Bringing People Closer Together

Facebook today announced that they are making significant changes to Newsfeed to show fewer brands and media in user newsfeeds.

This isn’t the first change and it certainly won’t be the last. I still remember when mobile newsfeed was purely chronological, as a not so distant memory you might remember Instagram being the same…

Over the last 7+ years, there have been multiple updates to the algorithms that are used by Facebook and it’s companies to decide which content is displayed to users. The ultimate product of Facebook is you, the user. You’re sold out in a large auction as a commodity, swapping your Facebook experience for your ABC1, ad clicking self.  Your experience is genuinely important to them, to state the obvious, they need you to keep coming back.

However, changes to the way that newsfeed work have almost always been to the detriment of organic reach for brand and organisation pages. It’s been a gradual process and it will continue. Facebook isn’t saying it’s the end of organic brand reach but I suspect it won’t be far from it.

There is a nod in their comments towards the type of content that many brands are producing too – engagement bait is going to be further down-weighted.

What it means for organisations…

When I first meet clients I’ve always said to think of social feeds through the eyes of consumer – it’s crowded, busy and there is literally no one waiting for your next post. The person they hated at school, the pregnant friend, the latest Man City news (this one might just be me…) – this is what they’re there for, if you don’t have anything useful to say, don’t say it.

In the main this is the message from Facebook – your content will still be shown but only the content that generates real engagement. If you’re posting engagement for engagement’s sake, then you’re about to see a drop in organic reach quicker than you can type out ‘TAG A FRIEND WHO NEEDS THIS IN THEIR LIFE RIGHT NOW’.

It should be noted that there is no mention of paid media here, so I wouldn’t expect too much change there. That said we need to watch for rises in CPM as this could be a useful spot for Facebook to turn the screws on more meaningful interactions.

The message for large organisations is to work on your content strategy, stop posting spam (if you are) and look at a consistent paid support approach. This is what Facebook ultimately wants. Let’s be honest, you pay someone to come up with that content, and possibly an agency, so why would you not want the right targeted people to see it?

For smaller organisations and local charities where paid media just isn’t an option, there is some, limited, comfort in the comment that you can actively ask users to ‘opt-in’ to see your content.

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