What Facebook’s Latest Algorithm Change Means For You
Once again Facebook is adapting its algorithms – and frankly that’s nothing new, but the platform has been ramping up the frequency with which it announces these changes. The main issue lately has become the vague or cryptic outcomes of these changes – i.e. “what does this mean for my brand?” making it harder as social marketers to know where and what to adjust.
Facebook not only keeps moving the target on what they consider to be “promotional” content, but also give end users more agency about regulating their personal feeds and deciding what they want and do not want to see. The latest update continues the effort to reduce the volume of “overly promotional” content in your Newsfeed. Specifically, they focused on three definitions:
- “Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app”
- i.e. “Our [Product] has arrived, click here to buy [link]
- “Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context”
- i.e. “Like this post and enter for your chance to win” or “It’s a great day for some tacos, get 10% off at any of our chains [link]” or “We’ve appreciate everything what you do for us we wanted to give something back. Enter our official holiday giveaway [link]”
- “Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads”
- i.e. “Check out our Superbowl Ad. Whoa, someone is in trouble [Link]”
So what does this all mean?
First and foremost, this is the end to “lazy content” from copywriters and brand managers. Under these rules, “like-baiting” will also be qualified as “overly promotional,” marking the end of “like if you agree” phrasing. Marketers will have to get accustomed to telling more authentic stories that offer value in return for views.
Marketers will have to pay more attention to trends and analytics, listening to social conversations and judging what resonates, producing content that adds value to the narrative. Instead of asking audiences to buy or enter, we have to provide them with content that entertains, informs and in all cases engages. Producing content without relying on “promotional” language is like threading a needle and you improve your chances the more you listen to your audience and the better you understand what they find valuable.
Lastly, this will also call for tighter budgeting around what brands put ad dollars behind. Contests, promotions, and “like-baiting” posts that displayed good organic growth before will be less effective, calling for a more even budget distribution behind paid reach. In the end though, better organic reach will give you more bang for your buck when you decide to go paid.
In the end, this is just another step towards brands becoming parts of the conversation rather than holding a monopoly over it.