Facebook News Feed Changes: What Your Law Firm Needs to Know

In the coming months, Facebook has vowed to make sweeping changes to the content that appears in users’ feeds. Specifically, Zuckerberg said, in a post: “We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard – it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

Facebook’s overarching goal is to encourage more active engagement from users. In other words, they want users commenting, connecting and participating, rather than idly scrolling or watching videos; they want to increase activity and mitigate passivity.

Facebook’s announcement that it would be redesigning the algorithms responsible for generating users’ feeds has been both lauded and criticized. Some are hailing it as a step in the right direction by many who believe that social media exploits potential vulnerabilities in human psychology. Others have been quick to point out downsides, including the Editor-in-Chief of San Francisco Chronicle, who opined that by revising algorithms, users will be less likely to see posts from businesses or publications that they intentionally chose to follow. In sum, your followers, who chose to follow your firm’s posts, may no longer see your posts at all, or may eventually have to go to a separate feed to read your posts. So, what does this mean for your firm’s social media marketing efforts?

These changes are liable to affect your marketing efforts; however, there are solutions to potential problems, as well.

  • Strong Content Is Imperative to Boost Shareability: More than ever, your posts need to spark interest and discussion to increase their shareability. Evergreen, generic posts are no longer going to cut it, if you want to remain in front of your followers. Instead, posts that promote interaction, that prompt comments, and even better, lead to shares, are going to be imperative. Does this mean you need to post controversial content?  Not necessarily, but it does mean that sharing news on social media that is likely to generate feedback is the name of the game.
  • Get More Involved in Groups: If your law firm is already a member of Facebook groups, it’s time to up your involvement and actively participate in them. If you haven’t joined any groups yet, it’s important that you do. There are countless groups to join, which you can locate by searching for keywords or topics. Make sure to be involved in your state and local bar associations, for starters.  It’s also advisable to join groups in your particular practice area, or groups that are focused on specific issues in which you are familiar. You may join groups for consumer rights if you’re a personal injury firm, or you may consider joining divorce support groups, if you practice family law. Spend the time to not only find the groups, but also to participate and ensure your presence remains strong on social media.
  • Potential Paid Advertising Opportunities: Facebook makes money on selling ads, plain and simple. So, paid advertising options will remain intact. If you’ve never run a Facebook ad, it may be time to start. If you’ve been advertising on Facebook, take time to assess its effectiveness and determine if you need to adjust how you’re targeting.

The changes to Facebook news feeds may seem like terrible news for businesses, but there is a silver lining to be found. There’s no need to post just for the sake of posting anymore, because chances are, nobody will see the post. For better or worse, the new algorithms will force you to up your posting game by delivering quality content. Take this opportunity to fine-tune your strategy for social media marketing to ensure your firm’s posts are truly valuable and useful for readers.

As business owners of all sizes and across all industries learn to roll with the punches of the new Facebook feed changes, take comfort in knowing that many law firms don’t bother to have a strong social media presence. So, as long as you take steps to increase interaction, and focus on providing helpful, interesting content that engages others, you’ll remain way ahead of your competition.

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