On 12th January, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its newsfeed algorithm so as to favour posts by friends and family, over posts from companies. This is probably one of the largest changes to the Facebook newsfeed and will impact all businesses and force them to rethink their marketing strategies.

Zuckerberg believed that it is necessary that the time his users spent on Facebook, is worthwhile. He used this as a justification to introduce this new touch. “ You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people”, he wrote.

It will be more challenging for companies to reach out to their audience now. Businesses will see a reduction in the organic reach, as the changes are rolled out. Unpaid promotions were never easy, and with Facebook incorporating this new algorithm, it will become all the more difficult. It is still not clear how paid ads will fare, but all in all, this is certainly not a great news for companies, to start the year with.

Yes, public unpaid content will still be available, but it needs to foster discussion among the audience. Facebook will promote content which attracts more comments. Coming up with tactics like ‘Comment on this picture for a free trial’, or in other words using ‘engagement-bait’ may seem like a viable option, but that will only be worse for your business. Facebook demotes such posts in the Newsfeed as it believes that they do not produce any quality interaction, and only lead to spamming of the user’s newsfeed.

Instead, you should look towards ways to create better, and more engaging content for your organic Facebook campaign. You can come with posts which encourage users to share their experiences or ask for their feedback. This will lead to more interaction, in the form of more comments which is exactly what Facebook is looking for. As a company, you need to start thinking from the customer’s perspective and create content which is appealing to them.

So, what are the key areas in which you should be investing your time and effort, with these changes in the Facebook algorithm? Here are some areas to focus on :

Look out for Paid Ads:  You should look towards increasing your budget on paid ads on Facebook. Zuckerberg hasn’t said anything about paid promotions, but in probability, these will still reach out to the public as before. Unpaid content will be affected.

Create engaging content: Unpaid content that you create should be creative, engaging and lead to discussion among people. This is the only way such posts show up in the newsfeed.

Facebook Live: Videos, especially live videos fare extremely well on Facebook. If you haven’t started using it, this is the right time to do so. The new algorithm will support Facebook Live videos, and these can be used to maximize customer interaction.

Use other platforms: Other social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram if you are not getting favourable results on Facebook. These sites are also becoming popular among the youth and can be used to target your audience.