What the New Changes to the Facebook Algorithm Means For Marketers and Brands

Zach WelchApril 20, 2014News

If you haven’t seen the news, Facebook has announced some changes to it’s algorithm...again. Facebook has already launched a number of features that will allow users to be able to easily unfollow people and pages that overwhelm their News Feed or that they find annoying. Users will be able to give feedback about their News Feeds - when they hide a story, they’ll be given the option to see less from that person or page. If a user asks to see less, they will be given the option to unfollow them so they don’t see any further stories at all.

The changes to the algorithm boil down to this: beginning in the new year, users will see fewer overly promotional posts in their News Feeds. This is Facebook’s way of saying, “If it feels like an ad, don’t post it to your page. Create an ad.”

If you’re upset by this, you can get in line. Personally, I don’t think this changes much. I’ve been somewhat mystified by any outraged responses because this should be business as usual...shouldn’t it?

Here’s what I mean: Facebook has increasingly been a pay-to-play game in terms of advertising. Pages are getting very few organic impressions anyway these days. In a sense, the algorithm has been punishing overly annoying or promotional posts for years. It’s as if Facebook has recently had this revelation that people don’t like that kind of content, when in reality, that kind of content has never worked well. If it isn’t working, then you slowly lose impressions.

As I told Marketing Land reporter Martin Beck ,

“We have been teaching our clients not to be overly promotional on Facebook, or any other social platform for years. We really need Facebook to tell us that consumers don’t want the hard sell from brands every time they log on? They won’t respond to that kind of content, no matter if Facebook is serving it up to them or not. This really is just a good reminder to focus on content. Be useful, knowledgeable, and trustworthy with your content and you will win on social — regardless of how algorithms are shifted.”

What does this mean for marketers moving forward? Content continues to be King. Both the usability update making it easier for fans to unfollow brands, as well as this new update to the algorithm that limits the reach of promotional posts, points to this. If you’ve been working hard to create quality content that your fans love and engage with, keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll ride the wave of these changes just fine.

To request a free social media assessment so that you can adjust to these changes moving forward, please email us at hello@brandglue.com .

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