On January 11, Facebook announced a major shift in their algorithm that will shake up what users will see in their News Feeds. The social media platform will be veering away from content from brands, businesses and media outlets, and instead prioritizing posts from family, friends and groups. In a post from his Facebook page, Mark Zuckerburg explained the switch, saying he wants to make sure time spent on Facebook is “time well spent.”
The change comes as a result of Facebook’s belief that “passively reading articles or watching videos” can be detrimental to one’s happiness and health. Instead, Facebook will be emphasizing
“meaningful social interactions,” which Zuckerburg concedes will most likely lead to reduced time spent on Facebook and a decline in engagement measures.
So what does this mean for paid media planning on Facebook? In order to adapt to this major algorithm switch, brands and publishers will be forced to post more meaningful content rather than “clickbait-style promotions.” The change does not affect the advertising algorithm, but as more brands see their organic reach decline, more dollars will have to be funneled into the ad system, leading to more competition for ad inventory and higher CPMs over time.
Here are some tips for brands to deal with the algorithm switch:
Limit the frequency of posting to your Facebook page. When you do post, make sure the content is meaningful, relevant and reinforces key brand messages.
Facebook now becomes an even more pay-to-play model. Don’t rely on organic content for web traffic and brand awareness. Paid advertising should become a crucial part of your social media strategy.
Use Facebook with business goals in mind and don’t seek out engagement just for the sake of engagement. Worry less about followers and likes and more about how your Facebook efforts are driving your business goals.
If changing your Facebook strategy from organic to paid is not feasible for your brand, there are some ways you can maintain a better level of visibility even with the new algorithm. One such method is encouraging your followers to add your brand’s page to their "See First" list. With this feature, users can customize their News Feeds to prioritize what pages come up first. Users can select this option by hovering over the “Following” button on pages they have liked.
Another factor to keep in mind if you are wanting to maintain an organic content strategy is Facebook’s push for prioritizing local content. Facebook recently rolled out a new app called Facebook Local, where users can share recommendations and keep up with what is happening locally. The platform also announced recently it will begin prioritizing content from local publishers, determined not by the size of the publisher but by number of readers in a certain location.
Although Facebook has certainly made it much more difficult to maintain a successful organic content strategy, producing quality and relevant content while thinking local are two steps you can take to align your brand with Facebook’s new algorithm.
To learn more about how to create the right paid media planning and buying strategy, contact the experts at The Ward Group today!