It’s not new news to hear that Facebook's news feed now prioritises 'meaningful interactions' over branded content. But for many, it is more baffling than ever for brands looking how best to generate a return on their content so that they’re not shouting into a void.
Brands need to change their approach from simply growing an audience to building a highly engaged community. It’s about making content conversational instead of attention-grabbing. Content is going to be scored by its ability to drive engagement among friends as opposed to links to third-party sites. This change only reinforces Facebook’s goal to create a better user experience every time a person refreshes their newsfeed. But with organic reach at an all-time low, and the prioritization of communication between friends, many brands question if Facebook is still worth the investment. This has been compounded by the recent privacy scandal as brands like Wetherspoons ditched all activity with the network.
Privacy aside, Facebook simply wants to bring more value to its users and this is how brands should be thinking too. Insights about what your community wants to talk should ultimately drive your content strategy:
Create content with the purpose of driving discussion among users — the Facebook algorithm will prioritize content that drives a conversation between friends and family so posts with long-form comments will receive a higher weighting
Native content takes precedence over links to other sites. See Facebook as a walled garden and your page as a second digital home for content. Create content for the platform instead of posting links to your own sites
Use live video to drive engagement whenever possible. The algorithm prioritizes live video because it generates six times more engagement than any other content. Video is outperforming other media in general so invest in video now
Aim to be reputable in the eyes of the algorithm. This means being choosy with what you share and the curated content you associate your brand with
Don’t use Facebook as a means to share every piece of content you have and only choose content that you know will engage your audience. If your content doesn’t generate engagement, it affects your credibility score
Harness the power of your advocates. Employee advocacy has never been more relevant than it is today. The content employees share with family and friends about your brand is prioritized before your own content
Have a strategy to connect with Facebook influencers. Facebook will prioritize content from publishers the community finds trustworthy. These influencers have large communities that trust what they say and actively engage with their content
A masterclass in content driven by community engagement:
After Condé Nast Traveller published an editorial package called Women Who Travel, they realized that there was an untapped community of readers eager to engage with this subject. In response, they launched a Facebook group, Women Who Travel, for female travel lovers to have conversations in a safe environment. Membership quickly reached 56,000 — 73% of whom are active in the group on a monthly basis.
The success prompted Condé Nast to scale Facebook Groups across eight of their brands. Each group is built around specific niche passions related to the publication that runs it and allows the community to explore with an area of interest through meaningful discussion – with the publication as a catalyst for these interactions.