On Friday, Facebook announced that it is changing its news feed algorithm once again. While it’s always important to be aware of these updates and evaluate necessary changes, this time it’s very likely that companies using organic posts to reach their prospects and customers will be impacted. Facebook’s changes affect the types of posts that are in people’s feed everyday. The intention of the change is to prioritize more of what their actual friends and family are posting, as opposed to seeing viral videos or posts from publishers and brands. Publishers and brands posts will still be seen in Facebook, just many fewer than are shown today.
Mark Zuckerberg himself said that people can expect to see less content from publishers, businesses and brands.
From a user’s perspective, your company posts could be pushed to the bottom of their feed or not shown at all. More of their friend’s and family’s personal posts will rise to the top. Facebook says they are doing this so that people will read more status updates from their friends that should spark meaningful conversation, rather than being glued to a screen watching viral videos all day.
While the idea of increasing genuine human interaction is a virtuous idea, the new Facebook algorithm could mean trouble for businesses on the platform. Companies will be challenged to be very meticulous in their content creation. Quality over quantity will take rule, as posts with more engagement, primarily comments, will rise to the top of the news feed.
“Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect,” said Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s head of news feed.
The bar is being raised for businesses, so content that sparks engagement is even more important now. It will become more of a necessity to run paid advertisements alongside your organic content to ensure that your brand is being seen. Posts including video and eye catching photos are vital, because the more engagement that they elicit, the better your chances are to be seen. It’s time to get more strategic in our social media marketing.
Will Facebook’s Advertising Costs Be Impacted?
We predict this shift to people-focused Facebook will create an increase in the price of paid advertisements. In 2017 we saw Facebook ads to be one of the most cost effective forms of advertising. In 2018 we will see the cost go up, however these ads will still be an effective use of budget. Since the algorithm change makes it more difficult for businesses to show up organically in news feeds, companies will be forced to pay to play. With more advertisements, and increased competition for visibility in the news feed, we expect to see a substantial rise in Facebook advertising costs.
“With the updated news feed algorithm, the quality of content that is being published is more important now than it has ever been,” said Jenni Breeze, account manager for LimeLight.
How Should Businesses Respond To This Change?
Businesses should stay proactive on this issue and get the most out of their social media advertising budget by focusing on the quality of their content and the engagement that their content brings.
Here are some examples of posts that will rise to the top of a news feed:
- Posts with lots of likes, comments and shares in a short amount of time
- Posts that are liked, commented on, or shared by one’s Facebook friends
- Posts with links to other content
- Videos uploaded to Facebook that receive a large number of views or extended viewing duration
- Posts that are timely or reference a trending topic
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