Rafi Bitchakdjian
Having worked some high-profile clients in the past, Rafi heads up Bring’s social media department. Responsible for publicising a number of top brands, Rafi is skilled in everything from design and content to analytics. He’s quite the singer and showman, and is known to serenade the office on occasion.

Facebook’s new algorithm update: What can business do to stay in the lead?

Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced this week, “Posts from businesses, brands and media – are crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

As a result, Facebook is changing its algorithm. Videos, photos and general posts shared by businesses will be de-prioritised in favour of content produced by family and friends.

Mark Zuckerburg explain that the changes will ensure “time spent of Facebook is time spent well,” but for brands “some measures of engagement will go down.”

This change reverts to Facebook’s original aim, to “stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world and to share and express what matters to them.”

As both a consumer of Facebook and a Social Media Manager, I have mixed feelings when it comes to this update.

As a user of Facebook I have to admit, I’ve been wanting to see this change for a while now. I’ve found myself increasingly scrolling through a platform filled with videos from big entertainment sites like LADBible & UNILAD and almost no ‘real’ content from any of my friends and family.

However, as a Social Media Manager, this update presents a new challenge – how do I ensure my clients stay visible in this more restrictive environment?

What can brands do to stay in the limelight?

Use data and insight to drive your content

Understanding customer motivations, demographics and behaviours, and creating content that’s relevant to this will help you stay visible.

Gone are the days where a short funny video of a puppy will suffice. Use audience insights to produce interesting content that’s more tailored and personalised towards your audience. Increased engagement with your content will signal to Facebook that it’s high quality and relevant to your target audience.

Surrender to paid advertising

“I have brilliant content – why should I have to pay for it to gain engagement?”

The current update will force brands to spend budget if they want to maximise visibility, resulting in a more competitive and potentially more expensive platform.

While this is an annoyance to marketers, it is important to remember Facebook is still the leading social media marketing channel, with 1.3 billion daily users. And unlike many marketing channels, it is measurable, so you know exactly where your budget is being spent and its ROI, enabling you to spend your marketing budget in a systematic and results-driven way.

As you look at your marketing plan for 2018, I thoroughly suggest you re-visit your social strategy. If you haven’t tried paid social yet, now is the time to trial it, start with a small budget and test the waters.

Also, consider expanding into other relevant social channels, where you may be able to achieve a slightly greater organic reach.

To talk to Bring Digital about how you can achieve growth through social media; get in touch today.