Last week, Facebook once again made an update to the way stories are ranked in the news feed. Facebook is on a continuous basis adapting the news feed algorithm and trying to solve which content that should be displayed to what users, as the News Feed only allows room for a certain amount of content.
With the latest update, Facebook has put emphasis on the fact that people use the Facebook News Feed to stay updated – not only about their friends but also about what’s happening in the world. Based on surveys showing that people prefer links to articles about current events, Facebook will put a bit more focus on articles and make the algorithm better at distinguishing between relevant news versus a meme photo. Especially on mobile.
What does it mean for brands?
As a result of the changes, Facebook has warned page administrators that organic reach is likely to decline, as there will be more content competing for space in users’ News Feeds. This indicates that for page owners, it will be more and more difficult to create engagement and reach its fan base.
To reach your fans, Facebook urges marketeers to resort to advertising to promote messages more broadly. Yes, marketeers need to think more on having an advertising budget for Facebook to amplify content, which is of course highly beneficial to Facebook’s business model.
Nevertheless, it is still important to create engaging content that is timely and relevant as this will also influence how effective paid content stories are. A content piece that has good organic reach will also be forming better in paid reach etc.
From a content creation point of view, I can only stress how important it is to create content that is timely and relevant for your users. Your organic content is in fierce competition with news stories and articles surfacing and being shared in the users’ News Feed – and there is only room for the most high quality content. Unless your content is highly relevant to your users, it will not gain any exposure and your efforts are more or less wasted. Rather create a few highly relevant stories that will engage your users than having many updates to keep up the frequency. So you still need to create content that works well socially and that attracts fans. According to Adage, we are now in a situation where page owners’ primary reason for building a fan base isn’t to build a free distribution channel, but rather to make future Facebook ads work better.
I guess the number of business pages now on Facebook and the amount of information being shared on the platform have now reached a point, where Facebook needs to keep downgrading information in order to make content relevant and still meaningful to decipher for users. Whether this is most beneficial to users or Facebook’s advertising platform, I will leave up to you to judge…