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How the Facebook News Feed update impacts your employer brand

Quality content has never been more important.

January 2, 2020

Facebook is prioritising content from friends and family, making brands work even harder to reach their audience. Quality content has never been more important.

You may have heard recently that Facebook is making major updates that will impact the types of content users will see in their News Feeds.

The updates mean that Facebook’s algorithm (the method that decides what content you see) will start prioritising posts from friends, family and colleagues and will push less content from brand and company pages.

Needless to say, this has media outlets, publishers, marketers and employment brand managers feeling very anxious, with some going as far to say that for brands, organic reach is almost dead. And while that may be a slight exaggeration, it’s true that this will have a significant impact on how brands reach their audience.

To understand how this will impact your employment branding efforts on Facebook, as well as some ways you can remain effective, it’s important to understand exactly what the update means.

The News Feed update explained

Facebook has always maintained that its overarching goal is to connect people. And regardless of whether or not you believe this to be wholeheartedly true, it’s more or less been at the core of everything they’ve done since they launched some 13 years ago.

Recognising that people are becoming increasingly passive on the platform as brands and publishers have started to take over, Facebook are making a deliberate effort to reconnect people with their friends and family. Basically, they’re trying to make the platform more like it was five years ago.

This is likely to make Facebook a more engaging and enjoyable platform for individual users, however for brands, it means we’re getting squeezed out.

How brands need to adapt

We’re not going to sugar coat this – this is a big deal for brands.

Reaching and engaging an audience has always been difficult on Facebook and even pages with a large following can struggle to drive sizeable organic reach. Brands already have to rely on boosting posts and regular sponsorship campaigns to have their message heard and Facebook has admitted that brands are going to see decreased reach and will be less prioritised in the News Feed.

This means sharing your brand’s story, educating the talent market and driving potential candidates to relevant jobs is about to get a lot harder.

BUT, as with everything, there is a silver lining.

Facebook understands that brands and businesses do share updates that people want to see and that’s not going away entirely. In his announcement, Zuckerberg says that brands will need to produce content that “encourages meaningful interactions between people” if they want to continue to reach their audience.

This means it’s more important than ever for your content to be authentic, personal and genuinely engaging.

Ways to make sure your content is working

Put your people forward

People engage with people, it’s as simple as that. In employment branding, sharing stories and photos from and through the people in your business is always going to be the best way to engage with talent who want to learn more about what it means to work for you.

Keep it authentic

Regardless of the type of content you’re sharing, whether it’s a profile of a current employee, office photos or your company values, being authentic is absolutely key. Your followers want an honest look into life at your company and the more real you can be, the more it feels like they’re engaging with an actual person, not just a brand page.

Encourage meaningful interactions

Facebook has said this update is about driving “meaningful interactions”, not just passive views. So, any way you can encourage your employees or potential talent to comment, tag a colleague, respond to a question or share your posts is going to go a long way. Just be sure you’re not too spammy about it, as that can penalise your reach.

Activate your Brand Ambassadors

With more preference being given to personal profiles, now has never been a better time to build and activate brand ambassadors across your business. Telling your story through your people’s eyes has always been incredibly powerful and will now be more crucial than ever to continue reaching potential candidates.

Utilise your employees’ networks

The most simple and effective way to ensure your content is constantly reaching new audiences is by having your own employees share it with their networks. Their posts will be prioritised in the News Feed and they are often connected to people in their field that can be otherwise hard to reach. Like Brand Ambassadors, this should already be a major focus but is now vital to maintaining engagement with your content and Employment Brand.

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