The world’s most famous social network is getting personal. Facebook announced early this year that it would change its algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family.

For Facebook users fed up with the number of posts from digital publishers flooding their news feed, this is terrific news. For publishers and businesses who have invested significant time into building their Facebook presence, this isn’t welcome news since this means an almost certain plummet in their Facebook engagement.

That said, there are specific steps digital marketers can take to mitigate the effects of these news feed changes.

Create meaningful content

Clickbait thrived on Facebook, and it’s this propensity of users to mindlessly scroll through Facebook’s news feed that has caused the company to make this shift. Instead of a user base that engages in meaningless interactions, Facebook wants a user base that cultivates meaningful relationships. That said, customers still want content from their favorite publishers. While there will be an adjustment period for all publishers who use Facebook, those companies producing quality content will persevere. If you’ve been relying on clickbait and spun articles, it’s time to re-evaluate your content strategy and start investing in producing articles and content that offer value to your customers.

Solidify your brand identity

If your previous Facebook marketing strategy was to win engagement by any means necessary, that simply won’t cut it in light of these new changes. This algorithm now values friends and family connections over engagement metrics. It’ll now be important for marketers to focus on developing a strong brand identity that builds a sense of genuine community as opposed to pumping out content that generates likes and shares based on shock value.

Cultivate partnerships with influencers

It’s no big secret that influencer marketing can be exceptionally effective in a company’s digital marketing strategy, but it’s important now more than ever. Influencers have audiences of engaged fans who regularly interact with them due to their relatability, sincerity, and strong brand. Do some research to determine which influencer brands align with your brand then forge partnerships to give your product or service exposure to that influencer’s audience.

Build a brand community through Facebook Groups

Part of Facebook’s strategy to turn the platform into an arena for building meaningful relationships is prioritizing Facebook groups. Create a Facebook group for your brand and fill it with top quality content that encourages group members to check in, check it out, and engage. Clickbait and cheap content simply won’t fly in a Facebook group. The benefit of a Facebook group is that people are notified whenever you post something new. It’s easy to abuse this by posting several times a day, but this will only annoy members and lead them to turn off notifications from your group, or worse, leave the group. A few tips for building a community through a Facebook group is to:

  • Create highly valuable content and not post too often
  • Create group rules and guidelines to make the value proposition of the group clear and maintain a safe, welcoming digital environment
  • Assign someone to be a group moderator who actively removes spam, locks comment threads that spiral out of control, apply the group rules, and resolve issues before they damage the cohesiveness of the group

Invest in paid advertisements

Facebook will not eliminate paid advertisements, and it’s only expected that they’ll come up with strategies for helping companies advertise their work. If paid ads haven’t been a large part of your Facebook marketing strategy, it’s time to familiarize yourself with how they work and make them a more integrated part of your digital marketing efforts.

Change is inevitable, and there’s not much digital marketers can do about Facebook’s changes than adapt as quickly as possible. If there’s one message to take away from this survival guide, it’s that quality, meaningful content is the way forward for any company worth its weight in gold.