5 Ways Smart Brands Can Survive the Latest Facebook Algorithm Change

Kirsty Price - 06/07/2016 - 4 mins read - Social Technology

The news about Facebook’s latest algorithm change has unleashed a shockwave of anxiety amongst the marketing community. Despite Facebook regularly changing their algorithm over the past 10 years, few changes have caused such fear, dismay, parody videos and claims that ‘organic reach on Facebook is dead’.

Publishing a set of ‘news feed values’ last week, Facebook firmly declared that they would be prioritising content from friends and family members over content from brands. Inevitably this means that for brands it’s going to be harder (and more expensive) to reach their audience on Facebook moving forward.

It’s not all doom and gloom though! Organic reach is not totally ‘dead’, it’s just declining. So, despite the challenges posed by the algorithm, there are some things that smart brands can do to ensure that they suffer as little an impact as possible from the changes.

 

1. Your Content Must be More Relevant

Before you click publish, you should know exactly who you’re trying to reach with your content and how you want them to respond to it. The first step in doing this is to study your audience using Facebook analytics and then create detailed customer avatars, so that you know your target audience inside and out. You should also be open to producing more reactive and real-time content, so be sure to keep an eye on what’s trending so you can be as relevant as possible.

 

2. Your Content Should Be Shareable

(Credit: Alan Levine)

Moving forward brands need to think more carefully about the role Facebook’s users play in distributing their content, instead of relying on Facebook to simply show their content to people who have expressed an interest in it. Therefore, the most valuable social engagement metric on Facebook will continue to be a ‘share’. Generating shares means your content will be seen by the friends and family members of the sharer, increasing your organic reach and allowing you to generate more overall engagement.

 

3. Focus on Quality vs Quantity

We’ve been saying this for a long time now, but the mantra ‘quality over quantity’ has never been more significant. If brands keep pushing out mediocre content that users don’t interact with, there’s a strong chance that Facebook will tar all your content with the ‘mediocre brush’. From now on, brands need to spend more time creating high value content that informs, inspires and evokes emotion.

 

4. Invest in Facebook Ads

The use of Facebook ads has already become a necessity and unfortunately for brands without deep pockets, they are going to become even more crucial due to the algorithm change. For brands who are newer to social advertising, it can be daunting to navigate the plethora of Facebook advertising objectives. Indeed, with the new algorithm, it might be more beneficial for brands to focus on ads that will boost their reach over acquiring followers. Furthermore, those brands that have been using Facebook ads for some time will likely need to adapt their budgets. We anticipate that the cost of ads of ads will rise, due to more people ‘paying to play’ and competing for a highly coveted spot in the news feed.

 

5. Invest in Influencer Marketing

If you’re yet to indulge in influencer marketing, reaching your audience through other people they care about could be a winning strategy. While influencer ‘pages’ are likely to suffer from the same challenges as brand pages, many influencers have very large personal networks that they are now likely to try and leverage (in a manner similar to those who work in multi-level marketing companies). Moving forward, it might be more beneficial for brands to work with a larger number of small-scale influencers, rather than one high-profile influencer.

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While it’s true that it is going to be harder (and more expensive) for brands to reach their audience on Facebook, in the long term, this algorithm change is actually going to be better for everyone.

It will be better for users because they’ll now see more of the content they want to, have a great experience and keep coming back for more.

Furthermore, it will be better for brands, as Facebook is pushing them to make more relevant, shareable and high quality content, so they’ll become better marketers as a result.

In summary, it seems that Facebook’s recent actions echo the PSONA Social philosophy that brands don’t matter, unless they do things that make them matter.

How will you make your Facebook content matter moving forward?

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