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Let’s make a list of stuff that’s hard to keep up with:

1. Unleashed dogs on the first day of spring. Seriously, have you ever seen a dog park on the first 65-degree day of the year? Chaos.
2. Taylor Swift’s love life. John Mayer. Joe Jonas. Zac Efron. Girl gets around. (You go, Tay-Tay.)
3. The rotating burger specials at PYT. We had to stop at Ellio’s Pizza burger because it was just too freaking much.
4. Facebook’s changes. Zuckerberg can’t stop, won’t stop.

Since we here at ChatterBlast are in the business of chatting about social media, we pulled together a quick list of the FIVE things you need to know about Facebook right now. And, because we’re also in the business of making sure you look good online, we’re offering up our take on why you should care and what steps you should take to ensure that you’re ready to make a move that’s successful for your business when the time comes.

1. You gotta pay to play.

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The change: A source professionally familiar with Facebook”s marketing strategy told Valleywag that the social network is “in the process of” slashing “organic page reach” down to 1 or 2 percent.

Why it matters to you: If you’re not advertising, each post’s reach would be absolutely annihilated. The example Valleywag shares is particularly impactful: After this change, “an advertising giant like Nike, which has spent a great deal of internet effort collecting over 16 million Facebook likes, would only be able to affect of around a 160,000 of them when it pushes out a post.”

What you need to know: It’s no secret that promoting posts is going to get more eyeballs on your Facebook content, but now it’s more important than ever before to allocate a budget—even a small one—to Facebook advertising.

2. Coming to a computer near you: Video Ads!

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The change: Beginning this month, you’ll start to see video ads in your Newsfeed—but don’t worry, they won’t be too disruptive. You won’t see more than three video ads per day and though they will auto-pay, the volume will only kick in if you tap the ad.

Why it matters to you: These ads are PRICEY— ranging from $1 million to about $2.5 million a day—so it’s not likely that you’ll be purchasing a bunch of these to promote your business’s summer best online casino special. But you still need to care about the evolution of Facebook’s advertising model because it’s only a matter of time before the wave of pay-to-play trickles down.

What you need to know: The quality of the ads is going to be HIGH. Facebook has employed Ace Metrix, a company that gauges how much people like TV commercials to review every video ad before it hits your Newsfeed.

3. Tagging other businesses

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The change: Beginning in February, Facebook unleashed a new tactic to help small businesses expand their impact. Now, when you tag a brand, the post shows up in the newsfeed of your page”s followers AND the tagged page”s followers. For example, if Unite Fitness posts a story to Facebook and tags Be Well Philly’s Page, the post could now appear in News Feed for both Unite fans and BWP fans.

Why it matters to you: This is an opportunity for small businesses to expand their reach through strategic tagging. It will be interesting to see how Facebook works to monitor abuse of this—because, seriously, wouldn’t you just tag Pepsi in every single post to get more eyeballs on it?—but it’s a sign that Facebook is very interested in connected businesses to each other.

What you need to know: This trick only works if you’re posting in the native Facebook tool. Even though we love third-party content management systems like Sprout Social, Spredfast and Hootsuite, they don’t do us a lick of good when it comes to tagging on Facebook.

4. Games are growing

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The changeGame developers can now customize the language in a request. For example, alerts that used to say “John sent you a request” will now have specific information about the game, such as “John asked you to collect a gem.”

Why it matters to you: If games are more interesting and accessible to Facebook users, people will spend MORE TIME on Facebook. And that means you have more opportunities to reach new and existing members of your Facebook communities.

What you need to know: Even if you’re not looking to develop the next Candy Crush, you can still tap into the gaming culture of Facebook. Doing a simple quiz or poll might engage your community in a way they’ve never considered before.

5. Content matters more than ever

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The change: In late February 2014, Facebook changed its algorithm to penalize sites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed. Facebook said it wanted to feature more “high quality” content and fewer “meme photos.”

Why it matters to you: You’ll be seeing way less “you’ll never believe what happened next!”

What you need to know: This move indicates that Facebook increasingly sees itself as a content-sharing site—so keep your editorial standards HIGH. Avoid the temptation to write easy click-bait-style headlines for blog posts.

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About the Author

Erica Palan

Erica is ChatterBlast's resident cat lady and the adoptive mother of Banana, our office fish. Her hobbies include reading (quickly), running (slowly) and listening to Bruce Springsteen (loudly).

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