Will Your Brand Benefit?
Facebook gets some heavy criticism from brand and pages admins on algorithm changes. What was a great tool to get visibility for just showing up and posting morphed into a "you need to work hard at it and maybe add a few of your hard-earned dollars" tool. Most saw this as a negative, for those brands that did social media right, it hurt but certainly wasn't a death-blow. The latest Facebook algorithm change (there are three significant changes) looks to be no different. How brand pages will be affected depends on several factors. For some brands, this latest Facebook algorithm change will be a major benefit.
Facebook Organic Reach
The primary measure Facebook has given us to measure post effectiveness is "reach" - how many saw your content in their feed (not that this in and of itself was a good measure). Initially, liking a page meant seeing content. That meant good reach. Shifts over the years have limited content from 'liked' pages being seen in favor of content and activity from your friends. Facebook assumed this was what people wanted. It went so far as telling us what our friends were up to with Open Graph and details in our feeds.
Organic Reach took a deep hit unless brands provided timely, relevant content or paid to have their content show. It seems Facebook got this 'half' right. People complained about sponsored posts they didn't want to see and being shown content friends liked or commented on they could care less about. People, it turns out, don't want a play-by-play of what their friends do. They want content FROM their friends and pages. Afterall, that's why they connected with people and liked pages.
Enter the latest Facebook algorithm change.
Significant Facebook Algorithm Change: Posts about friends liking or commenting on a page's content will be pushed down the news feed.
What it means for pages? Brand pages who relied on a couple of engaged fans to leverage reach through likes and comments will mean a further drop in those already dismal reach numbers. Unless you have other methods in place to drive fans to your Facebook content this will have a significant impact on Facebook's value for your brand.
#BeTactical: a larger fan base that isn't actively engaged has no value. You still need numbers, but you need active numbers. How you get those fans and who they are matters.
Significant Facebook Algorithm Change: Trying to balance the content you see in the right mix.
Facebook seems to have taken the stance that if you engage, you want to see it. While the change is designed to show more of "content posted by the friends you care about", I cannot help but think 'friends' includes 'pages' - "If you like to read news or interact with posts from pages you care about, you will still see that content in News Feed."
What it means for pages? Brand pages with good fan bases that are active, who post quality content will have that content seen by their fans. While reach will increase, but only within your core fan base. Expanding your 'Reach' will now require more sharing by your fans. Now, more than ever, your better content needs to be timely, relevant and shareable. If your content is already there, this change is a major win for you.
Significant Facebook Algorithm Change: Facebook will allow multiple content from individual publishers to show in your feed.
What it means for pages? Previously Facebook had rules in place to essentially prevent individual publishers (friends and pages) from monopolizing your feed. While that meant seeing more content from your entire network it also meant missing out on content from those you interact with the most. While we don't suggest leveraging this as a tactic to purposely drive more reach, when you do have additional content, it will get seen. Again, if your content is up to par, this is a win for you as well.
#BeTactical: Posting too often on Facebook could result in negative feedback.
This might be the first Facebook algorithm change we're happy to see. Brand pages who post good content, drive interaction and engagement with their fan base and are truly social will see big gains. Like Google's algorithm changes designed to weed out 'Black Hat' SEO practices, this change should have the same effect, reward those who are doing it right.
The only downside I can see initially, while being social and relevant are still key, as they always have been, smaller pages will be hurt more than larger ones. Expanding your reach will require a bigger and more active (bigger alone is not enough) fan base. For some brands, who were seeing good numbers in the past without having to ante up, they may now.
Again, do it right, and you may just see some big rewards.
A Penny For Your Thoughts?
What's your opinion on this latest Facebook algorithm change. Is your content up to snuff? Will it benefit or hurt you? Not sure?
Photo Credit: Facebook Algorithm/shutterstock