Facebook’s new algorithm: what’s next for PR

 In Business, Entertainment, Interviews
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nother Facebook update is here. And the PR game is changing…yet again.

With frustrations high, let’s hash this out and see how to still come out on top with strong PR game.

What’s going on

Mark Zuckerberg announced in January a new algorithm where Facebook users will start seeing more posts from friends and family and fewer posts from companies and brands.

According to Facebook, the update is supposed to encourage more engagement on Facebook because we’ll be seeing more posts and content from the ones you love.

“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Thursday.

It’s true.

My Facebook feed is full of video after video. It’s to the point I don’t even want to get on Facebook anymore.

Facebook algorithm has changed—affecting PR professionals managing business pages (photo courtesy of dynamix solutions).

However, Facebook is a primary outlet for businesses trying to reach their consumers and clients.

“I want to be clear; by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” Zuckerberg said.

“But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”

Businesses depend on Facebook as a social media outlet to share their brand, motives and goals. With the algorithm changing, PR professionals working in social media will need to find alternatives to the algorithm change.

What’s next

Adam Durfee is an SEO and public relations guru and said, “Facebook has made it very clear that what matters most for businesses is brands and pages starting conversations. Facebook will be giving edge-rank boost to those starting conversation among followers.”

“Your job as a PR professional running business pages now is to start conversations among followers. If you can’t, your reach will disappear.”

“If you can, you’ll have better reach than ever before.”

“Don’t just tell stories, get people to engage in them,” Durfee concluded.

There you have it.

There is a way to rise on top. We just have to know what we’re dealing with and then act. We have the chance to have a larger reach than ever before if we adapt to the new system.

Advice moving forward

If you’re sitting at your desk thinking, “great, time to make an entire new strategy,” I’m happy because it means you get it.

But, think of it like this:

Instead of writing stories and experiences to tell to your audience, you can start writing posts to talk with your audience.

Start your new strategy now. Find creative ways to engage.

I think one of the most engaging tactics in social media right now is Instagram Story polls. How can we incorporate these on Facebook?

How can we start conversations that people actually want to respond to?

As PR professionals, these are the kinds of questions we need to start asking.

When you and your team begin crafting your new strategy and launch your first posts with conversations, your reach will be like Durfee said, greater than ever before.

We came into the PR industry knowing that it is ever changing. We have to be flexible. Creative. Adaptable. Innovative.

If we embody these traits, there is no social media update that will get us down.

Don’t try to fight Facebook, beat ‘em.

Written by Genny Hickman

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