There are about 7 billion people in the world, and 2 billion of them are on Facebook. If the social network was a country, it would have a bigger population than China.

Numbers like that are bound to attract advertisers like ants to honey. And 10 years ago, when Facebook was still new and relatively free of regulations, Facebook was truly a golden paradise where brands could expect to achieve great things at relatively little cost and a short amount of time.

But as times change, so does Facebook.

A Change is Coming

Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that Facebook will be changing its algorithm to prioritise posts from people’s friends and families while downplaying content from brands and media companies in a bid to improve user experience.

“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,” Zuckerberg says in his announcement.

Indeed, the deluge of branded and media content does make Facebook off-putting for some users. Sometimes you may notice yourself just scrolling through the feed like a zombie, wading through a sea of videos both useful and useless just to get to a meaningful nugget of actually rewarding information (which is most likely something happening with your friends and family).

The youth especially have no time for this, with a recent study confirming that Facebook’s demographic is aging, with many of the younger generation migrating to rivals like Snapchat.

In an age where media companies and brands are relying more than ever on Facebook to reach audiences and drive traffic to websites, this is a blow indeed.

How to keep up?

Engagement is crucial
According to Facebook, pages whose posts spark conversation between friends will be less affected by the change.

Mix it up
Test different content types to see which works the best. Video is and will continue to be more important, with live video seeing lots of engagement and interactions.

Test Facebook Groups
Groups are an easy way to connect with like-minded people. They also help users to feel involved. So if your brand is trying to build engagement and develop a relationship with its existing audience, this may be a worthy avenue to explore.

Use Facebook Ads
Brands hoping that advertising on Facebook will be free are trying to catch a train that has long left the station. Facebook Ads will help your engaging content reach your desired target audience so do allocate a budget for boosting posts or creating targeted ads.

Don’t rely solely on Facebook
Although it is the most popular social network, it is not the only platform around. Depending on your target audience and marketing objective, you can start testing where your audience is and explore different content ideas to see what sticks.

It is clear that Facebook wants to put people and community first with its newest shift. So the wisest thing a brand can do is to really know their target audience and create authentically engaging stories that resonate with them.

How will your brand counter this change by Facebook? 

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