Last week Facebook rolled out a rare change to the structure of its newsfeed that has both regular users and marketers excited. Beginning on July 9, 2015, the social media giant began to allow users to choose what they see first when they log in to Facebook.
iOS users were the first to do just that, getting to pick with a simple click which of their friends and followed pages they would like to see updates from without having to scroll much. Android and desktop users are scheduled to follow within the next few weeks.
But enough of the summary. By now, as a savvy social media marketer, you’ll probably be wondering just what the change means for your business. So that’s where we’ll start.
What Does The See First Update Mean For You?
Let’s cut right to the chase: the update means that if your users prioritize you as a page whose updates they’d like to see first, your posts will be much more visible. After years of newsfeed updates seemingly designed to push brands toward paid Facebook advertising led to a number of prominent industry voices calling organic Facebook reach dead, it seems we’ve finally reached the tipping point. Finally, an update has arrived that seems to directly help brands get the word out about their products and services without advertising money attached.
In the short term, that probably means we will see a lot of company pages asking their user base to add them for prioritized updates. And if done right, it’s totally legitimate; in fact, if you like this post, I humbly suggest that you add our Facebook page to your prioritized accounts so that you’re always up-to-date about the latest marketing developments and trends.
At the same time, we can’t deny that this update has the potential to become a slippery slope.
A Lesson From Clickbait
Remember when marketers discovered that Facebook counted as engagement, which in turn led to higher placement of posts in the newsfeed? It seems like ancient history in terms of social media marketing now, but after marketers began to actively exploit the algorithm, Facebook released a devastating update that (rightfully) pushed clickbait out of existence. That doesn’t mean you can no longer post links on the network. But it does mean you can no longer be deceptive in how you advertise the links, something we never recommended in the first place.
Why make the connection from clickbait to See First? Because we think that long-term, the same development may occur on Facebook. Kindly asking your loyal followers to change their settings so they see your relevant updates first is absolutely fine. But spamming them, even when your content consists mainly of irrelevant or overly promotional “push messages” won’t work for long.
Taking the Proactive Approach
And in the end, that’s what it all comes back to. We firmly believe that the best approach to take in wake of the See First update is one we’ve always recommended: to fill your page with a steady stream of relevant, well-thought out updates that your audience wants to see. Content is still king!
Giving users actual incentive to prioritize your updates among their many friends and page likes means they will come to you, as they always have. And as an added bonus, you won’t run the risk of being punished if Facebook does decide that marketers are pushing their “Prioritize Me!” messages too heavily.
How will you conduct your Facebook marketing and page management after the See First update? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below.