Recent changes to Facebook’s news feed could alter the way businesses react to digital business initiatives. The power is now in the hands of the consumer.
The role Facebook plays in determining the success of digital business initiatives cannot be overstated. Along with giving companies the chance to promote their products and services for free – or at an optional cost – Facebook pages provide a platform for consumers to offer feedback directly to companies and be responded to.
Like all social media platforms, Facebook is constantly evolving, with new changes and updates released to provide users with content that better matches what they are looking for.
Just recently, Facebook announced an update to the way that its news feed works, putting more of an emphasis on the way a user’s behaviour influences the content they see.
What does this mean for businesses?
As with most changes to popular services, there are pros and cons depending on how businesses respond. On one hand, the updates provide a chance for businesses to approach their social media strategies with a new focus. On the other, those that don’t react either in time or effectively could be penalised in the rankings.
The latest alteration to the social media giant’s news feed puts control back into the hands of consumers. Companies need to ensure they are promoting healthy engagement as they no longer have an algorithm backing them up.
Now, users can pick 30 friends and pages that they want to see first every time they log into the site. Pages and profiles that aren’t selected in this original group will rank further down the feed.
Social media advisor Dionne Lew said the changes are mixed for businesses looking to win over consumers. In a July 10 article, Ms Lew told SmartCompany that companies now had an even chance of either rocketing straight to the top or dropping to the bottom of user rankings.
“I think this is a really good change to the algorithm,” she said.
“People have been unhappy about the decline in reach as a result of the changes with the last News Feed update and there’s been general unhappiness – from people using it personally, but also businesses who have seen a significant decline in organic reach.”
What other digital changes have affected businesses?
Google has also been known to launch updates that drastically alter the online viability of a business. The most recent one was the mobile-friendly update, which was good news for some but devastating for others.
In short, Google began to penalise websites in search rankings if they weren’t effective on mobile devices, reflecting the modern nature of search.
These two examples display the importance of an evolving social media and online strategy for businesses looking for digital success.