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Social Strategy Part Eight: The Future of Facebook

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Welcome to the final edition of Social Strategy, where we share tips and tricks for you to get the most out of your social media profiles. In the last installment, we looked into how Facebook Groups can be very beneficial when you're trying to build a community.

Facebook's algorithm, the code that determines what people see on the network, isn't particularly kind; the less engaging your content is, the less it will actually be seen, regardless of if someone has liked your page or not. Facebook's algorithm is one of the company's most closely-guarded secrets, to the point where it has been openly tinkered with in the past to only show users specific things as part of an experiment. Perhaps one of the biggest problems with growing a social media presence is that while you are free to enjoy the grounds, someone else holds the keys to the kingdom.

In regards to what networks you choose to use, it's generally a bad idea to put all of your eggs in one basket. Luckily, Facebook has provided its own solution in Instagram. Yes, the stalwart photo-sharing platform is a subsidiary by Facebook, but has by and large retained its status as a separate entity. As befitting this status, Facebook's algorithm loves it when people share things on their timelines from Instagram. In fact, images posted to Facebook through Instagram's sharing feature get a 23 percent increase in engagement over images natively posted to Facebook.

This may be seen as a bit strange; why would Facebook be willing to act in such a self-cannibalizing fashion? Before you panic and decide to make a huge investment in Instagram as the social network of the future, look at the statistics this data was based on: one billion posts from over three million brand pages. That's a lot of information, and odds are not every company is as large as Nike, which was specifically cited within the study.

Facebook's algorithmic championing of content shared from Instagram only serves to demonstrate that the company is bigger than any one entity. At the recent F8 Conference, the company unveiled its ten-year roadmap, with the intent to get into more ambitious and advanced technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, drones and satellites, and even artificial intelligence. The company sees its social network as an ecosystem to foster all of its plans – it is not dividing and conquering, it just wants to keep building and refining.

How can the network's future plans affect what you do today? Don't treat Facebook as a single network, but instead as an amalgamation of communication tools with tremendous potential going into the future. The aforementioned study also revealed that videos shared natively through Facebook got over six times more interaction that videos hosted on YouTube.

Technology always changes, and thinking about even potential platforms for the future can help you carve out an interesting and engaging niche for your content today.

Speaking of technology, SimplyCast offers Facebook and Twitter scheduling, so you no longer have to worry about waiting to post the right thing at the right time. Get started with a free 14-day trial and see how scheduling can improve the reach of your content today!

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