Facebook Algorithm Changes: Is Your Brand in Danger?

February 7, 2018

Reassessing Digital Marketing Channel Strategy

On January 11, 2018, Facebook announced they will prioritise content from family and friends in your news feed over pages and business advertising. As the algorithm rolls out, you’ll notice there are less posts from news, brands, media, and businesses ­– meanwhile all those baby photos and wedding albums will stay top of mind.

The reasoning, Facebook explained, is to foster meaningful connections and conversations within your network. But for businesses and brands, this could mean trouble.

Who/what is affected?

Engagement is the main quantification that will be affected. Ultimately, engagement determines whether your page’s content will appear in your audience’s news feed. If your brand usually has high awareness but low engagement (think a low number of comments, reactions, etc.), your page may see a large dip in distribution. This is bad news for most organic posts (and organic reach achieved on those posts).

Now you see me… Now you don’t?

Facebook claims there is one feature that could improve organic reach, serving as a catalyst for user interests. In a consumer’s news feed settings there is a feature called, “see first.”.

Essentially the feature allows users to consciously choose which brand pages they would like to view – aka the individual must opt to see a brand’s organic content.  To gain followers, content distributed should aim to add value to users’ lives. Even if users opt in, there is no guarantee consumers will actually see a brand’s posts (unless you pay).

How does a brand ensure their strategy can develop successfully after algorithm implementation?

Adjust your sails. Change the way you are engaging with audiences and producing content for a smooth transition:

  • Implement more Facebook Ads (paid ads), which ensure reach, awareness, engagement, and delivery to the correct target audiences
  • Produce relevant, shareable content that encourages conversations between friends
  • Produce less news/offer-oriented posts and more stories people want to be a part of
  • Incorporate video/live video posts
  • Listen to your data and to consumers – continue to trial new target audiences
  • Engagement will determine success. Comments, comments, comments.
  • Interact with your followers. Answer questions and start conversations to intensify brand engagement on posts
  • Repurpose content that proves to be effective
  • Compose appealing emails and use similar copy on social media

Facebook Ads will not be impacted by this change, since costs are attributed to quantifying awareness, reach, engagement, and conversions. However, be wary of a price increase and surge in paid advertisements. Because organic posts now warrant fewer engagements, more brands (especially smaller companies under 10,000 followers) may enter the paid ad space.

What about influencer relationships?

Influencers will become more important to reach a brand’s target audience as the new Facebook algorithm transpires. This particularly includes (and impacts) Instagram audiences in Australia and across the globe.

As we begin to see less material from businesses, news outlets, and media, social influencers will fill this void with their content. As a result, influencer marketing partnerships will become paramount to targeting engaged consumers.

Furthermore, Facebook will not be regulating influencer content as they are doing with brands and businesses (for the time being, anyways). For effective brand awareness and reach, matchmaking with the correct influencers will soon largely impact success of a brand’s perception and presence.

If you need any advice regarding the new Facebook algorithm changes feel free to get in touch with us!