Why the drop in Facebook referral traffic isn’t a bad thing & what you should be posting to minimise the loss

You heard it from the main man himself, so it should be no surprise when, less than a month later, there already seems to be a 6% decline in Facebook traffic to publishers.

In the long run, this drop in referral traffic is intended to result in quality over quantity. If Facebook can become a place where you want to spend time, as opposed to where you begrudgingly frequent because it’s just what we do as a modern society, then that’s hugely stabilising for Facebook’s long-term success. The failures of previous social networks and tech companies will not have been forgotten, and this move shows that as a business Facebook are humble and bold enough to make painful changes before they become a real threat.

As social media marketers, we need to be a little patient and ask our stakeholders to play the long game too. Prioritising meaningful interactions will make campaign successes on the platform much easier to measure.

While this change is taking place, what should your content focus be around? It’s still too early to make definitive conclusions but early research by Newswhip suggests that native video format posts are performing the best. Given Facebook’s push for video, this is no surprise, especially as YouTube looks set to be a $15 billion business.

Person-to-person interactions have also been raised in importance. So, where it makes sense to, your posts should facilitate comments, as this type of activity is favoured by the algorithm. This for Facebook, qualifies as a meaningful interaction.

We’ll see how positive a change this is from a wider societal point of view. Encouraging discourse seems noble and given that being first to the news is of lesser importance than when we find out about current affairs from our favourite tabloid, having a powerful opinion is now the main currency.

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