In a Facebook post dated January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg shared a completely new direction for the News Feed to make sure the “time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.”
Public content from businesses, brands and media has “crowded out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” So his new goal for the News Feed is to create more meaningful conversations between “friends, family and groups”.
How will the News Feed rank public content?
To spark more meaningful conversations between people, the News Feed will now prioritize:
1. Posts from friends that inspire deeper meaningful conversations.
2. Videos and news articles that prompt more meaningful discussion.
3. Posts from friends and family over posts from nonprofits, brands, and local businesses.
4. Posts will longer comments over posts with short comments.
Facebook will continue to use the amount of reactions, comment, and shares to rank posts in News Feed.
Why did Facebook make this change?
For years, Facebook has tweaked the News Feed to create more valuable experiences for people. “Friends and Family First” has always been the mission of the News Feed.
This make sense because without active users that keep coming back, Facebook can’t sell ads.
The conflict between happy users and happy marketers has existed for years. But now Facebook is putting an end to almost all organic public content that doesn’t “encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
What does this mean for your nonprofit?
First of all, don’t freak out. Nonprofits have a clear advantage over consumer brands and businesses. People talk more about the causes they care about more than the clothes they wear.
A heart-wrenching story about a refugee from Syria sparks more meaningful conversations between people than click bait from Buzzfeed.
How should I change my Facebook strategy?
This radical change to the News Feed, based on Zuck’s mandate, requires a radical shift in your nonprofit’s Facebook strategy. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Stop posting passive content.
Stop posting links to articles and videos that don’t cause people to comment or share. For example, if you’re automatically posting your blog posts with nothing more than the title of the post, stop it. Instead, add a thoughtful description that prompts meaningful discussion. Ask questions that inspire long comments.
Inspire meaningful conversations.
Posts that ask followers to share their advice and recommendations will naturally spark more meaningful conversations than that link to your latest blog post. Keep in mind, your followers are waiting to share their own stories, their journey. For example, diabetes organizations should publish more posts that encourage followers to share their own diabetes experiences and tips.
Broadcast your impact with Facebook Live.
Live video is the#1 type of content on Facebook, getting six times more engagement than videos and pictures. As people join the broadcast and start commenting, their friends are notified of your live broadcast. Read this post for more on getting started with Facebook Live.
Start that blog you’ve been talking about.
Posts shared by people get much more exposure in the News Feed than organic posts from Pages. When you have awesome content on your website that supporters can’t help but share with their Facebook friends, you gain the upper hand in the Newsfeed!
Mix your email and Facebook strategies.
If you have an email newsletter, you’re ahead of the game. On a regular basis, try featuring your most conversational Facebook post (long comments) from the past week. Invite newsletter subscribers to join the conversation by commenting on that post. This drives high-quality Facebook users (your newsletter subscribers) directly to your content, skipping the Newsfeed entirely! It’s also a great way to acquire high-quality followers.
Invest in Facebook ads.
If you don’t have a Facebook ad budget, you’re not serious about Facebook. All of the most successful nonprofits on Facebook use Facebook ads to boost Page posts, grow their email lists, and raise money. Start investing more in Facebook ads to give your most conversational posts more exposure.