A significant change to the News Feed algorithm means content published on Facebook is less likely to be seen by your followers. Facebook puts the impact bluntly: “As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease.”
- Boosting posts is a cost-effective way to ensure distribution to your Facebook audience, and campaign teams should operate with a pre-approved monthly budget to draw on.
- Investing in Like advertising — spending to increase the size of your Facebook audience — may not be as cost-effective moving forward.
- The most valuable channel for building and reaching an audience is email, and budgets should be allocated accordingly.
Between Russians’ use of Facebook to influence U.S. voters and a rash of articles linking Facebook use to depression, the decision has been made to prioritize content from friends at the expense of publishers, brands, and politicians.
Previously, Facebook’s News Feed algorithm optimized for fast engagement: a post receiving many likes, comments, and shares in a short time was a strong signal to Facebook that the post should be rocketed to the top of News Feeds. Doing so created a virtuous cycle of engagement as ever-greater users saw the content and reacted.
The News Feed is the Facebook homepage, where people like, comment on, and share content from friends and brands.
Not all content published on a page is seen by the people who follow a page. Instead, an algorithm determines what appears on this precious News Feed real estate.
If posts you publish do not appear in a user’s News Feed, they are unlikely to be seen at all.
The side effect is obvious to anyone who has spent time on the platform: posts that are intellectual junk food, particularly those sparking rage or anxiety, were the winners in this system.
Now, Facebook is prioritizing long-term engagement, especially on content shared by connections closest to its users like family and friends. Thought-provoking conversations, helpful assists to those seeking advice, and more aspirational posts are the new winners.
Publishers are hardest hit by these changes. Expect to see a lot more paid (“Boosted”) content in your News Feed from publishers driving traffic to important stories
In addition to publishers, those who are not investing in their email lists are hurt by this change. Quartz, a business and lifestyle publisher targeted at the WSJ-reading audience, indicated their most valuable traffic source is email: “The inbox is ‘the new homepage for executives,’ said Katie Weber, VP of Client Partnerships for Quartz.” Similarly, campaigns and causes should view the inbox as the homepage for voters and the public.