On January 11th 2018 Mark Zuckerberg himself (via Adam Mosseri of course), announced that Facebook was once again about to update the algorithm that determines what content is displayed in user’s newsfeeds. Those of us who regularly monitor Edgerank’s changes (Facebook’s algorithm), know that this is a major one. Quite often the changes impact specific types of content, organic video reach for example, but this update will be drastically changing most brand’s who are invested in Facebook’s strategy.
Media starting stated it was due to “fake news”, digital marketers were tweeting and posting that this was going to drastically reduce their brands reach. The post by Zuckerberg was a heart-felt one, and you could see the passion in it, even if it was originally written by his head of PR. The “fluff” was that Facebook wants Facebook to go back to being users seeing what their friends are saying and not whatever brand is paying the most money to get into their newsfeed. There is definitely a connection between organic reach and who has the most advertising dollars. (there are of course brands that are excluded from this statement, one of my own even, who’s content is engaging enough that without the big dollars the reach still exists). But it’s simple, build up as many followers\likes as possible and you will get the most organic reach. How do you do that? Spend the most money on ads. Those of us who have been in Facebook Ad Buying for many years probably knew this was coming. It was just becoming to easy to reach thousands of users on Facebook and build brand equity. While we were building brand’s reach by buying ads, our personal Facebook accounts were becoming boring themselves. We’d sign in just as anyone else does and see only a few things our closest friends and family were talking about, and mostly scroll through dozens of “sponsored” content.
Facebook is essentially changing the algorithm so that Facebook Business pages will not be prioritized when it comes to organic reach. That really means that when a Facebook Business page posts something the % of it’s followers or “likes” that sees the content automatically will be drastically less. Zuckerberg made comments about video uploads vs live video and a few other interesting aspects of their algorithm like the fact that people are having a conversation on Brand Page Posts will give them priority in “the feed” – that should be interesting to see roll out.
Why is this a good thing for content marketers in my opinion?
Facebook again will again be differentiated from other (even online) mediums once again. For us digital marketers it won’t just be somewhere we take traditional creative and promote heavily with advertising dollars, or posts hoping for organic reach. We are going to have to start focusing on creating compelling, emotionally triggering content that is 1. Going to make people share it, and 2. get people talking about it (or on it).
Literally, the only way to get great organic (free) reach from your Brand’s Facebook Page is going to be by creating something so awesome, or controversial, that it makes people share it on their own feeds and start commenting or engaging with it.
The organic way to people’s newsfeeds, is now going to be through people’s newsfeeds. And, I think that’s a good thing. This is going to force marketers to once again think out of the box when utilizing the Facebook platform in their marketing campaigns, and that is going to result in far better traction & engagement.