In November, Facebook announced that they will be changing their News Feed algorithm again. This time, they will be cracking down on business pages that they feel are posting “overly promotional” content. This will come into play from January 2015 and affected pages will see an even bigger decline in organic reach. With many brands now questioning whether Facebook should play any role in their marketing strategy in 2015, we look at the potential impact.
Why It Is Happening
Facebook quizzed some of its users on the type of content that they prefer to see in their News Feeds. The overall verdict? More posts from their friends and less promotional content from pages that they have liked. Based on this, Facebook have decided to penalise business pages that are making little or no effort to offer value in their content as they don’t believe that their users want to see these type of posts.
What classes as an “overly promotional” post? According to Facebook, they will be particularly hard on posts that fall into one of these categories:
Posts that are designed solely to sell a product or to download an app
Posts that encourage participation in contests without offering any value
Posts that reuse content from ads
What Brands Can Expect
Facebook are trying to encourage brands to post “better” and more useful content through the planned changes. For those that don’t, organic reach will fall again and the repercussions could be devastating. Most brands are already seeing a decline in organic reach due to Facebook’s attempts to push them towards using paid ads and this will be further exaggerated for those that continue to post promotional content going forwards.
For brands that are already committed to creating and sharing third partycontent that will offer value for their community, the changes shouldn’t have any impact. After all, this is what Facebook are trying to steer brands towards.
What To Do Next
Worried about the potential effects for your brand’s organic reach? With the changes due to happen in January, now is the time to change your content marketing strategy to move away from “hard sell” content. Focus your efforts on being useful and valuable for your Facebook fans, which will help to build trust and authority. As well as producing your own content, this can also involve sharing other people’s content (also known as content curation).
The forthcoming changes to the Facebook News Feed algorithm will undoubtedly penalise some brands – unless they make a big effort to adapt their marketing strategy to move away from content that is solely promotional. Facebook wants brands to offer valuable content that users will find useful and interesting, and those that do this shouldn’t see a dramatic drop in their reach.