Another Facebook Algorithm Change: How Should Brands React?
Facebook announced this past Thursday that it is making yet another algorithm change to favor posts from friends and family over public posts from businesses, brands and media. Zuckerberg said that this decision is based on Facebook’s overall goal of creating more meaningful connections between people. He feels that if he does the right thing that it will be good for Facebook's business over the long term.
While this seems like bad news for brands, I actually see it as another step in the evolution of marketing which Facebook has been at the forefront of for some time. Brands need to create content that connects with their customers. Content that tells stories, stimulates dialogue and offers value.
In his post he says,
“As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard -- it should encourage meaningful interactions between people."
He also continues to mention live video as another path to receive more exposure.
“We've seen people interact way more around live videos than regular ones.”
Facebook wants relevant content that people comment on and share. In other words, content that creates a dialogue between people will receive more algorithmic love.
While many marketers are worried by this news, the bottom line is that organic reach of fans on Facebook is already tiny often averaging between 1% and 5% of the total fans. As a result, the real value in Facebook is not in the organic reach, it’s in the ability to “fish where the fish are”, i.e., target the right consumers with amplified ads. And, the ads that stimulate shares and dialogue between people will receive more organic reach. For example, a recent promoted post that we ran received a 500% bump in organic reach, as compared to the monthly average, due its high volume of comments and shares.
In addition, Influencer Marketing has also become even more valuable. Advertisers will benefit by placing their messages in the hands of influencers who are naturally favored over brands in the News Feed.
Here’s a quote from Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s Head of News Feed, who supports Zuckerberg's comments and the value of influencers.
“Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in the News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers, as do posts from celebrities.”
In sum, this news is certainly nothing new. It's more of an acceleration of the same. While there will continue to be changes, here are some best practices that brands can exercise right now to get the most out of their Facebook marketing:
• Focus on content that generates comments and shares as well as conversation between people
• Run link posts as promoted only
• Create more Facebook Live
• Double down on Influencer marketing
• Run amplification behind all posts – what’s the point of creating content few people see
• Focus on quality of posts over quantity
For more details on this news, here are two of our favorite links:
Video from Facebook’s Director of Product Management
Social Media Examiner’s Analysis of the Announcement