Earlier this month, Facebook changed their algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family in addition to those that generate strong engagement. According to recent reports, these changes are meant to enhance and improve the user experience while getting people to spend more time on the social platform.
Why did Facebook update their algorithm?
Facebook is actively working to increase engagement, as measured through comments, shares and reactions. According to Facebook, the algorithm update was launched in response to users being flooded with content that was not personal. As a result of the update, users should see more updates from their friends and family. Consequently, users are less likely to see organic posts from brands, businesses or publishers.
How will the Facebook algorithm update impact the organic reach of marketers?
We anticipate only brands with “very high” engagement (and not just visibility) will remain actively represented on the Facebook news feed. In fact, brands that don’t boost posts may lose visibility altogether. According to Adam Mosseri, head of News Feed at Facebook: “As we make these updates, pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from page to page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it.”
However, brand posts that lead to meaningful interactions will see less of an impact. For that reason, Facebook is encouraging brands to create content that matters to their audiences.
How will the Facebook algorithm update impact paid advertising on Facebook?
Although Facebook is not making changes to their ad rankings, they have suggested that brand posts with less organic reach may see a slight negative impact if not boosted.
But most advertising experts anticipate Facebook CPMs will rise due to advertising on the platform becoming more competitive as the result of the recent algorithm change. According to Adstage, Facebook rates were already up 171% in 2017. Only time will tell how high they can go while maintaining the demand. Facebook promised to monitor the performance of their client accounts and will report back if they see shifts due to the algorithm update.
How can brands continue to leverage Facebook successfully?
Brands that create “meaningful interactions” (a term used by Facebook), as measured by comments, shares and reactions, may see ongoing success. Here are some ideas to make that happen:
- Spark conversations.
- Ask questions (“Comment yes if you like…”).
- Have opinions.
- Target your content to your target audience.
- Engage in Facebook groups that already have a following.
- Work with influencers that reach your target market.
- Don’t be spammy.
Note: Facebook specifically warns brands not use “engagement baiting” strategies, like those that encourage audiences to comment on posts without creating meaningful interaction. (Example: Comment “yes” if you like chocolate.)
- Ask followers to set your brand to “see first.” This means they’re essentially opting into your posts.
- Use Facebook Live. Because Facebook Live videos are known to secure higher engagement levels, many experts believe these videos have not been deprioritized with the recent algorithm update. This might represent a backdoor to the newsfeed.
- Pay to play. If you want to guarantee your message is seen, our advice is to boost your posts and pay for sponsored ads.
How can marketers gain visibility across all social media platforms?
Know who your audience is, what they want to see and how they like to engage. Remember, you’re having a conversation in social media. Just like in real life, you don’t have complete control.
Want to learn more about the pay-to-play environment of social media? Register for our webinar on February 15th.
How to Avoid Marketing Heartbreak: A Guide to the Pay-to-Play Approach of Social Media Giants
Social media has come a long way and plays an essential role in marketing for businesses large and small. But now, you will need a lot more than creativity to reach your audience on social media. In fact, top social sites are shifting toward the pay-to-play model more aggressively. Is your brand ready to adapt to the changes? Hosted by Director of Paid Media, Ross Bucholc, DMS gives you the inside scoop on the future of paid versus organic content. Learn how Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn have changed their paid media opportunities (and how to best position your brand to drive conversions).