On Tuesday, Facebook announced changes to their News Feed algorithm. We’ll overview how these changes affect marketers and brands and what they can do to be successful, but first: the changes from Facebook.
“Previously, we had rules in place to prevent you from seeing multiple posts from the same source in a row. With this update, we are relaxing this rule.”
“The second update tries to ensure that content posted directly by the friends you care about…will be higher up in News Feed so you are less likely to miss it.”
“Lastly, many people have told us they don’t enjoy seeing stories about their friends liking or commenting on a post. This update will make these stories appear lower down in News Feed or not at all…”
How will these changes affect brand page reach?
More posts from friends and more posts from the same source mean less room for brands. Additionally, brand pages will see less activity generated from users engaging with brands because that content will be served up less often to users.
Facebook tries to keep brands from freaking out by saying:
“If you like to read news or interact with posts from pages you care about, you will still see that content in News Feed.”
But we know what this really means.
The window of opportunity for brand content to be served in the News Feed just got more competitive and more expensive.
“The impact of these changes on your page’s distribution will vary considerably depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity. In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline.”
If that sounds vague, it’s because it is.
Will your reach go up, down, or sideways? For the reasons we outlined above, you can go ahead and bet the farm on declined brand reach.
So, what should we do? Two things:
1) Only publish truly engaging content.
Does it create an emotional response? Meaning, is the post relevant, funny, clever, beautiful, interesting, or create desire or action? Facebook even reminds us in their announcement to post “things that people find meaningful.” Commercialized content has no place in the News Feed.
2) Increase your Facebook budget.
Facebook’s CPM in Q2 of 2014 was $1.08. By the end of 2014 it was a staggering $4.40 and will only rise. Impressions will continue to decline with these algorithm changes and with more brands entering the space.
Facebook was never intended to be a free advertising channel. The glory days of free and bountiful organic reach are long gone. If you want your brand content to be seen you have to pay to play; just like display. Don’t get discouraged by Facebook’s changes. Instead embrace the idea of delivering meaningful content to a highly targeted audience supported with a smart budget. The results will be better than ever!
Let us know how IQ can help you deliver better content to highly targeted social audiences.
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