Recently Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook announced that he would change the site’s algorithm to begin to promote more personal content rather than news or other types of posts. That means that the average facebook user will see more posts from family and friends in their newsfeed and less from brand posts with few comments. Facebook has stated that this algorithm change will have no direct impact on how advertising works on the site but businesses are expecting some definite changes in their organic reach.
New Facebook regulations on data could mean that Facebook users will see less material from media outlets and businesses that show up organically in their newsfeed. Brands that typically rely on their organic social media marketing practices may have to focus more on other strategies or adjust their techniques in order for followers to see their posts as often as they would like. Some are predicting that social media influencers will be more important than ever in order to get the word out about new products on Facebook.
Brands can benefit from learning more about the new algorithm, how it affects an individual Facebook user’s newsfeed and what they can do to counteract any negative effect it will have on their social media marketing. It would be a mistake to assume that the changes won’t have any impact on your marketing plan because you could begin to see a drop in organic reach. Putting your social media efforts into a variety of different strategies can help prevent the change from drastically affecting your brand.
Social Media Newsfeed Changes
Zuckerberg’s intention with changing the Facebook algorithm was to minimize that amount of fake news articles that had been circulating on the website and causing deep political rifts online. Facebook at one point had these type of news articles getting the most shares and engagement in a way that reinforced people’s existing beliefs. Zuckerberg made the algorithm change in spite of the risk of losing short term user engagement so that friends and family would interact with each other instead of sharing divisive content.
While the algorithm will be great for personal interaction, it may be problematic for businesses that are hoping to reach people organically. People on Facebook will see less posts from businesses they follow if they are not paid ads and are simply natural posts. Instagram is also starting to use an algorithm that looks similar to Facebook’s so it is likely that social media sites will show less organic content from brands and businesses and more from friends and family as the year progresses.
The good news is that influencer posts won’t be affected as much as brand posts because social media influencers are posting with their own personal account. Even though they are promoting various products, they are also normal people that Facebook and Instagram won’t recognize as a business. It will become more important than ever for brands to partner with social media influencers who can get their content seen by a bigger audience online.
New Marketing Impact
In the past, sites like Facebook and Instagram presented content in chronological order but with changes in algorithms over the past few years the sites have more control over what content is viewed by users. The algorithm Facebook introduced in 2016 as well as this new algorithm both are designed to limit the organic reach of certain pages. It means that businesses need to focus more on paid ads in order to have their content seen by a large audience.
Companies that focus more of their marketing strategies on paid ads as well as influencer marketing will not be impacted as much by the algorithm change. Businesses with an existing understanding and relationships with influencers will probably see their marketing strategies succeed. Facebook has made no changes to paid ads and will allow brands to purchase advertisements that are guaranteed to be seen in a user news feed.
It will be a good time this year for brands that have no experience with influencers to become more familiar with how the system works. It is important to figure out what your brand’s niche is and which influencer has a lot of existing followers in that niche. The influencer needs to be able to blend your brand or product narrative seamlessly with their own in order for you to see the most benefit.
Even though it might be alarming to businesses to discover that their organic reach is likely to take a big loss, it doesn’t mean that social media marketing will be much more complicated or less effective. It simply means adjusting where you focus your marketing strategies and taking the new algorithm into account. As long as you are aware of how the algorithm works you can use the right kind of marketing tools to keep boosting your business.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.