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Facebook is about to make a change to its News Feed feature.

In a recent post, Facebook’s Head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri announced that the company will be “making updates to ranking so people have more opportunities to interact with the people they care about.”

How is Facebook’s News Feed changing?

According to Mosseri, Facebook will begin prioritizing posts that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions” over the next few months.

The company intends to prioritize posts from friends and family over public content, which means Facebook will “show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”

According to Mosseri, Page posts that generate conversation between people will get greater priority in the News Feed.

He writes:

“These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to – whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.”

What posts are getting demoted in the News Feed?

Items known as “engagement bait” — spammy posts designed to motivate users into interacting with likes, shares, comments and other actions — will continue to be demoted.

These kinds of posts do not add meaning to the overall online conversation and are designed to “take advantage of [Facebook’s] News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach,” according to a recent Facebook blog post.

In his post, Mosseri goes on to say the following:

“As we make these updates, 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.”

What could these Facebook News Feed changes mean for attorneys?

Social media should be a supplement to your law firm web marketing activities — in particular, creating new, high-quality content for your law firm website and blog.

These recent changes announced by Facebook should continue to highlight importance of creating and publishing high-quality content. Web users are becoming conditioned to engaging with high-quality material, whether they’re using search engines or social media.

Authenticity matters.

Facebook notes that it intends to demote posts that go against one of its key news feed values:

“Authenticity.”

Authentic engagement is an important part of law firm web marketing, and it’s why creating high-quality content is so valuable for your law firm.

Facebook has recently been working to decrease visibility for clickbait headlines and links to low-quality web page experiences because the company likely recognizes that its users don’t like or trust that kind of material.

Keep creating high-quality content.

Whether you’re using a personal page or Facebook Business Page (or both) to reach potential clients, make sure that each post you create is providing a quality experience for those who read it or who engage with links to your law firm’s blog, for example.

Attorneys who continue to create and share engaging, high-quality content are likely to see less of an impact than those who are focused on self-serving advertising messages, clickbait, or engagement bait in order to improve their views.

Facebook and other social media sites will likely continue tweaking their algorithms in the future. But, much like Google has always had a focus on providing quality experiences to search engine users,  there will likely be a continued focus on quality experiences for social media users, too.

Instead of worrying about each new algorithm change, attorneys should keep their focus on creating and publishing quality information on their law firm’s website and blog, which they should own and control. They should also keep in mind that social media should act as a supplement — never a substitute — for regular, high-quality content creation on their law firm website and blog.

For more on using social media effectively without wasting time or money, see our blog post, “Using Social Media Effectively To Boost Your Law Firm’s Business“.

This is a developing story. We’ll provide you with updates as they become available.