Each time there is a Facebook algorithm change, two things consistently happen:
- Facebook haters start their battle cries, trying to rally the troops for a mass exodus.
- Business owners have a the-sky-is-falling mentality regarding their future Facebook success.
One more thing happens as well: I write about the changes to Facebook’s algorithm, with the message we will all survive. While I am being playful (yet fairly accurate!) in my description of the business environment whenever a change is announced, it is a serious concern for business owners. With Facebook being the cornerstone for many business’ online identity, not properly adjusting could be detrimental.
What exactly is happening on Facebook this time?
January 2015 Facebook is rolling out a new algorithm for what is shared in the timelines. After surveying hundreds of thousands of people with the goal of creating a more enjoyable experience for users, they discovered what people find least appealing in their personal timelines.
Here were the top three complaints:
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product or service.
- Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context.
- Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.
The changes implemented beginning this month will drastically reduce the reach for the posts of business pages and individuals with organic (vs. paid) promotional posts. Facebook has always been structured to manage the balance of organic posts from friends and business pages liked by the viewer and paid posts (advertising) so that the content mix can be controlled in a positive way. The problem, over time, is that businesses and individuals have used posting as a means to promote heavily (in my opinion spamming) businesses’ products and services as well as the popular sweepstakes.
Facebook wants to ensure individuals have a positive experience each time they log in. They know the main objective for people is to catch up with friends, share their own experiences, and find interesting information related to their interests. And, of course, sponsored posts are sprinkled into the mix. But without any control on the organic posts that are essentially advertising, Facebook content was becoming out of balance for all of us.
Here’s an example of a recent post I found in my own personal timeline, posted by an individual:
Is this the moment where we should finally all panic and abandon Facebook?
For our clients: no.
Everyone else should prepare.
While Facebook haters are all screaming this is a nefarious plot to make businesses pay for access, it’s really not about that at all. It’s about cleaning up the timeline and controlling better the content because that is what the majority of individuals want. I don’t know anyone who says they record television shows so they can skip the show to exclusively watch the commercials. Why would we expect people with Facebook accounts to want anything different than what they want on television (fewer commercials)? By ensuring the organic posts that are essentially ads are drastically reduced in visibility and continuing a healthy paid advertising mix, Facebook is ensuring we aren’t seeing commercials without the content.
Are the changes so horrible our content will never be seen again?
For our clients: no.
For everyone else: possibly.
What changes will the NG Media team make to how they manage client accounts?
While we did tweak our approach to Facebook following the last major algorithm change, this one doesn’t require any changes for our clients. Here’s why no changes are necessary:
Our clients already have a balanced approach to content. We explain in our first meeting and throughout our engagement with a client, sharing content that will be of interest to their target audience with a sprinkling in of business promotion is how we grow the Facebook following and increase engagement with their online community. Only our mothers would read 20-30 posts weekly that exclusively promote our business. The rest of the followers will “unlike” our pages, never to connect with us again.
Our clients already have Facebook advertising incorporated into their plan. We build Facebook advertising into every proposal we submit, and we continue to encourage our existing customers to have a good balance of advertising in their plan. Our team creates the ads, sets up the demographics, and manages the campaign.
One big advantage each algorithm change brings for NG Media clients is the knowledge that our team is in front of each change that happens to the Facebook algorithm and likely many competitors are not. Our clients can set their business goals for the new year, knowing NG Media has them covered in the digital media space.
For more information about having our extensive social media services, contact us.