Last week Facebook created mass hysteria in the marketing world when they announced a change to their algorithm to promote more personal content rather than news (and alternative news). Facebook is changing its news feed to prioritize what friends and family share. This is good news for many as the content they see from brands and publishers that they don't follow will decline.
“We're making a major change to how we build Facebook,” Zuckerberg said in his post. “I'm changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”
“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people's well-being,” he added.
(um ... buh bye Breitbart!)
Facebook states that "public content" or unpaid posts from business pages has exceeded the volume of posts by people. Savvy media companies were gaming the system and creating viral content for free. This shift has detracted from Facebook’s core mission according to Zuckerberg. The company said the changes are expected to cause the reach and traffic of media organizations to decline as a whole. This is good news for many people who are tired of seeing garbage in their news feed. How it impacts big brands and their big budgets remains to be seen.
We believe it will be challenging for many brands to compete for valuable newsfeed real estate against family photos & videos. Skittles for instance has a huge viral following. They never needed to pay to "Boost" posts for instance. It will be interesting to see how their posts are impacted. Lifestyle brands that look to add value to people’s lives like Toms, Duraflame & Unilever may have the easiest path navigating Facebook's major organic algorithm change.
Because we all live on the outside, unaware of the secret sauce at Facebook, (don't let anyone tell you different), much of the impact remains to be seen. However it really seems like they are returning to being a social network rather than a news outlet. This is especially since they got caught with their pants down collecting Russian dollars to push out bogus political news stories to millions of Americans during the past election. This algorithm change looks like a step to get back to their roots as a social platform and not a news outlet. More posts about pets not Pakistan.
How This Impacts Your business
If you own a small business such as consultant, photographer or musician you should definitely start posting more to your personal page than your business page. You probably already are. Facebook clearly is giving less scrutiny and more reach to family and friend posts than business posts.
If you own a larger business like a restaurant, hotel, medical office than you want to evaluate your overall advertising budget and start shifting budget to paid Facebook advertising. You want to stop "Boosting" posts and seek the help of a digital advertising agency to create engaging & effective Facebook Ad Campaigns. Boosting posts has only been effective at taking money out of your wallet. Now more than ever, cleverly crafted Facebook advertising campaigns will be the only paid posts that are effective for businesses.
Thanks For Reading!