3. Facebook Watch

Facebook is moving towards regularly broadcast shows, with the ability for viewers to subscribe to channels. With Facebook Watch, a brand can create a mix of regularly scheduled programming of high-value on-brand content. It will take resources and a lot of planning, but if you’re able to tell stories engaginglyespecially untold storiesyou’ll get eyeballs.

4. Facebook Events

Implement a regular schedule of Facebook Events for virtual product launches, Live video broadcasts, or in-person events. A benefit of Events is the ability to see who has seen an invite, as well as the Event feed as a place to further interact with invitees who have RSVP’d. Additionally, when invitees accept an invitation, the Event will be amplified to their friends and family. Also, attendees of your Event can be retargeted for Facebook Ads for additional brand engagement at a later date.

5. Facebook Groups

Put more resources into building up your Facebook Group’s community. With Facebook reach being practically zero, you’ll need another way to broadcast your messages. Use this opportunity to bring your community together in your Facebook Group for discussions around topics and concerns that impact your product/service/brand/company/industry. Groups can also be a place to foster a forum-type environment where customers and fans can interact with each other around your brand, product, or service.

Takeaways

With the Facebook algorithm change, PR pros will need to adjust their platform strategy. Here’s a recap of ways to drive engagement now:

  • Create a cadence for native video updates to highlight your product, service, or broadcast company developments
  • Use Facebook Live for off the cuff engagement and content such as AMA-style sessions
  • Develop themed, regularly-scheduled broadcasts for Facebook Watch to keep people tuning in 
  • Use Facebook Events to build a list of engaged fans and retarget invitees via Facebook Ads 
  • Build a community around a brand Facebook Group to get to know your audience and let them get to know each other