Mark Zuckerberg recently announced, Facebook had “gotten feedback from our community that public content posts from businesses, brands and media is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” They responded by updating the Facebook News Feed algorithm to prioritize content from friends, family and groups, placing less emphasis on company posts and natives ads that don’t spark engagement.
The explosion of video, fake news and clickbait cluttering feeds will be removed and replaced with content Facebook now deems “trustworthy” a.k.a. content created and shared by the people in your network. Facebook’s goal is to ensure we connect with each other and place a greater focus on quality content instead of quantity.
While a great change for Facebook users, this new algorithm is a cause of concern for many businesses as Zuckerberg states, “you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.” Branded pages will start to see a dramatic decrease in organic reach and engagement, inevitably leading less than optimal results.
For cutting edge companies however, this provides a massive opportunity to achieve even more organic reach and engagement on their brand content. How? Employee advocacy programs.
Employee advocacy is the promotion of a company or brand through the voice of their employees. Implementing a structured employee advocacy program will leverage the social network (and new positive Facebook currency) of your employees as they share your branded messages to their Facebook news feed, groups and associations.
This also means branded content will need to step its game up, as the public content you post “should encourage meaningful interactions between people.” Unless the content is earth shattering news, employees are unlikely to share press releases or generic case studies with their network. Creating easily accessible, engaging and thought provoking content will be essential to encouraging sharing and interactions on Facebook.
With a less cluttered news feed, employee promoted posts will now have a greater chance of appearing on feeds, driving impressions and creating more engagement. Companies who embrace this update by ramping up their employee advocacy will have an opportunity to gain a considerable brand advantage.