Facebook Live and making meaningful connections with social video
You might be aware that in early January, Mark Zuckerberg announced an algorithm update that will give even more priority to “meaningful social interactions” on the Facebook News Feed, like those that Facebook Live stimulates. This is happening, partly at least, as a response to criticism that the platform has become too easily used for purposes that are nothing to do with social networking, including political propaganda and misinformation or fake news.
But what does it mean for Digital Marketers? Well, the feed will now de-prioritise content shared by brands and instead push posts by users’ friends to the top. Head of Facebook’s News Feed team, Adam Mosseri, has been candid in saying “this means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses”.
So what are your options? Well, you can always pay to promote your content, effectively turning it into an ad. But this might start to get expensive because the direction Facebook is taking means they’ll reward all posts that encourage interactions, paid or otherwise.
Don’t panic, it’s not all bad news
Two key takeaways to consider, are:
- If people interact with your posts, by liking, commenting or sharing them, they will reach more users
- Conversations stemming from Facebook Live videos will help posts rank higher
So, the best course of action is to embrace the purpose of the platform and make sure your posts encourage “meaningful interactions”. In fact, get started now and you might make the recent changes work in your favour, while your competitors lag behind.
Your Facebook presence will be prioritised if you entice your audience to come back again and again. Here are some essential steps to help you achieve that:
- Get to know your audience and what they are likely to engage with. What do they care about?
- Create content that encourages meaningful interactions by making an emotional connection
- Focus on quality, not quantity
- Invest in video, because it’s the easiest way to build those emotional connections
- Be there to have real conversations with your audience
Facebook Live video will rise to the top
These are changing times in social media and if you want to be seen on Facebook, it’s time to get contemporary and invite your audience to know you a little better. If you post a live video, simply choosing that media will mean that you will be prioritised over competitors who haven’t used it.
It’s essential that you are there to talk back – When you post your live video, you will almost certainly stimulate some conversation on the platform, and comments are now more important than shares so this means further prioritisation for your content. But live conversation is more important still, so when you post, make sure someone is available to engage with your audience.
When the chat subsides your video will still hold its value as a piece of content on your page, available for anyone that missed it, and it will be present in users’ news feeds like any other.
Almost all successful businesses have something of value to say in social media, but often they’ll only know what that is once they’ve spent time understanding their audience and finding common ground where a connection can be made. It’s not about pushing products, it’s about understanding needs, behaviours and emotions.
It can sometimes seem that the ever changing landscape of digital marketing means we have to constantly educate ourselves on its shifting complexities. But, if you step back and look at the trend of the last few years, the reverse is actually true. We’ve been moving toward a really simple meritocracy; in social media, SEO and beyond, if you create genuinely useful, entertaining and human content, the interactions it encourages will mean you’ll pay less to get it seen, and more people will see it.