Facebook announced last week that they’re about to implement a significant change to the News Feed algorithm that could end up having a drastic impact on business pages. News Feeds will now be focusing more on content from friends and family members rather than brand and page content, which may sound like a genuine, moral shift in the company’s focus, but unfortunately, brand and business pages will suffer the most from it.

Once fully rolled out, it will be more challenging to reach your target audiences, as there will be significantly less opportunity for organic visibility. Consequently, there will be an increased need for boosted posts and ads, which will raise the costs and lower the overall availability in the ad marketplace. According to Facebook, “Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.” This will inevitably have many pages reevaluating the importance of Facebook to their business and/or considering new plans for engaging with fans.

So, what does it mean for PR professionals managing social media for clients? There are a few approaches you can take to combat this massive overhaul, but ultimately, you should make it known to your clients and discuss how you can approach Facebook with a new strategy. And while most page content should already have a call-to-action, this Facebook change is about encouraging more conversation and engagement between users and with your brand. It’s no longer about leading users to your website or other platforms.

This Facebook change is about encouraging more conversation and engagement between users and with your brand.Click To Tweet

This also means that more time should be spent analyzing results and conversations in order to better optimize content and get the highest quality engagements vs. just the largest audience reach. According to the rationale Facebook has provided about the goal behind this, the more communal and connected your page is, the better your chances are of being seen in news feeds. Zuckerberg also predicts that people will be spending less time on Facebook, so it’s important to make the most of the very short time-span you’ll have your audience’s attention for.

What steps have you already taken to handle the “new Facebook” head-on? Are you planning to revise your content strategy in light of this news, or are you waiting to see the impact directly once the changes have been implemented?

For more insights on communications and brand strategy, industry trends and more, subscribe today to the Weekly Buzz here.