Facebook’s latest algorithm update may be good news for users looking to connect with friends, but bad news for marketers working to grow brand awareness.
Facebook has recently rolled out a new algorithm that favors friends and family over the content from publishers. For years, publishers, news outlets and marketers have looked to Facebook as a platform to grow their brand and expand their audiences. Now, with the release of Facebook’s latest algorithm, they may have to consider other platforms.
With over 1.5 billion total users and 900 million users accessing Facebook daily, it’s no surprise that many businesses have come to rely on the social media giant for marketing. But with Facebook’s update, content posted by businesses and media companies will show up less prominently in news feeds, taking the back burner behind posts from friends and family.
According to an official post by Facebook, the changes were made in order to more favorably promote substantive content and reduce the amount of promotional content seen in news feeds. The change came in response to feedback that users would like to see more stories from friends, families and pages they care about. The new policy is a way to get back to Facebook’s original driving principle: connecting people.
The more you interact with posts, the more likely you are to see that same person’s post again. While family and friends come first, it may take some additional scrolling to see those marketing promos you rarely interact with. This change requires marketers to work extra hard to get their content in front of their audiences.
This may be good news for the average user, however it leaves marketers questioning the continued utility of the platform. Marketers can’t ignore that Facebook has proven to be the most prominent social media platform in the market. According to DreamGrow.com, Facebook makes up 41% of the market share in the social media market, dominating all other platforms.
Facebook has been candid about the fact that the update “may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages.”
So, what can marketers do to cope with this development?
Organic reach is likely to decline with this change making paid advertising on Facebook an attractive option. For now, it’s relatively inexpensive. Though soon, competition for advertising will spark as promotional content becomes harder to reach users. If paid advertising is the only way for companies to remain visible on the world’s largest social media platform, spending that extra penny may be worth it.
The decline of organic reach may vary according to the characteristics of a business’s audience. For example, if the majority of your referral traffic comes from people liking and sharing your page’s content, there will be a much smaller impact than if traffic comes directly from page posts, which may put smaller businesses in jeopardy.
Paid posts can help ensure posts are showing up in the News Feeds of your target audience. With the right tactics, these ads will double your odds at reaching your target audience.
Facebook encourages pages to post sharable content that audiences are likely to engage with such as intriguing photos and videos. The more interactive the content, the more likely it is your company’s posts will reach higher conversion.
Luckily, there are a few ways to “beat” the algorithm and customize news feeds. Many users would still like to receive updates from businesses, so it’s important to communicate with them how to stay up to date with your company.
The “See First” feature allows you to see what you want to see at the top of your news feed, regardless of the algorithm. To use this, just go to the page or profile you want to see first, click the following or liked button, then choose “See First” from the drop down menu. This will ensure that you’ll see the posts you want at the top of your news feed.
While those who want to see more of their friends’ baby pictures and selfies will enjoy the algorithm change, these few tips and tricks will help those would still like to follow their subscribed pages.
For businesses, relying on Facebook for marketing may be an uneasy feeling. Although there may not be a straight forward answer for a marketing strategy, Facebook is an ever changing platform, and marketers must be willing to change with it.