The Facebook Update: How Will Businesses Be Affected?
It is widely acknowledged that social network giant Facebook has developed a remarkable influence on consumers over the past decade or so. The site now hosts users from all generations and has become very successful at targeting them with content from businesses, brands and the media. An overwhelming number of organisations use Facebook to promote their products or services, and understandably so, as this has been proven to generate a lot of business.
For such businesses, Facebook’s latest announcement that it will be changing its algorithm could be terrible news. The site just announced that it will be changing the priorities of its news feed, and will give significantly less weighting to businesses, brands and media. The reason for the change, according to founder Mark Zuckerburg, is that the social network wants to regain its roots of being a space to find out what your friends and family are up to; Zuckerburg wants time spent on Facebook to be more valuable, and claims that business posts are “crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other”. These businesses aren’t the only ones likely to see a negative impact on their finances; this is a bold move from Zuckerburg, since Facebook is also expected to see a decrease in its bottom line.
The response of businesses which currently rely heavily on Facebook for user engagement is key here. It has already been predicted that viral sites which are dependent on users sharing their content on Facebook could soon go out of business. Organisations will have to find other ways to engage with the market, if they maintain that the best way to do this is on Facebook, their posts will have to be seen to be encouraging interaction within the community.
Thankfully, there are other ways that businesses can engage with their target audience online. One key factor is to produce relevant and engaging content which captures user interest and makes them want to return directly to your site, rather than having to have it pop up on their news feed. High quality content and a well-structured website are likely to increase your search engine rankings, so this is key to reaching the market. A good SEO agency will be able to help you reach the top of the rankings for your relevant search terms. Ultimately, consumers who want your product or service will search for it, so being visible on search engines such as Google is the best way to make sure you are targeting your audience.
There are many speculations and questions still to be answered regarding the Facebook update. The algorithm is believed to be coming into force in the next few weeks, so for now, watching, waiting, and making sure your organisation is visible elsewhere is the best way to go.