The 2018 Facebook business page update is coming – but don’t stress…yet

Will this effect your ability to drive sales with a Facebook Business page?

Everyone is talking about the new Facebook news feed update that was announced recently. But what does it mean or your business? Lets break it down:

  1. Priority is given to Person to Person. Facebook wants people to see more from family and friends in their news feeds. This means you will see fewer posts from pages.
  2. Posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. That’s right, posts that spark conversations will be boosted. Likes and short answers will not help your posts anymore.

Argghhh! I hear you say, but don’t freak out just yet.

Yes, it does sounds bad for pages. But, we just don’t know how this will impact your page until these changes are rolled out.

It seems like we’ve heard this all before – pages would receive lower priority in the news feed. I can’t remember a significant drop in my post performance after the last updates. And, who knows? Perhaps it won’t happen again.


4 years ago, it was announced that the news feed will be updated to show more updates from friends (i.e. less from pages). Later in 2014 overly promotional page posts from pages were punished. In 2016, Facebook released an update called “ helping you make sure you don’t miss stories from friends” which sounded very similar to the most recent announcement:

Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook. That’s why today, we’re announcing an upcoming change to News Feed ranking to help make sure you don’t miss stories from your friends.

High Quality Content is King

This should be a given. Create good quality content for your audience. Remember who your target audience is and what interests them.  What would they find helpful, educational or entertaining? What moves them? I know this will be hard for some industries but brainstorm some ideas and decide on the best way to get your message across.

Meaningful Comments and Engagement

This can be hard and not all brands will succeed on Facebook.  Posting information that people genuinely care about enough to engage in a meaningful conversation is not the easiest but here are a few tips:

  • Think of your audience.
  • Have a purpose when you share something.
  • Start a conversation rather than a “click here”.
  • Focus on things they may interest people and ask them what they think.
  • Posts that engage people to write long thoughtful comments will ultimately succeed.

No More Engagement Baiting

You think you can get your customer engagement easily? Think again – Facebook is already ahead of you!

Facebook has announced that they will demote “engagement baiting” posts where users are asked to vote, like, or share a post in the hopes of bumping it to the top of people’s News Feed.

December 2017’s announcement – News Feed FYI bringing people closer together: Using ‘engagement-bait’ to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.

Examples of “engagement baiting”

Image: facebook

And no tag baiting or comment baiting…

This will be the challenge for pages, to get people to engage with them but without baiting them into it. Again, focus on meaningful content.

Live Video gets the thumbs up

Facebook seems to be encouraging us to use live video. But use it wisely!  Use live video because it’s the best way to get your message across, not because you think Facebook be tricked into boosting your post.  We don’t need to see live videos from you six times a day.

Consider Groups

Consider Facebook Groups as a possible way to expand your reach and to limit the impact of this update.

A few months ago, Facebook announced Groups for Pages allowing businesses connect groups to their page and even post within your group as your page or as your profile.

Th latest update alluded to how “people often interact around public content” in groups when talking about ways that brands can encourage conversations.

To get the most benefit from your newly linked group you’ll need to build an authentic community – not a place to blatantly spam your wares.

Think about creating a community to help your customers and potential customers.

What about Facebook Advertising?

This update shouldn’t impact your Facebook advertising. There is no suggestion that there will be less ad placements as a result of this news feed update.

We suggest you continue running your ads as you have been. If your ads happen to contain content that engages your audience in a conversation, then it could benefit from organic distribution as well.

I really don’t think this will affect digital marketers and good quality Facebook Ads strategist. I do however think it will affect organic reach in general. We have seen a steady decline in organic reach for many years. This is obvious because Facebook makes many more billions of $$ on ads by limiting the organic reach. It will continue to make profitable for marketers and businesses to sell their products and services on their platform.

As always with Google and Facebook, we don’t know what will happen to the price of Ads. Ads with social proof and engaging content will continue to be successful and low quality trickery (you could say black hatters) will see prices go up. There are new features and techniques like messenger ads and targeted remarketing strategies that will set you apart and maintain your success with Facebook Ads.

So What Now?

All in all, this is a good thing.

It’s very similar to what happened with the Penguin updates. Back then Google wiped out tens of thousands of web pages with low quality content that were manipulated by black hat marketers.

Google did this to enhance the user experience.

It looks like Facebook is trying to nip this in the butt before it gets out of hand. Your goal is to place valuable content in front of potential customers and shoppers.

As always, I’m sure marketers will find ways to trick the system to get cheap trick and manipulate sales.

It’s anyone’s guess what this update will bring, but you will probably do just fine. You may even benefit.

Assess what you’re currently doing. Is your audience engaged? Do they reply in a meaningful way to create a conversation?  If you believe you are on top of your content game, then don’t stress.

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